Nearly half of all the sex trafficking victims interviewed in a disturbing new report say that, instead of helping them, police took part in the abuse.
'A shocking new report from the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women paints a disturbing picture of law enforcement and their role in sex trafficking. The report found that instead of preventing child and adult sex trafficking, many police officers are participating in it.
The report is titled “Sex Trafficking in Hawaii: The Stories of Survivors,” which detailed the testimonials from multiple victims. One particularly disturbing part of the report was the fact that almost half of all the victims interviewed reported that police officers participated in their abuse and victimization.
“The corruption of members of the criminal justice system reported by the participants in the study was pervasive in their stories of being prostituted,” the report noted.
The report found that the average age of those being trafficked is just 14-years-old, showing how early the abuse began.
One of the victims interviewed, who wished to remain anonymous for obvious reasons explained that “the same people that are charging you for prostitution are the people turning around and buying it from you.”
Another participant in the study noted that police would even help to acquire the young girls drugs. The teenager was living in a drug house which had been busted by police and after the raid, the officer told the girl, “if you want pills, don’t mess with this little kid, you call me.”
Khara Jabola-Carolus, with the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, explained that the abuse was extensive and on all levels of the spectrum. “This ranged from cops asking for sexual favors to more coercive situations like I’ll let you go if you do X, Y, or Z for me.’ Bring customers after hours in exchange for cigarettes or gas money,” she explained.'
Read more: Study Finds Nearly Half of Child and Adult Sex Trafficking Victims Were Abused by Police