London, August 13 (ANI): A charity has claimed that thousands of young Dutch girls are being groomed on social networking sites and forced into prostitution by pimps dubbed "Loverboys".
The youngsters are bombarded with promises of love before being threatened with violence and bullied into a life of sexual slavery, it is claimed.
Anita De Witt has set up a charity called Stoploverboys.NU, which helps girls escape from the cycle of abuse.
"The problem is really big and it is not only young girls. My youngest victim is nine years and my oldest 51," Sky News quoted De Witt as saying.
Stoploverboys estimates the figure to be more than 5,000.
The police are often powerless to stop the "Loverboys" who prey on the most vulnerable and then isolate them from their friends and families - rather like a cult.
They are easy prey for the seduction techniques of the "Loverboys" who use the girls to fund their lifestyles.
The phenomenon of "Loverboys" and the stories of the girls who have been abused have caused something of a moral panic in the Netherlands.
The government is considering raising the age women can work as prostitutes from 18 to 21 but De Witt does not think that is the solution.
She says the problem will only be stamped out if the authorities take the harrowing stories of the girls more seriously. (ANI)