CARE House of Oakland County: It shouldn't hurt to be a child.
CARE House of Oakland County: It shouldn't hurt to be a child.

The issue of human trafficking, or the sale of humans for slave labor and/or sexual exploitation, has come into prominence over the last several years. The numbers are staggering – nearly 21 million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking, the majority of them women and children. Runaway children are especially at risk – the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children estimates that, of the 18,500 children reported as missing in 2016, one sixth of them were likely victims of sex trafficking.

Our friends at the Macomb County Care House  shared a story yesterday on their Facebook account that offers a unique perspective on the work we do. As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the group of people who developed the CAC model did so in part because they were having trouble securing convictions for cases of child sexual abuse. One problem they ran into was in presenting these child victims as credible witnesses.

Natalie Shure’s piece, “Why Young Sexual Assault Victims Tell Incoherent Stories,” helps explain how troubling the investigative experience can be for young people.

Names and details in this story have been changed to protect the anonymity of our clients.

Nina is 9 years old. She has a cat named Phillip and her favorite class in school is art. She lives in here in Oakland County with her mom and dad, and she loves them both very much.

Every Monday, her parents have a date night, and Nina stays at home with her babysitter, Paul. Paul is 15 and he’s been a close family friend for years.