Category Archives: Teen Dating Violence

Youth at higher risk of involvement in the sex trade

All youth can be recruited or forced into the sextrade.

However some youth are more at risk.

Youth in foster care and youth with child welfare involvement

A 2007 research report out of New York State found a high correlation between child welfare involvement and subsequent commercial sexual exploitation. between 85 to 89% of youth reported to be commercially sexually exploited had prior child welfare involvement.1

Youth who are homeless,AWOL, runaway, in unstable housing  situations

Research results demonstrate a consistently high risk of involvement in survival sex or other forms of commercial sexual exploitation for youth without stable housing. the most recent federally funded national study found 70% of homeless youth are commercially sexually exploited.2

Out of school youth, unemployed youth, low or no income youth

While not documented specifically in research, youth in group discussions have reported a lack of money or survival needs (even when youth have a place to live), lack of access to jobs and lack of skills from dropping  out or being pushed out of school as direct links to their involvement or consideration of the sex trade to make money.

Youth with family involved in the sex trade and/or an active sex trade in their community

Youth in prevention workshops continue to identify being around an active sex trade in their community or family members involved in the sex trade as a risk factor. Youth stress that people in the community are more likely to encourage or recruit them and an active sex trade normalizes the option.

Youth with a history of sexual abuse

All research studies that ask youth who are or have been involved in the sex trade about previous sexual abuse prior to any commercial sexual exploitation find rates of up to over 90%. Research also suggests that sexual abuse is a factor independent of any resulting running away or substance abuse.3

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Youth

Personally I disapprove of the word Queer… definition….abnormal or odd.  Traditional teachings tell me that all human beings are spiritually equal in creation and have a purpose in the grand scheme of life.  But the movement is because of the context in which it was reclaimed, queer has sociopolitical connotations, and is often preferred by those who are activists, by those who strongly reject traditional gender identities, by those who reject distinct sexual identities such as gay, lesbian, bisexual and straight, and by those who see themselves as oppressed by the heteronormativity of the larger culture. In this usage it retains the historical connotation of “outside the bounds of normal society” and can be construed as “breaking the rules for sex and gender.” It can be preferred because of its ambiguity, which allows “queer” identifying people to avoid the sometimes strict boundaries that surround other labels. In this context, “queer” is not a synonym for LGBT as it creates a space for “queer” heterosexuals as well as “non-queer” (“straight-acting”) homosexuals.4

LGBTQQ youth make up 20 to 40% of all homeless youth, resulting in high rates of survival sex.5

Additionally, a study in Canada found LGBT youth were three times more likely to trade sex for survival than heterosexual youth.5 Almost 60% of transgender youth reported exchanging sex for money in recent Chicago based research.

Youth of Color

African American minors are over-represented in prostitution arrests, comprising 55% of all arrests of juveniles for prostitution across the U.S. in 2002. Some of the evidence suggests this may have to do with unequal law enforcement strategies that target communities of color. However this may also reflect a higher involvement of African American, Latino, Asian,  and Native American or First Nations, that  experience higher rates of poverty and involvement in the child welfare system.

1. Gragg, F. et al.  (2007). New York Prevalence Study of Commercially Sexually Exploited Children. Accessed April 8, 2009

2. Estes. R and Weiner N. (2001). The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the United States. Canada and Mexico. Files/Complete CSEC 020220.pdf. Accesses April 8, 2009

3. Simons. R and Whitebeck, L. (1991) Sexual Abuse as a Precurser to prostitution and Victimization Among Adolescent and Adult Homeless Women. Journal of family Issues, 12(3).


5. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (2007). Lesbian,gay, bisexual and trangender youth: An epidemic of homelessness. and research/homeless youth. Accessed April 8, 2009

6. (Gaetz, S. (2004). Safe streets for whom? Homeless youth, social exclusion, and criminal victimization. canadian Journal of Criminal Justice, 46(6).)

7.Howard Brown Health Center (2008). /HowardBrownResearchNews0408.pdf. Accessed April 8. 2009

8. Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2002). Crime in the United States. 02/html/web/arrested/04-table43.html. Accessed April 8, 2009

Claudine O”Leary

A few personal thoughts by yours truly…


Signs of Sexual Assault

Physical Evidence

Difficulty Going To The Bathroom

Blood of Semen on the child’s diaper or clothing.

Unexplained lesions in genital and or anal area.

Presence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Frequent vaginal infections

  • Behavioral changes
  • Failure to thrive
  • Extreme change in mood, grades, social interactions
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fear of being left alone with someone
  • Mental health deterioration, Suicidal tendencies
  • Age inappropriate knowledge of Sexual Behaviors
  • Sexualized behaviors
  • Poor body image and or self esteem
  • Self mutilation
  • Delinquency
  • At risk behaviors

Child Sexual Assault Myths and Facts

WCADV Beth Balo

  • MYTH: Child Sexual Assault is most often committed by strangers.
  • FACT: Over 90% of child sexual assault victims know their abuser.
  • MYTH: Child Sexual Assault is a rare occurrence.
  • FACT: 1 in 4 females and 1 in 7 males will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18.
  • MYTH: The average age of the onset of child sexual assault is 6-8 years of age.
  • FACT: The average age of sexual assault to a boy is 4.
  • FACT: The average age of trafficking a child is 9
  • MYTH: You can tell a sex offender be looking at him/her.
  • FACT: Sex offenders come from all walks of life, can be male or female, all age groups.


  • 88% of the incidents of child sexual assault go UNREPORTED.
  • The FBI reports that only 2% of reported child sexual assault cases are false.


Child Sexual Assault

By: Beth Ballo Prevention Specialist Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Wisconsin Child Sexual Assault Laws

  • First Degree Sexual Assault
  • A. Sexual contact or intercourse with a person not yet 13, and causes great bodily harm.
  • B. Has sexual intercourse with a person who has not yet attained the age of 12.
  • C. Has sexual intercourse with a person less than 16 by use or threat of force or violence.

( Class A Felony Mandatory Arrest Minimum=25 yrs)

  • Second degree Sexual Assault:
  • Anyone who has sexual contact with or intercourse with a person who has not reached age 16.
  • Sexual intercourse with a child 16 or older.
  • Engaging in repeat acts of sexual assault with the same child.
  • Incest with a child.
  • Sexual Assault of a child by a school staff person or a person who volunteers or works with children.
  • Child Enticement
  • Causing a child to listen to or view sexual activity.
  • Sexual Assault of a child for prosititution.
  • Sexual Assault of a child placed in substitute care.
  • Exposing genitals or pubic area.
  • Female genital mutilation.

Examples of Child Sexual Assault

  • Obscene phone calls
  • Internet Solicitation
  • Exposure to pornography
  • Exposure to Sexual Acts
  • Voyeurism
  • Photographing a child in sexual poses
  • Touching a child’s genitals; making a child touch someone else’s genitals. (inside and outside of clothing)

Story of abuse strikes home

classic behavior of the battered women

Dear Robyn Rihanna Fentry:
I was maybe 7 years old when this happened.
My old man had been kicked out of the house for being an abuser and a cheat. Now, here he comes a few days later, begging forgiveness. Mom wouldn’t open the door, so he pleaded his case through the mail slot, promising to do better, promising to change. mom stood firm. I, on the other hand , stood bawling like, well…a kid who missed his dad.
“Dad, I want you to come home,” I wailed.
“I want to,” he said, “but your mother won’t let me.”
So naturally, I turned on her. “Mom, why won’t you let Dad come home?”
Still she held out. Finally, he left our door. We watched him walk toward the car. Halfway to the curb, though, he was seized by some dark impulse that wheeled him around and sent him hurling toward the window. I ducked before he kicked it in, Mom didn’t.
She took him back not long afterward. And he beat her on a regular basis until the day, about eight years later, terminal cancer rendered him to weak to do so. I’ve always regretted whatever part of me caterwauling played in influencing her to let him return.
Ms Fenty, I know you’ve got a lot of people in your business right now, each with an opinion about how you should run your life. I would only beg you to try to hear what you are being told: If this guy did what you did what you say he did, you need to drop him like a rock. “This guy,” of course, being your boyfriend, singer Chris Brown. Last week, court papers were released detailing the alleged Feb. 8 altercation between the two of you. They tell how you and Brown, 19, were in a Lamborghini, leaving a music industry party in Beverly Hills, when you confronted him about a text message on his phone from his old girlfriend. How he allegedly told you he was going to beat the expletive deleted out of you when he got you home. How he allegedly pushed your head against the window, punched you with his right fist while steering with his left. How he allegedly choked (strangled) you, through your phone out of the window(interfering with 911), put you in a headlock, bit you.
You can understand, perhaps, why many of us find it incomprehensible that you were reportedly spotted with him apparently reconciled, just days later. Incomprehensible, yet not surprising at all. On the contrary, it is the classic behavior of the battered women. They tell themselves it was their fault. They tell themselves it was a one time thing. They tell themselves he really is a good guy at heart. They tell themselves their love will change him.
They tell themselves everything but the truth: that the man they love is damaged and dysfunctional. And that, absent some intense and committed therapy, he will do it again.
Yes, you’re right. I’ve got a nerve. I don’t know you. Indeed, before this incident, I barely knew of you.
But this issue strikes a resonant chord with me for obvious reasons. You deserve—everyone deserves—to be with someone you don’t have to fear, someone who will not abuse.
Written by Leonard Pitts columnist for the Miami Herald E-mail

Father, son indicted in prostitution case

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Thursday, February 26, 2009

A federal grand jury indicted a father and son from Milwaukee on counts of prostituting teenagers here and across state lines, according to court documents.
Todd “King Tut” Carter,38, and his son, Nicholas Harrison, 19, were indicted Tuesday.
Each is charged with conspiracy and three counts of trafficking minors. Additionally, Carter was indicted of two counts of enticing a minor.
According to court documents, Carter has been a pimp for 20 years and more recently used his son to recruit girls to be prostitutes because he was closer to their age.
Carter required teens to have sex with him first as “training,” and then he would arrange for them to engage in prostitution, often advertising on Craigslist……,Carter was denied bail.
If convicted, the men face the possibility of life in prison.

When Teen Dating Turns Violent

Chicago Tribune
Friday February 20,2008
By Megan Twohey and Bonnie Miller Rubin

1 in 10 teens suffer abuse in romantic relationships, and many think it’s often justified.
Two of three programs created by the federal Violence Against Women Act in 2005 to address teen dating violence were never funded.
“This incident has brought the issue into sharp focus.” said Esta Solar president of the California based Family Violence Prevention Fund. “This type of education is not happening in any broad or consistent way. We need to take it to a scale, to make sure it’s happening in every community.”

Warning Signs Sources of Help
Signs of an abusive relationship
1. Your boyfriend or girlfriend: hits, slaps,pushes or kicks you.
2.Controls where you go, what you wear and what you do.
3.Tries to stop you from seeing or talking to family of friends.
4. Calls you derogatory names.
5. Sends repeated text messages.
6. Forces you to do something sexual when you don’t want to.
Signs that your friend or child may be in an abusive relationship.
1. Apologizes for his or her behavior and/or makes excuses for them.
2. Frequently cancels plans at the last minute for reasons that sound untrue.
3. Seems worried about upsetting him or her and making them angry.
4. Giving up things that used to be important to him or her and becoming increasingly isolated.
5. Weight, appearance or grades have changed dramatically. These could be signs of depression, which could indicate abuse.
6. Injuries that he or she cannot explain, or the explanations given don’t make sense.