A new study finds over 400 children in the Portland area have been exploited in sex trafficking during the last four years.
Portland State University researchers collected and analyzed sex trafficking cases in the Portland Metro area from 2009 through 2013. State agencies identified 469 victims during that period. Nearly half of the sex trafficking victims had some connection to gangs.
The study shows the average age of victims was 15 at the time they were first exploited.
Amanda Marshall is the United States Attorney for Oregon. She commissioned the study, and points to the ethnicity findings as a concern.
PDX Child Sex Trafficking
“About 27 percent were African-American. So African-American youth were disproportionately represented as the African-Americans in the Portland Metro area is between five and six percent,” Marshall explained.
About 40 percent of victims were white, and five percent Hispanic. The vast majority were female.
The youngest victim reported was 8 years old and 16 percent of the victims had given birth.