News / USA

Teen Prostitutes Find Help Getting off the Streets

Teen Prostitutes Find Help Getting off the Streetsi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
January 05, 2013 12:55 AM
Teenagers who leave home are sometimes lured or forced into prostitution. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that one Los Angeles charity called Children of the Night helps them turn their lives around and get an education.
Teen Prostitutes Find Help Getting off the Streets
Mike O'Sullivan
Teenagers who leave home are sometimes lured or forced into prostitution. One Los Angeles charity called Children of the Night helps them turn their lives around and get an education.

Today, these kids are like other teenagers. They play computer games, study, and have time to practice meditation.

But not long ago, they fought to survive on the streets, controlled by pimps who sold their services.

Alyssa is 15. She was forced into prostitution by her sister and a pimp one year ago.

"He forced me to turn tricks in the hotel room all day. I couldn't leave, I couldn't eat, I couldn't do anything. I couldn't talk to my family any more," she said.

An arrest led Alyssa to Children of the Night.  

The kids study at a private school on the group's site. They also get one-on-one counseling and together start to turn their lives around. Amber is 17 years-old.

"We are pretty much all the same, and we can look at each other and look up to each other and make sure that we're all doing well. We bond like a family," said Amber.

Many Americans have heard of sexual trafficking as far away as Asia. But in the United States, teenage runaways can become victims, said Los Angeles Police Department vice officer Shaun King.

"In looking for international trafficking crimes and victims, we often forget that there are hundreds or thousands of domestic trafficking victims right here in Los Angeles, not counting other parts of the United States," said King.

A media campaign is alerting Los Angeles residents to the problem.

Recently, Children of the Night founder Lois Lee thanked community supporters who help the organization, including those who work for local businesses and movie studios.

She said volunteers and staff members have helped thousands of former prostitutes find productive work in society.

"Some of them are professionals. Some of them are teachers running inner city schools. Some of them work in public relations. Some of them work as executives in other corporations."

Lee said for many of the teens, the program is a haven where they can study, play and just be normal teenagers.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid