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ASU, McCain Institute find big increase of sex trafficking over last 6 years

(AP Photo/Martha Irvine)

PHOENIX — Arizona State University and the McCain Institute teamed up to produce a study on sex trafficking, and in particular, how minors are involved in it.

The Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research at ASU studied 1,416 cases of alleged traffickers over the last six years from 46 states. They found that about 75 percent of traffickers strictly recruited victims under the age of 18.

The average victim was about 15 years old.

“We’ve created a dashboard for people to really deep dive into this data and to take a look at the things that make a person vulnerable to the ways that traffickers victimize young people,” said Dominique Roe-Sepowitz in a release, who is a professor in the ASU School of Social Work and director of the Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention. “We need to pay attention to these kids, who have lots of important needs, before they get into a situation where a trafficker can identify them.”

ASU and the McCain Institute found that from 2010 to 2015, there were 271 percent more reported cases of sex trafficking. They found there were 4,663 reported victims over the last six years.

Researchers found the most common technique used by sex traffickers was money promises, with an offer of shelter as the second-most common reason.

The full study can be found here.

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