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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Report sheds light on service gap for boys who are sexually exploited

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Wednesday, May 29, 2024   

Experts in the fight against the sexual exploitation of minors said there is a gap in highlighting how young men are targeted and new research said many Minnesota survivors are not getting the help they need to heal from their trauma.

A report from the group Protect All Children from Trafficking showed only 15% of sexually exploited boys received any form of specialized services compared to 65% of girls.

Lori Cohen, CEO of the group, said rates of human trafficking cases are higher for girls but added boys still need an adequate level of follow-up support. She explained it starts with how key figures in the community are trained to spot these cases.

"The tendency still is to look for that and identify it among girls and not among boys," Cohen pointed out.

The report found along with systemic barriers, there are masculine stereotypes fostering shame for a male to disclose they have been sexually exploited. Cohen acknowledged Minnesota is a leader in the child protection space but the authors said uneven implementation of the state's Safe Harbor law criminalizes boys who are victimized rather than supporting them.

In the school setting, Cohen stressed classroom disruptions can be a warning sign but feels boys are often treated differently when behavioral issues arise.

"A boy might be seen as acting up in school," Cohen observed. "Instead of having access to services that a girl who was acting up in school might get -- a social worker, a guidance counselor -- boys tend to be punished."

She added if it leads to an expulsion, the boy might encounter housing instability, putting them at greater risk of being exploited.

Researchers said safe, stable housing is an essential prevention tool but must include wraparound services like mental health care and job training. Even though the report looked at Minnesota data, Cohen feels the results resonate globally.


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