One of the larger newspapers in southwest Louisiana and a regional television station published news articles last week about the sexual exploitation of two Children. The articles incorrectly identified the two Children as prostitutes. Children are never prostitutes.
These two Children were sold and raped.
I contacted the news desk, publisher, and executive editor asking that the article be corrected. Hoping they will use the opportunity to educate readers and viewers, I have also shared the contact information of a subject matter expert on Child victims of sex trafficking.
A Child may be “prostituted” (an act perpetrated by an adult who sells a Child’s body), but no Child is ever a prostitute.
The correct terminology is “Child victim of sex trafficking” or “Child victim of commercial sexual exploitation.” Adults sold these Children.
Federal law defines Children who are sold in this manner as victims of sex trafficking.
See PUBLIC LAW 106–386—OCT. 28, 2000, at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PLAW-106publ386/pdf/PLAW-106publ386.pdf
Words always matter, but rarely more than for a Child who was exploited in this manner.
Again, Children are never prostitutes.