Sometimes it's a story of a grown woman who has chosen prostitution as a path to a better life. More often, it's a story of a woman being forced to sell her body by a pimp. And then there are the children, and the mothers that miss them.
"They told me to look on Craigslist and it almost blew my mind," the mother of one missing 12-year-old told CNN. "She was there with a wig on. She was there in a purple negligee. The same day the woman spoke to CNN, her daughter was rescued by police at a seedy hotel near Washington where she was being sold for sex. And she's not alone. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's website contains thousands of posters of missing children. Many are girls, classified as "endangered runaways," and the center says more than fifty of them have been pushed into the sex trade. But that's just a snapshot, a tiny indicator of the true scale of the problem.