End Human Trafficking in Indianapolis
Human Trafficking Among Youth and Young Adults Experiencing Homelessness
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and sadly, several of our youth and young adults have been trafficked or sexually exploited.
According to the U.S. Department of State’s 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report, youth experiencing homelessness are among the United States' most vulnerable to human trafficking.
Additionally, in a study on human trafficking among youth experiencing homelessness (performed by several institutions including the University of Pennsylvania and Loyola University, New Orleans), researchers interviewed youth and young adults experiencing homelessness across 13 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Their findings are shocking:
1. 68% of the youth who had either been trafficked or engaged in survival sex or commercial
sex had done so while homeless
2. 21% of young women and 10% of young men interviewed had been trafficked for sex
3. 32% of the youth interviewed had engaged, in some way, in the sex trade at some point
Art Work by Alisa Jane Hoodikoff
Charity’s Childhood Trauma
The heartbreaking truth is that several of the youth and young adults at Outreach have been sexually exploited. At a very young age, Charity** was experiencing unbelievable childhood trauma. Her alcoholic mother coerced her to perform sexual acts for money. She eventually ran away and was homeless on the streets of Indianapolis. She felt safer living on the streets than being sexually exploited by her mother. After some time, Charity found her way to Outreach. While at Outreach she connected with some of the Youth and Young Adult Coaches who cared for her emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Charity began to experience a safe, loving community of staff, volunteers, and other youth and young adults who felt like family for the very first time in her life.
A Refuge for the Exploited
Our hearts break for the youth and young adults who have experienced such things. Outreach is committed to providing refuge and a safe haven where youth and young adults can heal and experience the love of Jesus! If you feel called to come alongside youth and young adults experiencing homelessness in this capacity, reach out today. Visit our volunteer webpage to learn more.
**Pseudonym to protect privacy.