Child sex trafficking: Facts vs fiction, what you need to know

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Prevent Child Abuse Utah educates families about abuse prevention


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Good Things Utah) – When it comes to protecting children from abuse, knowing what is fact vs fiction is important to the education process and overall effort. The Utah-based non-profit Prevent Child Abuse Utah is working toward educating Utah children, parents, educators, and other adults who work closely with children about the warning signs of abuse, abuse prevention, and how to report suspected abuse. Prevent Child Abuse Utah is the only non-profit in the state of Utah with the sole mission of preventing child abuse.

Child sex trafficking, and sex trafficking in general, is a serious problem law enforcement agencies across America are working to address, including right here in Utah. Laurieann Thorpe, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Utah, says knowing what’s fact from fiction is important to the prevention effort. For example:

  • Fact: 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused by age 18.
  • Fact: 90 percent of the time, children are sexually abused by someone they know and trust.
  • Myth: Bad guys in vans with lollipops and puppies are abducting our children for sex trafficking.

These facts are why Prevent Child Abuse Utah exists, the organization wants to get out in front of the issue and prevent abuse from happening.

Thorpe says people ask what they can do to help. A good place to begin is to get educated about the issues. Thorpe encourages people to learn how to talk to children about abuse. She says children cannot differentiate between child sexual abuse or trafficking. For children, the experience is the same. Kids need to understand what is happening and how to get help. Thorpe says children must be taught to listen to their “uh-oh feeling” and report abuse to a trusted adult.

Parents and educators interested in learning more about how to help children with abuse prevention can take PCAU’s online training courses. Schools, churches, businesses and organizations can also request education training from PCAU trained educators.

Prevent Child Abuse would normally be hosting its annual Barn Party fundraiser this time of year, but due to COVID-19 safety precautions the party was canceled. You can support the cause by contributing to PCAU’s Fall Fundraising Campaign online – which includes an auction with many great items including guest segments on Utah’s #1 rated talk show, Good Things Utah; travel blankets and other products donated by, tickets to Lagoon’s Frightmares, one week vacation rental in beautiful St. George, Utah, Alta Ski Resort lift tickets and much more. Make your bid today by clicking here. Some of the featured items included in the auction:

Visit Prevent Child Abuse Online.

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