Child Sex Trafficking

The Issue

Child sex trafficking doesn’t only happen on the other side of the world. Research suggests that there are over 500 kids on Seattle streets alone and the median age of these children is just 13 years old. The problem is growing, and the internet has made detection, protection, and prosecution even harder. StolenYouth champions the cause of the most victimized and vulnerable segment of our society – commercially sexually exploited youth. Most have a history of sexual abuse and come from foster care, or unstable living conditions, making them vulnerable to being coerced and prostituted by pimps.

Trafficked youth require safety, housing, and intensive specialized services to start the healing process and begin the path of recovery. This includes education, employment training, psychological counseling, medical care, and long term housing. Without intervention 77% of prostituted girls will go on to participate in adult prostitution. The death rate among prostituted adults is 40 times that of the national average of adult women. We must ensure that these youth are identified and receive these crucial services before it is too late.

This is the human rights issue of our time and affects every state in America with at least 100,000 to as many as 300,000 children being commercially sexually exploited across the nation. By starting here in Seattle, StolenYouth is creating a successful working model that can be used to effectively address this growing problem in other cities.

Our Impact

StolenYouth put these most vulnerable young people first and catalyzed a movement to end the trafficking of our children, in our lifetime.

Melinda Giovengo | CEO and President, YouthCare

In just six short years we have galvanized our community around this cause, raising over $6M. Our coalition grants have improved communications, collaboration, and ultimately the efficiency of our partners in serving trafficked youth and finding new approaches to prevention and data collection. Our coalition has build the first of its kind, structured, 24-hour, seven days a week, statewide response program to provide immediate help to young victims, and refer them to services.


Breakdown of 2017 Grants


  • Direct Assistance

    Through StolenYouth funded community advocates, 200 more trafficked youth have received services, case management, and housing.

  • Coordinated Response

    StolenYouth provided critical financing to launch the first state-wide response team connecting the resources of government agencies, law enforcement and non-profits in an effective, coordinated way.

  • Expanded Services

    By funding additional trained personnel, StolenYouth have ensured that desperately needed services will expand into South King County.

  • Training

    StolenYouth funds have subsidized the training of over 1500 people working to stop the commercial sexual exploitation of children, including hoteliers, law enforcement, and service providers.