Each year in America, up to 100,000 children are sexually exploited into child prostitution, and globally, the numbers are even more astounding. In Hawaii, the military, tourist and trade communities make for a prime market for young girls as young as 12 years old to be sold by sex traffickers, and sadly, these girls are often picked up by the police and treated as criminals, not as victims of a violent crime.
Hawaii’s Courage House, an international nonprofit organization that began in California, provides homes for underage victims, and in order to raise funds and awareness, they’ve designed an event that gives awareness and entertainment to the public.
“Here in Hawaii, we have nothing for these girls, no focused treatment for this population,” says volunteer director Jessica Munoz, who along with a group of volunteers are holding “A Midsummer Night’s Hope,” an evening with food, silent auction and live music from Kapala.
Proceeds will be used to find safe, rural locations where victims can stay and heal, and hopefully in a year or so, says Munoz, these girls will have a place to call home.