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Transcript of Sex Trafficking
Abroad & in the U.S.
Is this a small issue?
Prevalence of sex trafficking:
Sex trafficking generates $32-91 billion in profits worldwide (Kotrla, 2010).
The U.S. is one of the top 3 destination countries for human trafficking activity (Green, 2008)
Approximately 10 million youth sold sexual acts for some form of exchange in 1999 (ECPAT, 1999; Willis & Levy, 2002).
In 2007, 1160 juveniles were arrested in the United States for prostitution/commercial sex with 147 of those juveniles being under the age of 15 (FBI). However, it is likely that these statistics only represent a small percentage of those actually involved in prostitution as juvenile prostitution is difficult to detect as it is more likely than adult prostitution to be underground and involve a complex network of multiple offenders (Finkelhor & Ormrod).
Vice units across the country can often identify hundreds of underage girls on the streets who are compelled to be victims of child-rape-for-profit 10-15 times or more every night. Vice estimates that many times that number are likely being advertised for sale online.
Sex trafficking of minors is the most egregious form of child abuse and is often preceded by other forms of abuse. Research indicates that many victims of sexual exploitation have previously experienced:
Childhood sexual abuse (Simons and Whitbeck, 1991)
Physical abuse (Silbert & Pines,1982)
Emotional abuse (Roe-Sepowitz, in press)
Parental alcohol and drug use (Dalla, 2001)
Domestic violence, neglect, or abandonment (Dalla, 2003)
Running away from home, homelessness (Nadon, Koverola, & Schludermann, 1998)
Economic need/poverty (Hardman, 1997)
Survivors of sex trafficking are at risk for a number of negative consequences as a result of experiencing forced prostitution. These consequences include:
Physical health issues (Jeal & Salisbury, 2004):
Injury resulting from violence perpetrated by pimps and customers (Dalla, 2003; Raphael & Shapiro, 2004)
Physical pain from frequent sexual activity and stress.
Sexually transmitted infections
Drug addiction (Schaffer and DeBlassie, 1984) and related health issues (e.g. asthma, Hepatitis C, skin infections)
Stress-related pain (e.g. tension headaches, back pain, stomach problems)
Ongoing physical abuse (Silbert & Pines,1982)
Relationship issues (Williamson & Cluse-Tolar, 2002)
Trauma bond (i.e. Stockholm Syndrome)
Mental health issues
Post traumatic stress disorder (Farley & Barkan, 1998)
Dissociation (Roe-Sepowitz, Hickle, & Cimino, 2011)
Development of poor coping skills including drug use and other forms of self harm (Young, Boyd, & Hubbell, 2000)
Why I chose this topic:
I chose this topic because the story needs to be told of innocent victims, some younger than 13, being forced to have sex with strange men and used and abused as objects. Children as commodities on the open market, women used as slaves.
How it ties into the course material:
There are many areas where this crosses the study we have done so far in the class. This touches on bad deviant behavior, counter-culture, crime, the stigma these women and children feel, and the discreditable that inflict these atrocities. Both the chapters of Deviance and Crime and Disclaimers and Accounts an Cases of Catholic Priest Accused of Pedophilia (Whitaker) bring up many relevant topics and definitions helpful in understanding this topic.
What I hope others will learn:
The facts about this situation and the number of people affected by the animals that prey upon those simply looking for a better life. This is not a small issue. It's the third largest market in the world and it functions almost entirely underground. There are real consequences and long term effects that stain a culture and society that does nothing and turns a blind eye to the weak and the vulnerable. Hopefully awareness will lead to action.
Let's take a deeper look...
Attention to the issue of human trafficking has greatly increased in social work literature and the media in recent years. Cases of international sex trafficking have increased public awareness about human trafficking in the United States, yet many people remain unaware that more U.S. citizens are victims of sex trafficking than are foreign nationals (Kotrla)
Experts in the field have begun to refer to this particular crime against children as “domestic minor sex trafficking” otherwise known as DMST. (Kotrla)
There are different ways in which DMST reveals itself. It includes activities such as prostitution, pornography, stripping, escort services, and other sexual services. “In terms of prevalence, most experts suggest there are currently at least 100,000 DMST victims in the United States with up to 325,000 more at risk for becoming such victims” (Kotrla)
Two studies have revealed that “at least 70 percent of women involved in prostitution were introduced into the commercial sex industry before reaching 18 years of age. The average age at which children are being lured into commercial sexual exploitation is between 11 and 14, although some are as young as five.” (Kotrla)
“It is important to recognize that trafficking of thousands of American children for commercial exploitation would not exist if the demand for them were not present…this demand can be understood from the perspective of the trafficker, driven by greed and money, or from the consumer, driven by sexual desires.” Many traffickers are part of crime rings, or organized crime networks. The profits of this industry range from 32 billion to 91 billion thus it is easy to see why or how these traffickers are influenced to stay in the game. (Kotrla)
The four major markets for sex trafficking are Jamaca, the Netherlands, the United States, and Japan. “Each of these countries maintains a ‘culture of tolerance’ that supports flourishing sex trafficking markets…Researchers suggest that in the United States, which is shaped by a ‘culture that glamourizes pimping and prostitution’, growing numbers of children and youths are lured into commercial sex trade businesses ‘to service the demand resulting from the normalization and promotion of commercial sex across America’, resulting in what has essentially become a ‘shopping mall where buyers can choose from a variety of human products of various ages and colors.’” (Kotrla)
You can see this normalization in our culture by just taking a quick look around at the availability of items that embody pimping. Things such as “clothing, songs, television, video games, and other forms of entertainment.” (Kotrla) A quick online search will bring up “throwing a successful ‘pimp and ho’ party or download one of many free ring tones, including ‘Pimping All Over the World’ and ‘P.I.M.P.’…a show titled Pimp My Ride” along with a Wii game of the same name. There is even a free online game Keep Pimpin. “As a player you are a pimp and get to ‘slap your hoes, pimp the streets, kill the competition, and ally with your friends to take the pimp world by storm’…In each of these examples, which only scratch the surface of those that exist, being a ‘pimp’ is equated with being ‘cool’ and ‘winning.’” (Kotrla)
“In addition to those on the streets, America’s youngest also become victims through the Internet. Not only to traffickers advertise children online for sexual purposes through hundreds of Web sites, but they search for victims through social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace. In addition, traffickers publish legitimate appearing advertisements for employment or other opportunities as a means to lure victims into what in reality are commercial sex businesses.” (Kotrla)
For more information check out the additional videos and resources on the following two slides.
Inside the Lives of American Sex Slaves . Perf. ABCNews. n.d. YouTube (http://youtu.be/kvGGUsdDjB0).
Child Sex Trafficking Awareness Video (http://youtu.be/dlKBeF3Zh00). Perf. Shared Hope. n.d. YouTube (http://youtu.be/dlKBeF3Zh00).
Kotrla, Kimberly. "Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in the United States." Social Work (2010): 181-187.
Nefarious: Merchant of Souls Official Trailer . Perf. ExodusCryKC. n.d. YouTube (http://youtu.be/Q-VC8AUE3Bc).
Sex Trafficking: How it Works . Perf. CIRVideos. n.d. YouTube (http://youtu.be/ClOpws3XgwY).
StreetlightUSA. Streetlightusa.org. 27 September 2013. 27 September 2013.
The Price of Sex. Perf. CIRvideos. n.d. YouTube (http://youtu.be/9TwATdsE1ic).
The Price of Sex Trailer. Perf. CIRvideos. n.d. YouTube (http://youtu.be/3ZGPEclrEEM).