NEW YORK, May 3 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Children removed from unfit families and put in foster care are terrifyingly vulnerable to being trafficked, a fact that Amy Andrews knows all too well.
She spun in and out of her abusive family home into the child welfare system, starting when she was 10 years old. By 14, she was selling sex on Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard, working for traffickers who exploited her naivete and need for attention.
"I'm loved, I'm wanted, I'm cared for, I'm given everything I want and no one blames me," Andrews said of being trafficked. "And I'm being sexually abused, but I can overlook that.
"Nobody wanted me. This set me up to be vulnerable and needy," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Hundreds of thousands of U.S. children live in foster care, prey to predator sex traffickers who may find their young victims at bus stops, shopping malls or street corners as well as on social media and online chat rooms.