Phoenix and Arizona seem to have a reputation for being number one on many undesirable things, or conversely, at the bottom of the list for many desirable attributes. One of the latest statistics that I have heard is that Phoenix is number one in the nation for kidnapping and abduction, and number two in the world after Mexico City. Someof these incidents are related to drug deals gone bad, and some will be custody issues. Another large percentage is abductions of minor girls who are then forced into prostitution.
If you have seen the movie “Taken”, you will have a glimpse into this sordid modern day slave trade, and the increasing demand for it. Fortunately, there are organizations in Arizona and other places around the world which are stepping forward to find and retrieve these young girls and provide the restorative services that are so desperately needed. (One group is Food for the Hungry, but nothing is on their site yet about the Branded program which will help girls get out of this demeaning and destructive bondage.)
Now work is being done on the legislative end to set up stiffer penalties for those seeking out minors for prostitution.
The following is from Center for Arizona Policy.
|Child Prostitution in Arizona|
Former Phoenix City Councilwoman Peggy Bilsten and area churches have joined together to rescue young girls trapped and forced into child prostitution. CAP has joined with Peggy to support legislation strengthening the penalties for customers who seek minor girls as prostitutes. In riveting committee testimony Wednesday, Peggy shared horrific stories of young girls who are snatched from local malls then trapped into prostitution. Customers then go looking for young girls who are “barely legal” – the catch phrase for under-age girls. SB 1423, sponsored by Senators Jim Waring and Linda Gray, will strengthen penalties for customers engaging in prostitution with a minor. While the church at large addresses the very real needs of rescuing these young girls and providing a safe place for them, CAP is addressing the policy side of the issue, working to pass legislation to address the legal problems encountered. That’s one glimpse at how we work with community leaders and churches to address real-world problems.
Filed under: Community Chronicles, Legislative Lookout | Tagged: abduction, Arizona, Center for Arizona Policy, child prostitution, Citizen Intervention, Community, disaster prevention, kidnapping statistics, Legislative issues |