500 Girls

500+Girls

Mia Egerman, Marissa Pycha, and Cloe Hartley

If you have a twitter, you have probably come across the hashtag

 

#MissingDCGirls or #FindourGirls numerous times in the past few weeks. Since the start of 2017, more attention has been brought to the missing children, specifically girls, of Washington D.C. With an increase in awareness, people have assumed the number of missing children has also increased. Although over 500 missing children is high, it is statistically lower than previous years. According to NBC Washington, an average of about 560 kids were reported missing every 3 months in 2016. Commander Dickerson, leader of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Youth and Family Services Division, has used the media as an outlet for shedding light on the issue, yet the issue has been just as bad, if not worse, in the past years.

Even if the number of missing children per month is decreasing, it is still a rather troubling rate. Despite the lack of evidence, there is a great deal of speculation linking many missing girls to sex-trafficking. Just 3 years ago, a retired police officer was found running a child prostitution ring from his DC home. A rescued girl claimed she learned by other trafficked girls that sex ads were being posted on backpage.com, that included naked pictures of the advertised girls. These predators prey on vulnerable children; whether they’re homeless, runaways or impressionable online users. So when a young girl goes missing, it’s easy to jump to the worst conclusion- sex trafficking.

Although you may not be able to trust the way that social media depicts issues like this, it is something you should be aware of. With Washington DC about an hour away, be careful when you’re out on your own.

Sources

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/24/us/missing-black-girls-washington-dc/

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