It remains a crime largely hidden from public view, but U.S. states are at least starting to take a more forthcoming approach to combating child sex trafficking.
When Shared Hope, a nonprofit that fights sex trafficking, released its first assessment of the nation’s response to its youngest victims in 2011, 26 states received failing grades.
This year, no states failed and half the nation earned an A or B on their report card.
But while figures are still concerning, with more than 100,000 children being exploited into sex trafficking every year, a number of states are cracking down on these crimes by better protecting victims, instead of criminalizing them, and closing up loopholes that enabled offenders to avoid jail time.
These 10 states scored the best for their efforts in combating child sex trafficking.