#minorsextrafficking | Sex trafficking of children is a threat in Riverside County

It is likely that you know someone who has been the victim of sex trafficking or is at risk, and that person could well be a child from Riverside County — perhaps a child you know or one who’s close to you. How would you know?

As an analyst for the Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) program through Riverside County’s Department of Public Social Services, one of my primary roles is to educate the public about a crime that brings lifelong harm to children here in our own communities.

Each month, about 160 girls and boys who are at risk or have already been trafficked are cared for in Riverside County’s CSEC program. We provide these children with dedicated homes where a specially trained resource parent offers stability and access to trauma-informed resources to help them heal. Unfortunately, there is always a need for more of these homes.

The county also connects these youth with counseling, resources and programs specializing in human trafficking through our community partners — Resilient Brave Youth, Rebirth Homes and Run to Rescue.

Every child is vulnerable to human trafficking, but some are at greater risk: those who were sexually abused; those who were in the child welfare system before age 5; LGBTQIA+ youth; runaways; and children from poverty-stricken families.

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