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By Miriam Raftery

October 4, 2017 (La Mesa) -- The FBI has classified the San Diego area as a high intensity child prostitution area. San Diego ranks among the worst 13 cities for child prostitution, an 810-million-dollar criminal enterprise locally.

The average age of entry into the sex trafficking industry is 16 years old – and most were previously victims of molestation as children.

One of every three girls, and one in every six boys, are sexually molested by age 18.  Sex traffickers target boys and young men, as well as girls and young women.

To help protect these vulnerable young people, the La Mesa Collaborative will hold a workshop on October 7th from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Crosspointe Life Church (8809 La Mesa Blvd.) in La Mesa.

The public is invited to attend, learn, and discuss ways to prevent human trafficking and child sexual abuse.  Young people from middle school age and up are encouraged to attend as well as parents, grandparents, business owners, youth workers, the faith community and area residents.

Attendees will learn how you can help make our community safe by learning to identify the signs of human trafficking and child sex abuse from a panel of experts including Fanny Yu with the District Attorney’s office, Tom Jones from the H.O.P.E. project and Christy Heiskala with Educate to Eliminate.

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