Social media platforms have become the news source of the 21st century.
There have been 501 missing child cases in the District of Columbia area since the beginning of the year. Although most of those cases are closed, many of them are for black and Latino juveniles. Out of those cases, 22 are still unsolved.
What is alarming is that just in the last month alone, 25 black and Latina teens have gone missing in the Washington D.C. area. The Washington D.C. Metro Police Department first took to Twitter as a different way to aid in their investigation.
Shockingly, most major media outlets are ignoring this disturbing trend which is why celebrities have taken to Twitter and other social media platforms to beg people to pay attention and bring these girls home.
If you participated in/advocated for the women's march, I encourage you to participate in this.
These issues are aligned.#missingdcgirls
— Candice Patton (@candicekp) March 24, 2017
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) March 25, 2017
— Chaka Khan (@ChakaKhan) March 24, 2017
The Congressional Black Caucus is calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the FBI to help investigation the of this trend.
“Ten children of color went missing in our nation’s capital in a period of two weeks, and, at first, garnered very little media attention.”
The caucus called it “deeply disturbing” since there seems to be an assumption that these girls were runaways and had not been abducted.
Commander Chanel Dickerson who leads the DC police department’s Youth and Family Services division, spoke in a live Facebook presentation saying that their social media campaign has increased public awareness. As far as numbers, the police department says that the number of missing children’s cases has not risen in comparison to the average for the DC area. The social media storm is misleading people to believe the numbers are way higher than normal by bringing these incidents to the public’s attention.
Ms. Mikhaylova indicated that they don’t necessarily believe these girls have been abducted, saying
“They leave voluntarily, they come back voluntarily or they are located.”
Still, they are woefully failing to acknowledge that all of these cases are teens of color. For whatever reason, why are they going missing? How can they be so sure they are not human trafficking cases?
“Domestically, 50 percent of trafficked victims are children and overwhelmingly are girls, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.”
According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics Report, 77% percent of victims in alleged human trafficking incidents reported in the U.S. were people of color.
The children most at risk for trafficking are frequent runaways who may have problems or lack of support at home.
“Traffickers may target minor victims through social media websites, telephone chat-lines, after-school programs, at shopping malls and bus depots, in clubs, or through friends or acquaintances who recruit students on school campuses.”
The average age that victims are forced into trafficking is 11-14 years old.
We don’t have the answers or know that they have been trafficked. However, it is still alarming when young girls of color go missing no matter the number! Let’s do our part to raise awareness and bring these girls home! If you have any information, please call one of these numbers:
Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department:
Youth and Family Services Division – (202) 576-6768 (main)
Command Information Center – (202) 727-9099 (main)
Get involved by volunteering or donating money to local agencies that combat poverty and violence against children or help troubled youth. By doing so, you are helping to eliminate barriers that cause young teens to run away or be trafficked. Children all over the country are at risk. Look for a list of specific agencies that are local to your area such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
Featured image from the Urban Intellectuals Facebook page.