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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Report sheds light on service gap for boys who are sexually exploited

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Wednesday, May 29, 2024   

Experts in the fight against the sexual exploitation of minors said there is a gap in highlighting how young men are targeted and new research said many Minnesota survivors are not getting the help they need to heal from their trauma.

A report from the group Protect All Children from Trafficking showed only 15% of sexually exploited boys received any form of specialized services compared to 65% of girls.

Lori Cohen, CEO of the group, said rates of human trafficking cases are higher for girls but added boys still need an adequate level of follow-up support. She explained it starts with how key figures in the community are trained to spot these cases.

"The tendency still is to look for that and identify it among girls and not among boys," Cohen pointed out.

The report found along with systemic barriers, there are masculine stereotypes fostering shame for a male to disclose they have been sexually exploited. Cohen acknowledged Minnesota is a leader in the child protection space but the authors said uneven implementation of the state's Safe Harbor law criminalizes boys who are victimized rather than supporting them.

In the school setting, Cohen stressed classroom disruptions can be a warning sign but feels boys are often treated differently when behavioral issues arise.

"A boy might be seen as acting up in school," Cohen observed. "Instead of having access to services that a girl who was acting up in school might get -- a social worker, a guidance counselor -- boys tend to be punished."

She added if it leads to an expulsion, the boy might encounter housing instability, putting them at greater risk of being exploited.

Researchers said safe, stable housing is an essential prevention tool but must include wraparound services like mental health care and job training. Even though the report looked at Minnesota data, Cohen feels the results resonate globally.


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