D.C.’s Missing Girls

Senior Editor: Ashlyn Richardson

Recently in Washington, DC., our nation’s capital, girls of color keep disappearing without a word being said. No campaigns have been put forward to find these girls. No outlets are reporting it. But as of today, 501 juveniles are missing from the DC area, most of them being latino and black girls.

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Missing person’s report, courtesy of DC police department’s Twitter

The only attention that this issue has been getting has been from Twitter. The DC police department has set fire to the Twittersphere by releasing the pictures of the missing individuals and the hashtag, “#FindOurGirls” was quickly created in order to spread the message.  April Schlinkert, a senior at Woodstock, said that until she saw people hashtagging “#FindOurGirls” she had no idea these girls were even missing. But of course it being Twitter, many false claims about the numbers of missing girls have been put out. Despite this, it has brought attention to an issue that has been swept under the rug for too long. According to the D.C. police department, the numbers of missing children have not increased, but rather have gained more publicised attention. People have taken to social media and reached out to their local media outlets in order to spread the word.


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Missing person’s reports, courtesy of DC police department’s Twitter

With all the frenzy on social media, government officials have stepped up to combat the plague striking DC. According to NPR, Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond, D-La., and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, sent a letter last week to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey. In the letter, they called on Sessions and Comey to “devote the resources necessary to determine whether these developments are an anomaly or whether they are indicative of an underlying trend that must be addressed.” The lawmakers made sure to address the deeply disturbing true facts surrounding the issue, including the fact that, “ten children of color went missing in our nation’s capital in a period of two weeks.” In fourteen days, ten more children vanished off the streets of the city that is supposed to represent the nation. Most are thought to be runaways, even repeat runaways. But case studies have proven that repeat runaways are most likely to fall victim to the world of sex trafficking. Thankfully, an effort is being made to prevent this from happening. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced new initiatives to find the missing children and also to prevent future cases by budgeting more money to organizations that assist teens at risk of running away. When speaking to the Washington Post, Kevin Harris, a spokesperson of the mayor said, “Oftentimes these girls are repeat runaways… So if we really want to help solve this problem and bring down the numbers we have to break the cycle of young people, especially young girls, who repeatedly run away from home.”

So, while we pass through each day with no concern of what’s going on in the world around us, it would be smart to keep in mind the fact that girls of color are going missing from our nation’s capitol at an alarming rate. This should not be ignored. Our lawmakers and law enforcement are doing what they can to bring these girls home, but the more aware we are the easier it will be to do so. As Makayla Powell, a senior at Woodstock, said, “I feel guilty for not knowing this was happening for so long, but now that I do know, I’m ready to do whatever I can to spread awareness of this tragic situation so hopefully the girls won’t be missing for much longer.”


  1. No one you care says:

    how unfortunate man up people go missing all the time

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