Dear readers,

We’ve published an in-depth look at sex trafficking this week in Angelus News. Los Angeles is known as a major hub for human trafficking and we wanted to understand its many facets.

R.W. Dellinger did the reporting over five weeks, interviewing victims and experts of sex trafficking in the city and county. The Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) and Journey Out, two programs that help victims escape from “the life” of sex trafficking, were critical for our investigation. The report also highlighted the new L.A. Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, led by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department together with CAST, and the psychological trauma suffered by the trafficked person. We made sure to include contact information for many agencies that can help victims of sex trafficking. Here are links to the stories:

Inside the life: A closer look at sex trafficking in Los Angeles

Task force fights human trafficking in L.A. County

The psychological drama of the trafficked person

Leaving the life

From ‘sexting’ to ‘sextorion’

In addition to the difficult subject matter, it was a challenge to illustrate this report. The last story on the list above — about sending and receiving sexually explicit images — demonstrates how sex trafficking has evolved over the last several years. The stereotypical image of the prostitute — one standing on the street corner — is inaccurate. The vast majority of sex trafficking now takes place through smartphones and computers.

Last month, Pope Francis visited 20 former sex slaves from various countries that were rescued in Rome. The Holy Father has described trafficking as “a crime against humanity.”

“Judges today are called more than ever to focus on the needs of victims,” the pope said speaking at the Judges’ Summit on Human Trafficking and Organized Crime June 3. “The victims are the first who need to be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society — and their traffickers and executioners must be given no quarter and pursued.”

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J.D. Long-Garcia


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