Every year, thousands of boys and young men fall victim to the country’s flourishing sex trade. A lot of them are vulnerable to traffickers and sex buyers because of homelessness and poverty. Jenifer McKim of GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting says male victims often go unseen and unhelped. And a warning – this story contains descriptions that are disturbing.
JENIFER MCKIM, BYLINE: Jose Alfaro was 16 years old and homeless when he was lured into the country’s illegal sex trade. It wasn’t until years later that the now 30-year-old Boston hairstylist realized he wasn’t to blame.
JOSE ALFARO: I didn’t see myself as a victim. I saw myself as someone who participated in this business with him.
MCKIM: Alfaro says his parents kicked him out of their house because he was gay. He met a man on the internet who offered him a place to stay and then forced him to provide clients sexual massages, some that became violent. He eventually ran away.
ALFARO: There were many times where I didn’t have food to eat. I didn’t have anywhere to go. And so I began what people call survival sex. I needed to find a way to survive on my own, and I did what I was taught.
Read the full transcript and listen here.