Tag Archives: sexual trafficking

From foster care into the sex trade

The article in the link below from Traffick Alerts brings up a lot of important issues connected with Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking and the foster care/social service system. There are no easy answers but something has to be done about criminalizing a child victim who has already been crushed by being sold and exploited. Should they be further traumatized, labeled, and carry a criminal record for life? What is our responsibility as a society?

From foster care into the sex trade.

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“Rape for Profit” movie wins award

The film “Rape for Profit” won Best Long Form Film at the Justice Film Festival last weekend! Congratulations. This documentary is set in Seattle, but it could be any major city. I posted the extended trailer on February 11, if you want to see that one as well.

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Is Technology and Social Media helping to Create Sex Traffickers?

Two weeks ago I read an article in the London Telegraph that has eaten at me ever since. The reporter, Cole Moreton, was writing about the 2011 death of 13-year-old Chevonea Kendall-Bryan and the culture of pornography surrounding our children.

Although the events happened in the spring of 2011, Chevonea’s case was just wrapping up in January of this year. The court was told Chevonea claimed 18-year-old Benn Miebaka had forced her to perform a sex act on him following a half-term party. She said a second boy, known to the court as E6, threatened to smash the windows at Chevonea’s home if she did not repeat the act on him the following day. When she complied, he made a recording of the act and later texted it to his friends. Chevonea accidentally died while hanging out of her fourth-floor window begging him to delete it, and not surprisingly, when she fell, the boy ran away.

One of the many things that disturbed me was that Chevonea (only 13!) reported both assaults to teachers at her school, only to have it dismissed. Teenage boys do these things and boys will be boys, and all that. Yes, they will if someone doesn’t teach them that it is not only inappropriate to coerce sex but illegal. In both cases Chevonea was forced or threatened into complying; she was not a willing participant. It seems she was also filmed without her knowledge and exposed to who knows how many others. Even if the boy had deleted the video, once it entered cyberspace, no one can stop it.

What this article and several others in the Telegraph (links below) mention is the culture of pornography that fuels a lot of these behaviors. Kids have access to hardcore porn 24 hours a day, and this is where many are getting their sexual education and ideas. One boy mentioned that all of the stuff on the internet is staged; he likes the “real” stuff that guys he knows post.

In his article, Moreton talks about boys encouraging their girlfriends to send them explicit pictures of themselves (sexting) and the boys trading them with each other like boys used to trade baseball cards. I wonder how many of the girls are aware that they are being swapped. I wonder how many of these images will pop up in later years to haunt them.

When I think about how a man evolves into a trafficker of women and children for sexual purposes, it seems to me he must first be taught to objectify women. Surely, women are something to be used like he’s seen in the readily available pornography (the more hardcore, the more objectification). He is duped into believing that this is how women and girls want to be treated, i.e., they like being degraded. It is also not likely he will be aware that some of the pornography he is watching comes about through manipulation, coercion and threat.

Evolving from there, women are not only objectified but go on to be seen as a commodity, an item to trade. Wait, isn’t that what these boys are already doing with the pictures of their girlfriends? Sharing them, swapping them? Are they thinking of the girls as people with feelings, who might be embarrassed or ashamed by others seeing them naked? Are these boys showing concern for their relationships with the girls or how this might affect the girls in the long-term? No, the culture of pornography does not teach them to think in such terms.

It is only a step further for the entrepreneurial one to realize he can make money doing this. Rather than trade, sell!

If this behavior is not stopped, if boys are not taught that this is wrong, they are well on their way to becoming men who will sell their girlfriends (or any girl for that matter) to other men, in person, online, or on the streets. And once the lure of money is added to the mix, where will it end?

I will grant that most boys will not grow up to be traffickers. They may develop into normal, healthy contributors to society. But these kinds of things lay the groundwork for the making of a trafficker.

In 2013, many kids have unlimited access to computers and cell phones at younger ages, long before they are capable of controlling and understanding the world of pornography, or their own sexuality for that matter. Pornography is a seductive labyrinth that can swallow them whole. Curiosity is natural, but without some guidance and limits from adults, it can become an addictive and maladaptive force. 11, 12, 13-year-olds are often blinded by hormones when it comes to rationally thinking through the consequences of their behaviors. They need instruction, healthy models, and accurate information. Like Cole Moreton who fears for his two daughters growing up in this culture, I fear for my four granddaughters and my grandson. The pressures on them are immense.

This means that the dreaded sex talks are becoming more and more necessary as well as more difficult. These are not easy topics to address, but the health of our young people depend on it. We don’t want to minimize or be dismissive of the issues like Chevonea’s school at the price of more children’s lives.

We also need to be willing to be models of what is healthy sexually and relationally. We need to help young people learn what it means to be a good man or a good woman. This is one more thing we can do in the fight against sexual trafficking.

You’ll notice that I put a question mark at the end of my title to this piece. I did so because I’m not sure anyone knows how a man evolves into a trafficker, if anyone has studied this side of the issue. These are my speculations on the subject and certainly not a scholarly treatise. If anyone knows of a study. I would be interested in the information.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/sex/9828589/Children-and-the-culture-of-pornography-Boys-will-ask-you-every-day-until-you-say-yes.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/sex/sexual-health-and-advice/9871805/Fears-over-11-year-olds-sending-sex-texts.html
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/willardfoxton2/100008808/revenge-porn-and-snapchat-how-young-women-are-being-lured-into-sharing-naked-photos-and-videos-with-strangers/
http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/Teens-and-Sexting.aspx

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Children don’t choose to be prostitutes

Yes, some child prostitutes (under 18) choose on their own to sell their bodies, but why? They are slaves to survival. If they had another choice, would they do it? NO! Or they are desperately searching for love and do not understand the difference between love and sex. Or their bodies have already been violated so what difference does it make? They are slaves of circumstance and need another choice. Bless those who are giving them choices.

News on Modern Day Slavery

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Are all prostitues slaves? No. Are all childprostitutes slaves? Yes. Are many adult prostitues continuing the lives they were forced into as children? Yes. Click the picture to learn more about The A 21 Campaign.

 

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Powerful song and video from Break the Silence

Beautiful. Sad. Left me in tears.

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Justice

A little more justice. A little more hope.

The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery

By Vivian Kuo, CNN

Savannah, Georgia, (CNN) — An agent presses against a light blue wall and it gives way. Behind it is a makeshift room made of foam insulation and a cheap plywood frame.

The woman inside is believed to be a victim of a human trafficking ring that law enforcement agents busted during a four-state coordinated raid Wednesday.

She is on a small bed with a thin mattress on springs. A large free-standing mirror sits to the side, and clothes are strewn across the floor.

Upon surveying the scene inside the Savannah, Georgia, townhouse, Brock Nicholson, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent in charge, said he’s never witnessed a situation like this.

“[This] is basically where they had the victim, where she serviced commercial sex acts, her hellish life is. She lived — all of her possessions, the tools of the commercial sex trade — all…

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Afghan girls used to pay off family debt

How can one look into the eyes of this little girl and not be heartbroken for her. Lord have mercy.

Amanpour

By Samuel Burke, CNN

The mother of a little Afghan girl cannot even turn to face her daughter. She looks down in shame as she explains why she must hand the girl over to drug lords.

The father of the girl has done what many Afghan farmers must do to finance their opium farms: borrow money from drug traffickers. But the Afghan government and international forces’ attempt to halt the opium trade has quashed the father’s poppy business, and with it, his ability to pay back the lenders.

The drug lords have taken him hostage to extract a payment.

“I have to give my daughter to release my husband,” the mother explains with the girl at her side. She looks no older than six.

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