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'Arms Of Refuge' Trying to Open Shelter for Victimized Children | News

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'Arms Of Refuge' Trying to Open Shelter for Victimized Children
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ATLANTA -- Every two minutes a child is victimized as a prostitute in Atlanta.

Every two minutes.

By the time you read this article, it will have happened again.

Sadly, the arrests made for trafficking children in the sex-trade don't even begin to make a dent in it. And Metro Atlanta is considered notorious for this unspeakable crime.

"The studies have been done on girls," said Chris Wahl, who works with such children. "But there's a growing demand for boys. The average age is 12."

Chris Wahl is the founder of Arms of Refuge. Friday night, supporters were trying to raise money for the operation, so it can open a shelter of its own to try and help young victims, instead of having to refer them to other agencies that are already overwhelmed.

"Arms of Refuge is a non-profit organization focused on the long-term restoration and care of victims of child sex trafficking," said Wahl. "Atlanta (is) one of the top 10 in the nation with this problem. There are 400 kids a month trafficked through the streets of Atlanta. It's scary."

Friday night at Zuffy's Place restaurant in DeKalb County, a benefit auction and concert were held to help Arms of Refuge launch its mission. Wahl says the operation needs about $500,000 to open a shelter, which he hopes will happen sometime in 2011.

"What we're offering is a two-year program that gives them medical psychological and education," explained Wahl. "They can continue to get back into society and reinvent themselves and actually better themselves as they go forward."

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