ending slavery. restoring lives. a pieceful movement of many voices
(CNN) -- Americans are right to get angry at the violence against women and girls in developing nations: the Congo rape camps, the widespread practices of female genital mutilation in West Africa and the infanticide of females in China.
Our disgust at the violence committed against women and girls is heightened by the culture of impunity that allows the perpetrators of these crimes to go free without condemnation or punishment. That culture also turns victims into criminals, such as the girls in Thailand who are beaten and raped and then ostracized by their families and society.
But our indignation must be turned inward, too. Here in the United States, there is a similar culture of impunity when young American girls are sold for sex. There are 100,000 to 300,000 children between 11 and 14 who are vulnerable to being sold for sex by pimp-captors every year in the United States, according to government statistics
These girls, many of whom are runaway children from fragile families or communities, are lured, tricked or coerced by pimps, who promise them love and safety.
Sometimes, these girls are snatched off the streets by pimps, leaving heartbroken parents to search websites such as backpage.com that advertise sex for sale and walk the "tracks" to try to find their daughters. Young girls are the new commodities that traffickers and gangs are selling.
Why? Because they can.