The Raider Review

Opinion: The Missing Girls

Zsyrii Ennis, Staff Writer

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Recently, a lot of attention has been drawn to the amount of girls that have gone missing in the D.C. area in the last month. More coverage about these girls has been shared than in past cases, most likely due to all the means of communication that are available, such as social media. The disappearance of girls has always been a issue but seems to be getting publicized more due to this generation shining more light on it. The D.C. and Maryland area has been in a little frenzy from hearing that children have been reported as missing almost every other day, leaving me with one major question: What is happening to our children?

According to the Metropolitan Police Department website as of March 30, 2017, there have been 558 juvenile missing person cases so far this year, 17 of which are open critical and non-critical cases. Critical cases concern people who may be known to have behavioral issues or medical issues. That’s a very alarming number to hear that people’s sisters, daughters, and grandchildren are disappearing without their loved ones having any idea where they might have gone. Now the circumstances of these missing person cases are beyond me–whether they are runaways or are being abducted or even leaving voluntarily with strangers.

Social media has also had a big impact on missing persons cases. While scrolling down my Twitter timeline I have noticed a lot of flyers about missing people. Oftentimes while going to the police people turn to social media to ask the help of tons of strangers to locate their loved ones. Social media, specifically Twitter, seems to be very dedicated to helping locate missing people. There is always some sense of community when people go missing. The whole community works together to locate the one person. Efforts are always being made to help find the person with the help of the surrounding people online. Overall I believe that social media helps improve the chances of solving these missing persons cases. With that being said I think that people on social media should also not jump to the conclusion that all of these cases are connected to human trafficking, but be able to remain aware that human trafficking is still out there and needs awareness.

Due to these missing person cases being so close in date, with many kids going missing at once, and the speculation on social media, people believe that in some way the cases are connected to human trafficking. According to Homeland Security human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. With these recent cases, there has been a new light and a new angle to human trafficking and its awareness.

Even if some or most of these cases are runaways and have been closed, human trafficking is still a major problem in our country today. Instead of being reactive the police departments should be proactive and set up programs that help human trafficking victims seek help and protection. After you escape human trafficking it is sometimes possible to be trafficked again, so I believe that police officers should develop a program that allows these victims to be protected but also try to provide them a normal life.

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Opinion: The Missing Girls