Sedona AZ (January 21, 2015) – The Sedona International City of Peace is sponsoring a special evening event at 6:30 pm, Tuesday, January 27th at the Sedona Public Library, entitled “Child Sex Trafficking in Our Community: An Evening of Awareness and Prevention.”
“Learning about child sex trafficking is shocking, and as a City of Peace, we feel an obligation to share what we recently have learned with you,” says Lori Rubenstein. Rubenstein is one of the founding members of the Sedona International City of Peace and an Ambassador for Shared Hope International whose mission is to eradicate sex trafficking worldwide. “You might think that child sex trafficking happens primarily overseas, or maybe in metropolitan areas, but not here, not in Sedona! The truth is, it happens everywhere, and children in our community are being used for sex.”
In 2014 the Yavapai County Sherriff’s (YCSO) office made 15 arrests of men who attempted to purchase sex with minors. Detective Shilling with the YCSO will speak about the problem locally, and will talk about what we can do to protect children in our community. Arizona is making national news and Yavapai County is on the forefront of addressing this issue head on. The average age of entry into prostitution is 14 years old. “These girls are being used as sex slaves. They are no more than a piece of property to the people using them. They need help, our help, rather than being treated like criminals. The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office is committed to ending sex trafficking and helping these girls,” reports Shilling.
A brief video presentation will be shown about minors involved in sexual exploitation from Shared Hope International’s documentary film Chosen, which tells the shocking, true story of two “All-American” teenage girls tricked into trafficking. “We will bring you the facts, and more importantly, let you know how you can make a difference,” promises Rubenstein.
Shared Hope International and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that there are 100,000 to 300,000 children who are sexually trafficked in the United States.