Monday, October 15, 2012

Preventing teen prostitution a focus of convention:



Preventing teen prostitution a focus of convention:

WICHITAKansas -- Hundreds of police, prosecutors, and social workers are looking for ways to prevent teens from being prostituted by pimps at a conference at Century II.

The annual Governor's Conference for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect runs through Wednesday.

One of the topics they're focusing on this year is human trafficking.
Runaway teenage girls can often find themselves forced into a life of drugs and prostitution.

"Anytime we have one child involved in this is way too many," said Lt. Jeff Weible, a detective who works for the exploited and missing children's unit of the Wichitapolice.

In 2010 under Steve Six, the state Attorney General's office created an advisory board to study the issue with the goal of bringing authorities and social workers together to get teens the help they need.





"They have housing needs, they have mental and emotional health needs, there's also a case that needs to be prosecuted and as a social worker, I can't do all that," said Dr. Karen Countryman-Roswurn.

Experts say girls coming from homes broken by domestic abuse are more likely to be victims of teen trafficking. The majority of girls used by pimps are runaways.

With more training and a better understanding of the warning signs, authorities hope to do more to prevent trafficking.

More than 600 people are expected to attend the three-day conference at Century II.
Among the topics featured at the conference are foster care, internet safety, and law enforcement protocol.
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