New state numbers are sounding the alarm about child sex slavery in Florida.
Data compiled from statistics provided by law enforcement all over Florida says the number of kids forced into prostitution for the profit of others is up 25 percent in one year.
There were 264 verified cases of commercially exploited children in Florida in 2015. That number jumped to 356 last year.
State officials aren’t sure if the spike in the number of cases is because there are actually more kids being sold into sexual slavery in Florida, or if law enforcement is doing a better job of making arrests, driving up the reportable numbers.
Increased awareness by citizens who better know how to spot a child in distress and then report it to police could also be a factor. Most children who are forced into sexually slavery for the profit of others are females between 14 and 17 years old.