Sex trafficking is a crime happening everyday right up under our noses. It is horrifying to think of a young girl kidnapped in broad daylight and forced into having sex with multiple men per day everyday like a machine. Many wonder how a 12-year-old could be lured away from her home with so much information out there about avoiding strangers and kidnapping. In most sex trafficking cases, the pimp works his magic down to a science. He does not approach his victim with an imposing figure, making her feel uncomfortable. The predator uses his people skills to hone in on the right little girl. He is nice to her. He makes her feel understood. He connects and meets her on her level. Then he breaks out a gift or something sweet. Before long the child is in his car never to be seen again.
It is not until she encounters her first customer and refuses to surrender that she realizes she is in the hands of a dangerous monster. Fearing for her life, she obeys her pimp, wondering if she will ever see her family ever again. In the story of Karla Jacinto, it was a nightmare she could not wake up from for four years.
Jacinto was 12 years old, having problems at home with her mother. Feeling unwanted by her family, her 22-year-old pimp knew all he had to do to capture her was just be nice to her. He lavished her with gifts and a ride in his red sports car. Jacinto, now 23 years old and an advocate against sex trafficking, speaks around the country to hopefully save other young girls from living in hell.
Jacinto told the interviewer to remember the number 43, 200. This number represents the number of times she had sex over the course of 4 years. She was forced to work brothels and street corners seven days a week from sun up to sun down. There were girls as young as 10 years old that were turned into sex slaves as well. Jacinto was kidnapped in Mexico, but she worked major cities like Atlanta, Georgia, New York City, and Houston, Texas. Jacinto informs us that these are the cities sex traffickers out of Mexico connect with. Houston, Texas being the city with the most activity.
Jacinto said the police were called one time, but they wanted in on the action, forcing the little girls to perform sexual acts on camera for them. The 10 year olds would cry and tell the police officers their age, but Jacinto explained no one cared.
The state of Texas has allocated a reported $133 million in grants for law enforcement agencies and victims’ assistance programs in several regions of Texas to help save the young victims. According to Justice New Flash, Houston has more victims of human trafficking than any other city in the country.
The crime goes unreported because people do not know that they are witnessing a crime when they see a grown man walking through an airport with a young girl. One sign authorities warn the public is to watch to see how many young girls are walking behind a man and if they are allowed to speak.
My heart goes out to the thousands of young girls who are currently being forced into prostitution and fear escaping. Believing they are unable to trust authorities, they have no idea where to run to. I hope that the grants will work in busting every sex trafficking ring going on around the country. These young girls will be scarred for life. But, at this point, I just wish them their freedom.