(CNSNews.com) – At Turning Point USA’s Young Women’s Leadership Summit last week, 8 Days director and Traffick911 board member Jaco Booyens told his audience that the “youngest girl we’ve ever rescued [from sex trafficking] … was two years old.”
Traffick911, founded in 2009 and based in Addison, Texas, is a group that frees youth from sex trafficking and has helped more than 800 sex trafficking victims. The group works closely with law enforcement and its efforts have led to multiple state and federal felony arrests and convictions, according to its website. 8 Days is a movie about sex trafficking in the United States.
“The average girl that’s in sex trafficking in the United States is 12 years old,” said Booyens, who spoke before an audience of young women at the summit. “Twelve, that’s the youngest average in the world—world average is 13. The U.S. says ‘we’ll beat you guys—we’ll use 12-year-olds for sex, on average, 24 times a day.’”
“So the youngest girl we’ve ever rescued?” he said. “That day, she had 24 men. She was two years old…. That two-year-old, her whole internal system had to be reconstructed.”
Booyens, a South Africa native, is married, has two daughters, and lives in Dallas, Texas. He is the founder and president of After Eden Pictures, which produced the film 8 Days. Booyens’ sister reportedly was sex-trafficked for five years. Part of her experience was the inspiration for making 8 Days.
“You know, I’m a dad,” said Booyens. “I don’t go on those [trafficking rescue] missions anymore because I can’t get the images out of my head. This has gone so far past my sister, because now I got to relive, ‘Oh, this is what they did to my sister. Oh, this is what really happens when we interview sex traffic victims.’ Victims -- who then, the second we rescue them, they’re no longer victims, they are victors. Victors.”
Booyens serves on the board of Traffick911. He warned his audience that, “No race, no color, no gender, no financial demographic—is immune to this issue [sex trafficking]. Nobody.”
“This is not a red light district issue,” he said. “This is a your-high-school issue; this is a your-college-campus issue. Today, I guarantee you—and I’ll show you the facts—sex trafficking is on your college campus.”
In his speech, Booyens recalled the night before preparing to shoot a scene at a motel for his movie, 8 Days (which is about sex trafficking and inspired by actual events), when the motel owner called saying that they couldn’t film there. Booyens quickly called someone and was able to relocate to another motel the next day.
Moments before they were about to film a rescue scene at the motel, Homeland Security Investigations operatives that were in his film received a call from ICE to rescue a sex-trafficked girl two doors down from their shoot. They rescued the 16-year-old girl who had been missing for 16 months and caught the pimps that were with her.