SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- Troubled teens are taking drastic measures for survival. It's a sad reality that local experts say they're familiar with.
Many, they say, are turning to prostitution just to make money to live.
Local advocates say it might not look like your stereotypical street walkers, but they say young women-- Springfield-area teenagers are absolutely victims of sex trafficking.
Just a few clicks of the mouse and evidence that Springfield does have plenty of women selling their bodies for money.
"It's not happening in public... a lot of it is happening online," said Loni Brewer, Safe Place Coordinator and Rare Breed Youth Services Director.
Springfield's listings for backpage.com-- a site similar to Craigslist-- show hundreds of postings for women selling sex. But what may not be so obvious by the endless postings is that many of these so called "women" are just girls.
"So many times their faces are blurred out because if somebody saw their face they could identify them as maybe that's a 16 year old runaway from Springfield," Brewer said.