Chicago is currently in the top five cities in the nation for sex trafficking crimes. Organizations team up for fundraising event today on Lake Michigan

Esmeralda Leon, Noelle Virard of Selah Freedom and Jon Hansen (WGN Radio)

Noelle Viard of Selah Freedom, a nationwide organization that helps with child sex trafficking joins The Matt Bubala Show as Jon Hansen and Esmeralda Leon fill in. Chicago is currently in the top five cities in the nation for sex trafficking crimes.  Roughly 300 thousand children every year are victims of this crime. Boys and girls in every neighborhood can be bought and sold between 12 to 14 years old.  Once a child is in this type of lifestyle, the child can be bought and sold 15 to 40 times every 24 hours. “This is one of the shocking statistics that shakes us to our core,” Virard says.

Virard says that signs of sex trafficking are easier to identify when we look outside our daily lives. For example, she explains that the number of runways is so closely tied in with the number of sex trafficking victims.  She says that “kids running away from home may be running into the arms of a predator.” Some signs of abuse include a child missing from school frequently, or when the timeline of stories don’t add up for the child. Selah Freedom’s goal is to having of conversations with youth when they are young. Most of the victims don’t realize how dangerous the situation can become. In the beginning, girls think they are living a life of freedom until it becomes an experience they can’t escape from. Virard says that predators can easily spot out girls for these crimes simply by hanging out at malls.  She says that one of the biggest factors is social media.

Rock The Boat Against Sex Trafficking is teaming up with Selah Freedom for one of their biggest events. All the profits  will be donated to Selah Freedom so they can provide funding to open a second home for survivors. Virard says that having a safe place is crucial in a time of recovery.  A member of the Chicago Cubs will join this event hosted on a yacht along with live music. The event begins at 1pm at Dusable Harbor. To purchase tickets, click here. If you are unable to attend the event but are still interested in donating, visit their website or Facebook for more information.