WASHINGTON — Teen sex trafficking is a major problem in Northern Virginia. But sometimes victims of this crime are so broken that it’s almost impossible for them to ever overcome the damage that’s been done.
“It ruins their lives. There’s no coming back from it,” said Fairfax County police Detective Bill Woolf, who works with the police department’s major crimes division in the child exploitation unit that deals with human trafficking in Northern Virginia.
He said that according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, Northern Virginia continues to be a hot spot for teen sex trafficking. And traffickers are very cunning in who they target.
They target both girls and boys. But their main target is girls between 11 and 14 who have low self-esteem.
“This is definitely coercion and manipulation,” said Liz Payne with Just Ask, a nonprofit that works to end trafficking.