Commercial Sexual Exploitation


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Commercial Sexual Exploitation

One Illinois study estimated a minimum of 16,000 women and girls are regularly prostituted in the Chicago metropolitan area,(8) while another estimated 1,800 to 4,000.(9) However, official police statistics offer lower estimates of the problem. In Illinois, there were 45 arrests of juveniles for prostitution from 1995 to 2004. Prostitution is a class A misdemeanor, subsequent convictions are Class 4 felonies [720 ILCS 5/11-14]. Juvenile arrest data excludes many misdemeanor arrests because police departments are not required to report them. During that time period, there were 162 arrests for soliciting a juvenile prostitute and 258 arrests for child pornography.

A 2008 Illinois study found prostituted girls are controlled, intimidated, socially isolated, and economically dependent on their pimps-which may be a boyfriend, parent, or relative-making it difficult to leave a life of prostitution.(10) Victims of commercial sexual exploitation may suffer from physical and mental health problems including post traumatic stress disorder.


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