CINCINNATI – In Kentucky alone, drugs were involved in almost 40 percent of child sex trafficking cases — cases where the age range of alleged victims is 2-17 years old.
And yet Kentucky — one of five states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies as hardest hit by the opioid crisis — is one of only a small handful of states that officially tracks and reports the intersection of drug addiction and sex trafficking.
“Sold in America,” a new documentary series launching on Sunday, Feb. 18, from next-generation national news network Newsy, dives deep into this violent, abusive and lucrative industry to uncover the gaps in government efforts to combat sex trafficking.
The three-part series presents the stories behind the buying and selling of sex through the voices of trafficking survivors, sex workers, pimps, buyers and the public officials on the front lines of the effort. “Sold in America” highlights multiple perspectives on the problem and potential solutions, including why some of them just won’t work, according to the sex workers themselves.
“Our goal should be to stop violence, not criminalize those who are working to survive,” said Laya Monarez, whose story is featured in the series. Monarez is an artist and activist who engaged in survival sex, which is prostitution motivated by the need for basics like food and housing.
From the most exclusive brothels to urban and suburban neighborhoods, reporter Noor Tagouri and producer Kate Grumke cover the intersection of the sex trade with some of the nation’s worst ills: gender discrimination, racism, drug addiction and child abuse.
“I never knew nothing (sic) about human trafficking,” said Ashley Cacho, who shares her story of being trafficked starting at age 11. “I never knew that I was being exploited. … It’s something that I thought was normal.”
View the trailer here.
“‘Sold in America’ puts deep reporting against a backdrop of intense, memorable scenes and nuanced, sensitive storytelling to paint a new picture of the buying and selling of sex,” said Christina Hartman, vice president of news and programming for Newsy. “You will walk away heartbroken, then angry, but ultimately inspired to influence change.”
“Sold in America” premieres on Newsy’s cable and over-the-top live-streaming channels Sunday, Feb. 18, at 9 p.m. Eastern time. Check local listings for channel availability. The series will then be available for on-demand viewing beginning Thursday, Feb. 22, on streaming services including Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV.
Newsy is the leading cable and over-the-top news network for millennials. Its documentaries, original series and in-depth coverage of the day’s U.S. news and stories from around the world are available everywhere viewers watch television. Newsy is a wholly owned subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP).
Newsy is the next-generation national news network that provides “news with the why,” built to inform and engage by delivering the top stories across every platform. Its content is available on cable; on over-the-top services including Hulu, Roku, Apple TV, Sling TV, Watchable from Comcast, Pluto TV, Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast; and on connected television including Xumo. Newsy is also available via its mobile apps and at newsy.com.
Kari Wethington, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3763, firstname.lastname@example.org