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The most significant risk factor identified for youth was placement in the foster care system: 22 percent of Vermont youth in foster care responding to the study reported being forced to have sex to obtain something, and another 13 percent reported being compelled to do something they did not want to do other than sex. The study concluded that Vermont youth вЂњparticipate in activities suggestive of human traffickingвЂќ and that вЂњyouth with a history in the foster care system appear to be at greater risk for trafficking, survival sex, and fear of accessing medical care."
Expansion of Services Not the Solution.
As awareness of sex trafficking in Vermont grows, so does the broad array of services available to sex trafficking victims, whether or not they choose to report to or cooperate with law enforcement. Those services include existing sexual assault crisis centers and domestic violence shelters as well as the resources of the state Crime Victims Fund.
вЂњThe rules for victim compensation are no different for a trafficking victim than for any other victim, вЂќ Van Liew says ."The victimвЂ™s fund can provide limited compensation in qualifying cases for medical treatment, counseling, and sometimes for relocation and temporary housing. In other types of cases, a victim is eligible for lost wages, but that is a difficult issue here as the person engaging in the sexual services is not directly benefiting financially from their position."
In addition to services already available to victims of crime or sexual or domestic violence, new resources are springing up to address the specific needs of sex trafficking victims. The rapid response system of Give Way to Freedom is one such example.
вЂњItвЂ™s Friday night at 9 p. m., and a law enforcement officer thinks something is going on. He has a person who may be seeking help or showing signs of fear, and he doesnвЂ™t know what program or services to send them to, вЂќ Klimoski explains ."We will get a facilitator there, get them established in a hotel, get them food and shelter for a few days, and just let them know what services are available. Let them know what their options are."
The most important thing to remember, Klimoski says, is that вЂњitвЂ™s a very complicated issue. The.
perpetrator can be anybody. The victims can be anybody, male or female, any age, from anywhere.вЂќ.
Like many other social ills, such as the drug trade, sex trafficking is a product of supply and demand. According to UNICEFвЂ™s вЂњEnd TraffickingвЂќ campaign, human trafficking generates over $32 billion in profits globally each year. The high demand for cheap consumer goods and commercial sex puts women and men, but especially children, at risk of becoming the supply that fulfills the demand. Human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states, and the United States serves as both source and transit point for labor and sex trafficking, but it is also one of the worldвЂ™s top destinations for human trafficking, particularly of children.
Services canвЂ™t truly translate into solutions until there are robust options ."Until we start to make real economic opportunities for women across the globe, вЂќ Barkley says, вЂњthese situations will continue to arise. If there wasnвЂ™t a demand for sex business locally, we would not see the sex trade here. ItвЂ™s Vermonters who are buying this service."
3 arrested in underage-prostitution sting.
SOUTH BURLINGTON – Three Vermont men were arrested after police say they agreed to meet and engage in sexual conduct with undercover law enforcement officers posing as underage female prostitutes.
Buddhi M. Pradhan, 20, of Burlington; Carl W. Shanholtzer, 30, of Swanton; and Jake Ste. Marie, 29, of Burlington were arrested Tuesday, South Burlington police said. Pradhan and Shanholtzer were held for lack of $5,000 bail pending arraignment, while Ste. Marie was held for lack of $7,500 bail.
All three men were to face charges Wednesday morning in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington of luring and prohibited acts.
During the course of five hours, multiple men conversed with undercover officers posing as underage female prostitutes, the police said. Officers told the men they were 14 years old.
The men agreed to engage in sexual acts in exchange for money with the underage girls, and they traveled to a local motel to meet them, police said. Some of the men with whom police spoke wished to engage in sex for money with undercover officers posing as adult prostitutes, too, the authorities said.
The investigation was conducted by members of the South Burlington Police Department, the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Colchester Police Department, the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and the Vermont State Police.
5 men arrested in prostitution sweep, part of Burlington police effort to stop human trafficking.
Gallery: 5 men arrested in prostitution sweep, Burlington police say.
Five men have been arrested as authorities in Middlesex County continue their effort to stop human trafficking in the area, officials said.