It is estimated there are 100,000 to 300,000 children in the United States that are “at risk” of being sexually exploited into forced prostitution and pornography each year.
As awareness and resources are on the rise, law enforcement’s rescue efforts are also increasing. In Colorado, under the direction of the Innocence Lost Task Force and state law enforcement, 61 minors were rescued from sexual exploitation in 2013 and in 2014, 94 minors were rescued. in 2016 the number increased to 124.
Resources and services for young women rescued in Colorado are slowly increasing. If you are in need of residential care for yourself or a loved one who is over 18, please consider contacting Streets Hope or Teen Challenge. We recognize that it is not enough to just survive this injustice, it is essential to provide restorative care that enables them to thrive.
According to Uplift, an organization working with urban youth in Colorado, high risk children who do not graduate from high school can cost the economy up to nearly $2 million. (Cohen, M. and Piquero, A.R.  New Evidence on the Monetary Value of Saving a High Risk Youth). Add on the savings for a minor that is taken out of the cycle of recidivism and not in the welfare system, the judicial system, in need of rehab, infected with transmitted diseases, obtaining abortions, experiencing unplanned parenthood, suffering from mental health disorders or is incarcerated, and the savings are exponentially greater than the $2 million cost.
In light of the immense financial burden placed on society when restoration does not take place, an investment of prayer and monetary backing for effective programs makes sound financial sense. Giving a rescued girl the tools to heal, to finish her education and the opportunity to become a productive member of society is an investment that is priceless. In addition, the church, being the hands and feet of Christ, has the privilege to love another as they love themselves.