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About the report:
In 2011, Shared Hope International released the first annual Protected Innocence Challenge Report Cards that grade the states on the strength of their laws in combatting domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) and protecting youth who have been victimized. Each state grade is based on an in-depth analysis of the state’s laws under the 41 components of the Protected Innocence Challenge Legislative Framework representing six sections: criminalization of domestic minor sex trafficking, criminal provisions addressing demand, criminal provisions for traffickers, criminal provisions for facilitators, protective provisions for the child victims and criminal justice tools for investigation and prosecution. Much of section 5, Protective Provisions for the Child Victims, poses substantial challenges since it requires a thorough analysis of child protection laws, delinquency laws and any laws relating to alternative processes where a victim of DMST may be directed. This section identifies (1) whether a minor victim faces a punitive response, (2) whether there are alternatives to a punitive response through existing statutory systems, and (3) whether a DMST victim can access specialized services and placement through these existing systems. The resulting complexity of this analysis lends itself well to a flowchart comparing these existing systems, and as states look to change current systems to address the problem of domestic minor sex trafficking, the ability to compare these systems across states. These flowcharts are intended to provide an overview of the statutory structure of service and placement responses to DMST victims to contribute to the ongoing conversation regarding promising approaches, pervasive challenges and the need to establish new systems versus changing existing systems.