Based on the estimate that 300,000 American minors are being commercially sexually exploited, and that each child services at least 10 customers each day, three million incidences of paid child rape are happening every 24 hours. This staggering amount of child abuse is rarely reported, and consequently, far less than one percent of all perpetrators are ever convicted. The victims are caught in a complicated web of deception, coercion, physical abuse and empty promises of love from the pimps and are usually terrified to divulge the abuse and the abusers’ identities.
Often the child sex trafficking targets are from dysfunctional and abusive families and already have low self-esteem, making them easy quarry for the predators. Sometimes, family members themselves are the sellers of the juveniles, creating greater barriers to disclosure. Many times, when a young person finds the courage to tell an adult about the sexual abuse, she is not believed or no action is taken. This compounds the depth of the desecration, bringing greater shame upon the violated one.
Kathleen Tell recounts believing the lies and excuses of her daughter’s molester and not taking a strong enough stand on behalf of her child. From that devastating experience, she and her daughter compiled a Contract of Love for parents to use as a preventive or early warning measure of potential abuse.