The New York City Price of Life Invitational scheduled for fall 2013 is a city-wide, campus-based, faith-inspired campaign addressing human trafficking in all its forms, sponsored by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, World Vision, and a diverse coalition of organizations.
Posts tagged prostitution
Don’t fall for lies about prostitution
Rob McKenna, Washington State Attorney General, writing in the Huffington Post about a disturbing trend of glamorizing prostitution and ignoring the violence and exploitation that often characterize the reality, gives the concerned public a tip on how to respond:
What may be done? The answer lies in public opinion. Over the years, views about drunken driving and domestic violence shifted for the better. Speak with your children about the reality, versus the Hollywood-spun fantasy, of human trafficking. We must also demand that websites such as Backpage.com cease the advertising of human beings. State attorneys general are leading the fight, pressing Backpage.com to abandon so-called “adult services” ads. But you can help. Participate in any of the letter-writing campaigns and boycotts aimed at Backpage.com owner Village Voice. Businesses, both large and small, should resist associating with a company profiting from human exploitation.
Jennifer Love Hewitt, explaining why she didn’t need to research her character for Lifetime’s new show Client List, about women providing special (illegal) services at a massage parlor.
The show portrays her as initially reluctant to provide “special” (illegal) services, but as Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna writes,
[a]fter a change of heart, Riley receives a new class of customers: handsome, appreciative young men. Hewitt’s character proclaims, “I may not have been able to save my marriage but I’m going to save my family.”
McKenna then quotes an actual former prostitute describing her own experience:
“I have been fortunate to survive having my ear cut off, my face rebuilt, my bones broken, being hit and run over by a car — all my teeth knocked out … “
Click through for the rest of McKenna’s excellent editorial about how the entertainment industry glamorizes a violent and exploitative reality.
How do we fight human trafficking locally?
An aggressive mix of law enforcement and social services is the right approach. Add a vigorous push against the Internet’s profitable online sex-advertising market… .
If the local sheriff makes it clear that this is his priority, you’ll see everyone respond to that… .
Part of the challenge will be changing the public’s perception of prostitution as a victimless crime. Girls as young as 14 are forced into a life that doesn’t come close to the life depicted by actress Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman.”
Click through to read this engaging, practical column exploring how Washington State is taking action. What’s happening in your state?
Child sex trafficking victims receive money from sale of former brothel
In one of the first cases nationwide to provide such restitution, a federal judge in Texas recently ruled that the victims would benefit from the sale of the traffickers’ “ramshackle real estate empire,” 10 buildings and lots valued at just over $600,000.
The funds will be divided equally among five underage victims … but older women commercially sexually exploited in the same brothels are not eligible for assistance:
[The judge] excluded nine other women in their 20s and 30s from benefiting in his decision, though federal officials had argued they too had been beaten, threatened and used by the same criminal group. [The judge] said he was unable to determine how much each woman had collected in cash as a prostitute - willing or not.
“Some of them may have had horrendous experiences, incredible pain and economic deprivation - others may have profited substantially - I have no way of determining that,” declared [the judge], who said he was troubled by evidence that some government “victims” married or had children by traffickers.
Click through for more info.
Why doesn’t she just leave?
Have you ever wondered why a trafficking victim would stay with her trafficker? Why someone who is being abused doesn’t run away? Why a victim may find it difficult to testify against her abuser?
Read this first person account by a trafficking survivor for a fuller picture of this complex question.
By the time the trafficker spotted me in that New Jersey shopping mall, I had already been broken down.
As traffickers are skilled predators, they look for girls that are withdrawn and quiet. They prey upon minors with emotional brokenness as my trafficker did in late June, 1992, soon after my eighth grade middle school graduation.
Child sexual abuse paralyzes many children with the inability to differentiate a healthy relationship from an exploitative one. I, too, thought that exploitive relationships were the norm. Prior to meeting my trafficker, I was already used to relationships based on deception.
Many victims do not understand their fundamental right to say “No.” They often fail to understand ownership over their bodies. I didn’t run away when my trafficker demanded that I agree to prostitute.
This was not because I wanted to stay but rather because I didn’t understand that I had another option.
Proposed Hawaii laws to assist trafficking survivors
Little more than a year ago, Hawaii was one of only four states in the country without an anti-human trafficking law. Today, our state stands on the precipice of becoming a national anti-trafficking leader.
Hawaii is poised to pass an assortment of new laws that will protect commercially exploited minors and provide services to survivors. The Senate is considering bills that would, among other things:
- Require places most likely to participate in human trafficking to exhibit a poster displaying the national human trafficking hotline number.
- Allow sex trafficking victims to petition to have prostitution-related convictions and arrests vacated from public records if the violations were the result of force, fraud, or coercion.
- Immunize minors acting as a prostitute from prosecution for prostitution charges (patrons and pimps may still be prosecuted, however).
- Create a task force charged with crafting a comprehensive state plan for furnishing coordinated services to human trafficking survivors.
Read the full article for more about the proposed laws and how they could transform trafficking in Hawaii.