Friday, March 23, 2012

Sex trafficking - fighting slavery, part 4

Last night I viewed the movie Sex + Money.  It was disturbing.  When is prostitution voluntary and when is it slavery?  Perhaps the difficulty in finding that dividing line is why the term "trafficking" is used now.  Sex between consenting adults is one thing.  Sex between a child and an adult is something different, and it is illegal as well as morally reprehensible. 

Sex trafficking is now the second most lucrative form of organized crime.  Unlike weapons or drugs, a girl can be sold over and over again. 

Most girls (and boys) who enter prostitution do so at the AVERAGE age of 12-13.  Often they are drugged, and while drugged, raped and photographed, and videoed.  If the girl tries to leave, she is threatened with more violence, and with the revelation of the photos and videos.

Girls (and boys) who are so entrapped are usually runaways, or more tragically, throwaways -- children whose parents reject them.  Sometimes, and more frequently recently, girls are the homey ho's of a gang.  Gangs are getting into the pimping business. 
Almost, almost always, the victims of sex trafficking were sexually abused  in their home of origin.
I learned last night sex trafficking takes place in every town in the nation.  It takes place in my little town. 
There are so many ways to stop this. 
1. Don't be a John (a customer, if the J word makes you flinch)
2. Don't sexually abuse a child
3. Don't have children you don't want to love and cherish and protect.
4. Don't use pornography (do you really think everyone in those pictures is over 18 and in this voluntarily?

Sharedhope is dedicated to fighting minor sex trafficking.  This group was featured in the Sex+Money film.   It has put out a report card to evaluate each of the United States.  My state got a "B".  

When our governor signs the 10 bills our legislature passed this last session, we may be in line for an A.  I certainly hope so. 

Why is it that if a man has child pornography or inappropriately touches a kid, he's prosecuted as a sex offender.  But if he pays for the service he's a john and he goes unpunished?  if anyone is "caught," it's the girl, who is thrown in jail for prostitution!

I'm very interested in the Swedish model which has decriminalized prostitution and CRIMINALIZED buying sex.  This protects the women and puts the penalty on the man.  This is unjust. 

Understanding that girls (and boys) are so badly abused, that they are kept hungry and off balance, a nonstop siege on their sense of selfworth, that they are beaten and raped, to profit one man and to pleasure another, is obscene.  It's evil. 

Thinking again about the starfish, I think the star I want to throw back is in my own town.  I will donate to the sexual abuse resource center and the shelter for runaway teens before the month ends.  I will ask the governor to sign those 10 new bills.  I will write a thank you note to my legislators for voting for them. 

Peace and justice, y'all


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