The Price of a Teenage Life Essay

The Price of a Teenage Life Daysha Jones Eng Comp II Dr. Cobb November 23, 2009 The Price of a Teenage Life Prostitution is known for being a legal act done by women late at night, or sometimes during the board daylight. It’s known for being an international issue of young girls getting sold to the highest bidder, but it’s flooding the streets of America. As stated by Fang that, “trafficking in children for sex was once thought to be a problem beyond America’s borders.

But the FBI and the Justice Department have now started focusing intently on the issue–and what they’ve found is shocking, and that thousands of girls and boys are falling victim to violent pimps, who move them from state to state, which makes it a federal matter. ” (Fang, B 2005) The faces of prostitution have changed their getting younger and younger. They are our daughters, nieces, cousins, sisters, and they are being taken advantage of every night by men who are old enough to be the dads and grandfathers.

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Even though they get into it as victims they don’t have to live their life out as one. They have to know that there is a safe haven out there ready to help them become a teenager again. Places that will give them a second chance at life, not just beat them down for what that been through, but help them get over that time in their lives. There are estimated about 300,000 exploited and victimized children in America. About 40% of them are under the age of seventeen. This number continues to grow every day, because they number of runaways and kidnapped children continue to grow.

There’s no face of prostitution, any racial or religious background, or ethnic group can be prone to prostitution. Some teens get into prostitution for a number of reasons, such as being kidnapped and forced into to it by a pimp. Pimps have a different look now they use to have huge suits and hats with feathers, now they have thuggish mentality, belong to gangs and are much younger. The pimp mostly starts exploiting girls because they figure that with selling drugs is too much of the risk because the dirt is on their hands.

But with prostituting girls they feel that the girls are the one doing it and the girls won’t rat on them. Technology has made it a lot easier for pimps and older men to prey on younger girls, because of the various social networks and chat rooms that aren’t monitored by parents, even with cell phones that aren’t checked by parents. The pimp manipulate them and make them seem that they are they are the only person who loves them, and lures them with promise of lots of money, clothes, and other things.

Their stories are heroic because they have to endure so much from those pimps. The countless of times they are raped and beaten, and made to feel like they are the lowest species on the earth. They control these girls to the point of no return, in which causes them to lose all sense of reality, self esteem, and identity of who they use to be, with every john they perform a service on the more and more they lose that sense of self.

Their pimps abused them for any little disrespect or what they think is insolence, such as the hostile treatment stated by Green (2009) of the horrendous punishments they had to endure for little things like, “looking at other men who wasn’t their pimp or their john then they would get the punishment which entitles a girl being forced to strip down naked and ordered in a cold shower and then beaten with a belt, and after that his gang-member friends took turns raping her. Some of the pimps did a lot worse things than that to pressure them into to staying with them, which made them terrified to even think about leaving because they know that their pimps and their friends are capable of doing to them if that ever thought about it. Runaways are more prone to prostitution than any other teen. It’s easier for a pimp to recruit them because they are already feeling alone and thinks that no one loves them or is looking for them; and the pimp just comes along and tells them what they are already feeling.

When teens and children run away they don’t realize how hard it is to make on your own. Then being underage no responsible adult is going to rent them an apartment and besides with the jobs available for teens they wouldn’t have enough to pay for it. Especially with the shelters having very limited beds and room for a lot of runaways, and some don’t even want to go into shelters because of the things that could happen to you in there, so they just find refuge on the streets.

That’s when the next best thing in their head is to go to prostitution for money. Either they are so desperate that they can’t help, but to be enticed into the “game” by the money and clothes, or they start to do it on their own because they can’t go another day living on the streets without food, shelter, and the basics they left from. Some fall victim to it by their own parents, because their parents are hard up on drugs or for money for that fact, therefore; they sell their children off to grown men just to get their next fix.

Another reason they might runaway and start prostituting is because they have been raped or abused in the home; the place where they are suppose to be safe and secure for some the very place that is like a living in a constant nightmare for them. Studies show that 92% of adolescences have been abused, sexually or physically, before they even hit the streets. As stated by (Urbina, 2009) who quoted this little 14-year old runaway saying, “I’m just tired of it all, and I don’t want to be in my house anymore,” she said, explaining why she had run away. One month there is money, and the next month there is none. One day, she is taking it out on me and hitting me, and the next day she is ignoring me. ” She thought it was safer on the street than going back to that house. At that point their self esteem is already on very low, so it’s almost easier for them to let their guard down with the pimps and johns because they have been abused most of their lives, so they must think why not.

Every time they have to “perform” on a john they have to take substances just to get through it, which can lead to problems with addictions, like alcohol and heavy drugs. There are numerous of programs out here geared to help them not only stop them from being victimized and to escape their pimp, but to help them get back into society. Teenage boys have been known to partake in this legal act. Teenage girls and women have been known for centuries as the lead in the disgusting profession, but it seems as though boys and teenage boys have become “popular” amongst the streets.

Just like girls they run away from home for a lot of the same reasons strict parents, drug or alcohol abuse, physically or sexually abuse, but one of the major reasons is when their parents don’t agree with their sexuality. Especially when their parents only know one way of living and when things aren’t traditional way of life, then they learn that this can’t possibly get out to the family or their friends that they have a homosexual child; they throw them some money of course not enough to make it a week, and tell them not to come back ever again.

All of that anger, pain and resentment they have built up cause them to do things that they wouldn’t ever do such as sleeping with as many men as they can to get money, or to just get some of that anger out of them by calling it revenge on their families who turn their backs on them. Unlike girls, boys are different they don’t have pimps, they could be just standing by a convenience store and some grown man would try to pick them up, and the john might think that it’s not cheating because of the way men have to have sex.

Male prostitutes got a lot more money than most females because with males they had higher clientele like mayors, businessmen in high places, who have a lot to lose, so they were paid off very well for keeping their silence. There are very little programs like there are for girls but there are programs to help educate them on how to protect themselves. The police to a runaway turned prostitute is the worst possible thing ever because they figure that they are going to bring them back to the house that they run away from in the beginning.

Getting caught by the police now isn’t such a bad thing anymore; before they use to lock them up in juvenile centers with criminals, and now they send them to special programs to help them with getting their life back together. Maybe even reconnect with their families, but that rarely happens because of all the resentment they may still have from when they ran away in the first place. The officers want to see these kids if not home they want to see them in a safe place where they can get guidance and the help they need to stop going back to their pimp.

These police are desperate to get every child to safety, but not all the police thought the same in New York anyways. Many police officers go through lengths to find these children even have a “nationwide sweep that took place from Friday through Sunday called Operation Cross Country IV that involved the Las Vegas FBI field office and the Metropolitan Police Department worked together to the high exploited places like New York, California, Seattle, and Cleveland, which resulted in 52 rescued children and more than 700 arrests”, according to Planas (2009).

They and many others are doing everything they can to save these children. The number of places there are out there to take these children in are scarce and limited, mostly because they don’t have the right fund and resources available to take in children or to support their foundations. When a child is taken in with the police there are steps they have to take before they are place anywhere. They are evaluated by social worker who asks them interviews them on what happen with them.

They take them to the nearest program available to them if there aren’t any missing reports on them, and to figure out what their situation was before they got on the streets because the home might not be stable as it was when they child left or it may not be stable now. The social worker would then put them in one of the available programs in the area and if there aren’t any they are put in one of the best programs for exploited children.

Such programs as Children of the Night, which have become nationally known for help boys and girls who have been forced into to prostitution after falling victim to a pimp. They do many things for the children like alcohol and drug programs, they have an onsite school, medical and psychological care and much more social services to help them get settled. Most of the children who are stopped by the cops are brought here and they are happy about it after they realize that this is a place not to make them feel bad about their shortcomings, to show them something that haven’t felt in a long time: love.

Like most teens who enter into an environment they tries to “fix them” they transition is not going to be a easy one because they go into it mad at the world and blame everyone for what has happened to them; but with a place like Children of the Night that’s more of a family environment, something the teen as been missing out on especially if they never came from a friendly family home, they eventually get warmed up to it. Because these places literally save their lives from that cold world they were living on the streets every night.

There are other well-known programs just like Children of the Night, like G. E. M. S. but there’s two differences between the two of them: gender and the founder. With GEMS they only take in women and the founder, Rachel Lloyd was just like one of the girls, she had been sexually exploited as a teen. GEMS, has become one the largest award winning providers of services to end exploitation and trafficking of girls, itself provide young girls with empowerment and self esteem classes, so they know how beautiful and that they have a purpose for being here.

They have been so outspoken about this national issue that GEMS has a documentary about the very girls who are fighting everyday between the streets and having a life again. There are probably many other programs other there just like these two who don’t have the fame or as much support, but they are opening their hearts for these children who never had a decent childhood and just making them feel like a kid again. In conclusion, these children are being exploited, misused, and abused in more ways than one.

Some are already going through tough times at home and to be out and have someone totally control you’re every move plus make you feel like you’re like your lower than dirt. It doesn’t have to be like that for them. Child and teen prostitution is a serious issue in this nation, but it’s even worse in this nation. Thankfully there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, with the special programs to help guide them in the right direction. References Fang, B. (2005). YOUNG LIVES FOR SALE. U. S. News ; World Report, 139(15), 30- 34.

Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database Green, S. J. (2009, 30 October) Aid program for teen prostitutes looks for second chance. The Seattle Times: Local News [Electronic] Planas A. (2009, October 28). Operation finds girls forced to be prostitutes. Las Vegas Review – Journal, B. 3. Retrieved November 23, 2009, from ProQuest Newsstand Urbina, I. (2009). Recession Drives Surge in Youth Runaways: [Series]. New York Times Late Edition (East Coast) p. A. 1  Retrieved November 4, 2009 from, Proquest Research Library


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