Atlanta has the largest underground sex economy of any city in America. That's according to a report released in March by the Urban Institute.That economy grossed $290 million in 2007. As major highways like I-75 flow through Atlanta, so does the city’s sex trafficking. According to the FBI, connected cities like Augusta, Savannah and Macon are part of the route that pimps travel with their victims. A group of Mercer University students decided to address the problem of underage sex trafficking through peer leadership.
A runaway teen in Georgia who makes her way to Atlanta has a day, maybe two, before someone tries to turn her into a prostitute. For many teens—without food or shelter and often already the victim of sexual abuse—selling their bodies seems like the only way to get a meal. Stopping the cycle is difficult—some 400 girls are commercially sexually exploited each month in Georgia.