Today, the FBI announced that 105 sexually exploited victims of child sex trafficking were rescued during a three-day nationwide operation in 76 U.S. cities.
Child sex trafficking is a horrific and sickening crime happening to young girls in big cities and small towns across this nation. Girls, some as young as 11 or 12, are being forced into a life of prostitution and trafficked across city limits, state lines and country borders.
The rescue of 105 child sex trafficking victims last week is eye-opening to the public, many of whom believe this is an issue happening only in foreign countries. In fact, Los Angeles County is recognized as one of the largest hubs for sex trafficking in the nation.
The key to protecting our young girls from manipulation and putting an end to this disgusting industry is awareness. In the last 18 months, Los Angeles County has strived to position itself as a national leader in preventing the sexual exploitation of children. We have made a concerted effort to build awareness and develop programs to heal the victims of this crime.
I commend the FBI and all the local agencies who were involved in the rescue of these young victims. While we have accomplished much, we must continue to focus on their safety and healing. This massive, nation-wide sweep sends a strong message to the real criminals that our County will do everything we can to protect the lives of these young girls.