This is a very important article. As a movement we have to be much more fastidious about the statistics/facts we use. Not doing so only undermines our credibility and gives ammunition to those who claim that sex trafficking is just hyperbole.
However, I'm not saying I agree with everything stated in this article. For instance I certainly take issue with statements like this: "Fuzzy data and definitions -- lumping under the 'trafficked' label not only girls forced into the trade and moved place to place but runaways who sell sex on their own -- fueled the frenzy." Minors cannot consent to participation in commercial sex. Their consent or lack thereof is a moot issue under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. By federal statute minors in the sex trade are viewed as victims, and rightly so. It is the adults who purchase sex from minors who are culpable, not the children -- runaway, throwaway, homeless, prostituted, trafficked or whatever label you want to put on them.
Whatever the numbers in Portland may be, using reliable data -- even when that means no data -- should become one of our top priorities. Let's all (myself included) go reexamine our fact sheets.
P.S. It certainly not surprising that a city the size of Seattle would have a larger problem than a city the size of Portland.
Analysis: Despite reputation, no proof Portland is a hub for child sex trafficking
Published: Thursday, January 13, 2011, 7:05 PM Updated: Friday, January 14, 2011, 9:59 AM
Portland Mayor Sam Adams stood before reporters and officials in November to decry how Portland has become "stained" as a national hub for juvenile sex trafficking.
As he spoke, aides passed out a news release with a startling statistic. Portland police, it read, see an average of two cases of child sex trafficking each week.
The problem: It wasn't true.