From the NY Times article, In Oakland, Redefining Sex Trade Workers as Abuse Victims, found via Feminist Law Professors.
Once viewed as criminals and dispatched to juvenile centers, where treatment was rare, sexually exploited youths are increasingly seen as victims of child abuse, with a new focus on early intervention and counseling. There is growing recognition that doctors can be first responders, intervening before long years of exploitation and abuse can take an even greater toll.
An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 American-born children are sold for sex each year. The escalating numbers have prompted national initiatives by the F.B.I. and other law enforcement agencies, and new or pending legislation in more than a dozen states, most recently Georgia, which enacted a toughened human trafficking law this month.
The important thing to notice yet again is that these children are not being abused in shadowy child prostitution rings, they are being pimped out through the same avenues used to pimp adult women, and the johns who abuse them are the same johns who pay to rape adult women.
The abusers may be pimps, even brothers, who recruit or kidnap girls from the streets and market them online through sites, where they are featured in pulsating ads for massage parlors, escort services, strip clubs, even acupuncturists.
They fall prey to abusers who are highly motivated: the Polaris Project, a national advocacy organization, estimates that a stable of four girls earns over $600,000 a year in tax-free income for the pimp. Drug dealers here are increasingly switching to prostitution, inspired by the bottom line and fewer risks.
“The person dealing drugs has a finite amount of product to sell,” said Jason Skrdlant, an officer with the Oakland Police Department’s vice and child exploitation unit. “But a girl is reusable.”