Disturbing Report Follows the Trail of Girls’ Sexual Abuse to the Prison Pipeline
Date:  07-14-2015

Young victims of sex trafficking often arrested on prostitution charges
A new report offers explosive information on a subject that has long been buried—sexual abuse is one of the primary factors why girls enter the juvenile justice system. Abused girls often run away from home, skip school and get into fights, reactions to being sexually assaulted or having experienced other acts of violence. Young girls forced into sexual slavery are arrested on prostitution charges. And once the girls enter the juvenile justice system they often do not receive treatment for the sexual abuse or violence that brought them there.

Via the New York Times July 9, 2015

The study, “The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story,” found that sexual abuse was among the primary predictors of girls’ involvement with juvenile justice systems, but that the systems were ill-equipped to identify or treat the problem.

“Our girls, and especially our girls at the margins, are suffering, and what the study shows is how violence is part of their lives and how the response is criminalization,” said Malika Saada Saar, the executive director of the Human Rights Project for Girls, a Washington-based organization that conducted the research with the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality and the Ms. Foundation for Women.

Laws in many states allow the police to arrest girls as young as 13 on prostitution charges, even when they are victims of sex trafficking. The report says the policy of incarcerating girls at young ages for prostitution, as well as on suspicion of truancy and running away, leads to profound mistrust of the criminal justice system and, often, more arrests. Read more

The report, The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story, and policy recommendations for dismantling the abuse to prison pipeline, can be read here.