1. A 16-year-old girl is in a room, by choice, being paid by another person in exchange of sexual favors.
  2. Another female, around the age of 13, is manipulated into prostitution by a boyfriend figure in her life.
  3. A young male was used by someone else in exchange for food, shelter, and other essentials for living.

Which of these minors are being trafficked?

All of them!

Any minor that is involved in a sexual interaction with someone overage, including but not limited to intercourse, sexual favors, or inappropriate touching, is a victim of human trafficking.

Consent is defined as the granting of permission or the indication of agreement. Someone that is under the age of 18 or someone that is classified as a minor, is NOT allowed to give consent for use of their bodies. These are CHILDREN. Children that are easily manipulated. Children that are craving attention. Children that are not yet whole and are still shaping the person that they are becoming. Children do not yet own their own bodies and are not allowed to give themselves away for someone’s use. There is no difference whether the minor is being paid or not. Any sexual interaction is classified as rape and trafficking.

Furthermore, where did our society go so wrong that we allow for children to be sexualized? Children are the sign of purity and innocence. For it to be so common to have older men and females to be attracted to young children, and even teenagers, is sickening.

Yes, I understand that it is sometimes difficult to immediately know that a teenager is not of a consensual age. However, it is essential that when being attracted to someone, one understands their age and when it becomes apparent that the age is not of legal adult, it is the responsibility of the adult to back away and keep a professional, safe, and comfortable distance from the minor.

Toddlers deserve stumbles while learning to walk and having their biggest pain is their teeth coming in. They do not deserve hands on their bodies or pure terror when they see the person that touches them against their will. Kids deserve dirt caked nails and tears over broken crayons. They do not deserve trauma from heartbreak that happened too early or the stress of having to protect themselves. Teenagers deserve reckless nights and stress over homework. They do not deserve the pain of their first time or the guilt when they trust too much.

Children are children. Let it stay that way.