The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and the youth advocacy organization Lad Lake have teamed up to create the first specialized residential program in the state for girls who have been victims of sex trafficking, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Five girls between the ages of 13 and 16 are enrolled in the one-year program, which has drawn praise from advocates who work with victims and survivors of sex trafficking.
Although comprehensive data about child sex trafficking can be elusive, a study last year found that 77 youths, mostly girls, were sexually exploited in Milwaukee during a two-year period. Program participants were referred to Lad Lake by the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare. The state is providing funding, estimated at $125,000 for each person who completes the program.