The Minnesota Health Department defines a sexually exploited youth as “someone under the age of 18 who may be subject to sexual exploitation because they engaged, agreed to engage, or were forced into sexual conduct in return for a fee, food, clothing, or a place to stay. A youth also can be sexually exploited if he or she have engaged in exotic dancing, been filmed doing sexual acts, traded sex for drugs, or has been found guilty of engaging in prostitution or prostitution-related crimes.”
Until recently, Minnesota law treated sexually exploited youth who engaged in prostitution or survival sex as juvenile delinquents and prosecuted them as criminals. Thanks to the Safe Harbor Law, that has changed.
If you or someone you know feels as if they may have been sexually exploited and/or are being forced into prostitution and wish to speak with someone for support and options, call the Minnesota Day One Crisis Hotline at 1.866.223.1111.