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Evaluation of the Demonstration Project To Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Atlanta-Fulton County

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2009
301 pages
This research documented the nature and extent of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in Atlanta-Fulton County (Georgia), conducted a process evaluation of the effort to address commercial sexual exploitation of children in the county, and coordinated the sharing of lessons learned with a similar New York evaluation project conducted jointly by the Center for Court Innovation and John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
As used in this study, CSEC refers to the exploitation of children for prostitution, pornography, nude dancing, stripping, or other forms of transactional sex. Regarding the nature and extent of CSEC in Atlanta-Fulton County, this study confirmed the findings of a previous study (Preibe and Suhr, 2005), which concluded that "it is impossible to quantify the number of girls who are being sexually exploited in Atlanta." This is due to a lack of systemic reporting and monitoring of how many youths are victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Still, several conclusions can be drawn about the child victims of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) in the county. They are on average between 14 and 15 years old, African-American, and female. Risk factors include conflicts at home, prior sexual abuse, running away from home or missing, prior contact with justice agencies, financial needs, and truancy/dropping out of school. Regarding police responses to these youth, progress is being made in police viewing and treating these youth as victims and not offenders. Lack of resources, however, particularly regarding placement for these youth outside of security detention, is a problem for agencies that serve exploited and abused children and youth. Although CSEC is an important subset of child sexual abuse, it is only one of several issues in this domain being addressed by a host of public and private agencies committed to reducing abuse of children in the county. 20 tables, 146 references, and appended supplementary data and information

Date Published: March 1, 2009