Minneapolis leaders, stirred by recent arrests and disturbing stories of teenage girls swept from city streets and sold for sex on a popular website, on Thursday called upon the owner of Backpage.com to stop running exploitative ads that enable juvenile prostitution.
City Council members unanimously approved a resolution demanding that New York-based Village Voice Media end its “adult services” section of Backpage.com. Minneapolis police report that all 20 child sex-trafficking cases they have investigated so far this year involve juvenile victims being prostituted on this website.
Advocates say the sex trafficking of young girls in the Twin Cities is on the rise. Vednita Carter, founder and executive director of Breaking Free, an organization that helps victims of abuse and commercial sexual exploitation, said more than 70 girls under 18 came to seek help in the past year, up from about 50 or so in the past year and around 25 in years past. She said that about 40 percent of them said they had been advertised on Backpage.com.
Source: Star Tribune