By Kim Gauthier

Sex trafficking is when a person is either forced or pressured into engaging in sex with others. Sex trafficking is one force of slavery in the world today. Other types of slavery are forced labor (being forced to work under dangerous or difficult circumstances), domestic service (working in as a slave in a private home and being unable to leave), or forced marriage (women and children who are made to marry even though they don’t want to.)

Many people think this is a problem in other countries, but sadly it’s a problem right here in America. As of today, over 57,000 people in the United States live in slavery. And, you may not know it, but there are people who are slaves of sex trafficking here in Arizona.

Many people get into sex trafficking because they are kidnapped, pressured, are homeless or runaway teens, or are forced to participate. Sometimes women are lured into sex trafficking when they are promised jobs or education or a safe place to live. It is a frightening situation that happens too often. But, there are people who can help.

If you or someone you know is being forced to sell sex for money, or is being held against their will, reach out. There are people who will help you. You can go online to Street Light USA, or call 623.377.9062.

You can call 911 anytime for help. Tell a police officer or other first responder that you need help. You are worth saving and we want to help you.