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Forced Labor and Sex Trafficking
In episode 3 part 1 we obtained a better understanding of ‘human trafficking.’ For instance, we learned the definition of ‘human trafficking,’ with clarity from The State.gov Policy Issues for Human Trafficking. In other words, modern-day slavery and trafficking in persons are common terms the International Labor Organization, activists, and independent researchers use when referring to both forced labor and sex trafficking.
Sex Trafficking and the Adult Entertainment Industry
Presently most people just aren’t aware of the clear meaning of ‘human trafficking.’ So they have not connected the dots between it and the sex industry. As a result, the misconception is that all adult entertainment workers [in pornographic content, strip clubs, and brothels] are willing participants. The most common belief is that all of the people in porn videos, brothels, and strip clubs are consenting adults who actually choose to work in the sex industry.
In fact, traffickers use tactics such as coercion, force, or threats of physical violence towards sex workers or their families just to make a profit. The traffickers also use current victims to recruit new unsuspecting targets.
The Pornographic Industry and Human Trafficking Work Hand and Hand
According to the article, The Porn Industry Is Modern-Day Slavery’: How Pornography and Sex Trafficking Are Linked by Luke Gibbons, sex trafficking and the pornographic industry are linked. Again, traffickers use different methods to obtain victims.
For example, they present porn as a glamorous career that could make the eager target, rich and famous. The traffickers present the most beautiful women as the face of the adult film industry. The women claim to love what they do and that they get paid well for doing it.
Unfortunately, that is not true for the majority of porn workers who traffickers forced to pretend they are enjoying the sex acts and that they are doing those acts of their own free will.
In fact, an ex-porn star told CBNNEWS.com, “Women are lured in, coerced and forced to do sex acts they never agreed to do… [and given] drugs and alcohol to help get [them] through hardcore scenes…The porn industry is modern-day slavery.”
Why Should Sex Trafficking Concern Us?
So, you may ask, “Why should I be concerned about sex trafficking; I’m not tangled up in that criminal behavior?” Well, I’m so glad you asked. In episode 3 we also discussed a story from the article, The Porn Industry and Human Trafficking Reinforced Each Other by Marlo Safi. The writer gave an eye-opening example of how the pornographic industry exploits and directly informs what happens to trafficked victims.
Safi shared an example of just how the pornographic industry indeed exploits victims in the previously mentioned article. Safi reported how editors of a popular porn magazine featured a multi-page lay-out of a young mentally handicapped woman.
Her captors held her prisoner and violently and sexually abused her for seven years. During that seven-year period, the victimizers photographed her performing hardcore sexual acts. Therefore, if people do the following;
- Buy porn magazines
- Watch porn online, and buy videos
- Go to strip clubs
whether it is occasionally or on a regular basis, they unknowingly contribute to the demand for more adult content.
People are the commodity of Human Trafficking
In other words, the sex industry places a demand for more individuals to perform sexual acts. Therefore, traffickers use any means necessary to meet that demand. Such as promising young women fame and fortune to work in strip clubs or perform in porn films.
Money also lures some women to work in brothels. More often than not, the women later find out the person who made the promises of money and fame, deceived them. By then, they are trapped in the situation. And let’s not forget, traffickers also target homeless teens and incarcerated women.
Again, criminals are not above using force to keep the cash flowing in. They have no problem with kidnapping women and children to fulfill the demand to produce more sexually explicit content. As we learned in episode 3, traffickers bring in 99 billion dollars a year from sexual exploitation per the International Labor Organization.
In a CBNNEWS.COM report, journalist JH Westen said that a tremendous clientele for sex traffickers is being created daily in homes, apartments, and college dorms countrywide. He said the problem stems from the porn industry training America’s men to think that disturbing and violent pornography is sexually fine or the norm.
You see, most men were exposed to porn by the age of 13 and therefore have been desensitized. Again, America is the No. 1 consumer of sex worldwide–obviously, there is nothing human traffickers won’t do to continue their yearly multi-billion-dollar cashflow.
So, the answer to the question, “Why should I be concerned about sex trafficking?” Well, we should all be concerned. Because, according to the Nationalreview.com article, last year people watching free online porn contributed to the over 28.5 billion views of pornography.
As a result, pornography directly drives what happens to the women and children [child sex trafficking] the traffickers exploit. And even though American men are the largest consumer base of pornographic content, traffickers also sexually exploit homosexual men and transgender individuals.
Always Be Aware of Your Surrounding
Equally important, women especially need to always be aware of their surroundings. Lady V shares how she saw a story on social media. A lady was warning women to be aware when out and about. The woman shared how she noticed two men following her in a store and it gave her an uneasy feeling.
Lady V suggests that we all pay attention to our God-given instincts. She agrees with Dr. Phil when he said that animals follow their instincts and run away from danger. But, on the other hand, human beings run headfirst into danger.
Mental Health Counseling
When human trafficking survivors are rescued out of captivity, there’s a process of healing that they need to go through. They need mental health counseling. In the area of mental health, human trafficking survivors often experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with the following symptoms:
- Depression-feeling hopeless and broken
- Anxiety-constantly in a state of fear
- Night Terrors-recurrent memories
- Panic Attacks
- Burst of Anger
- Relationship Troubles-issues trusting others
- Identity Issues-self-worth and low self-esteem
For the above reasons, survivors feel as if they are drowning in negative emotions. They are in need of extensive mental health counseling from professionals trained in the area of PTSD.
Now because Lady V and I view life from a biblical perspective, we believe that in addition to mental health counseling, human trafficking survivors also need spiritual healing. And we believe that God is the only one to truly mend the broken in spirit, soul, and body. ‘But how?’ you might ask. Well, we believe healing is readily available through His son Jesus Christ.
Ok, ok; you may be someone who does not believe in God. You see, the beautiful thing about Him is that He is the perfect gentleman. God does not force Himself on anyone. He wants you to choose Him of your own free will. He is patiently waiting with opened arms for His creation to come unto Him through Jesus. Take it from me, you have everything to gain.
The Best Way to End Sex Trafficking
In closing, activists say the best way to end sex trafficking, is preventing it. As we have learned, traffickers are making 99 billion dollars a year on sexual exploitation alone. Therefore, if there is no longer a demand for sexually explicit content then the traffickers would no longer need human supply. They would no longer lure people or worst yet; kidnap unsuspecting persons [a mother, wife, sister, or child] from anyplace–anywhere.
Lastly, we have presented quite a bit of information in both episodes 3 and 4. We just want people to keep in mind that the sex industry as a whole, works hand and hand with the trafficking of victims. And those victims are someone’s family. Know this, it is not our intention to judge anyone who chooses to watch or purchase pornography.
Just remember though, when you do click to watch porn, somebody out there is being trafficked to fulfill the demand for all those clicks to watch sexually explicit content.
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National Human Trafficking Hotline
Need help? United States:
1 (888) 373-7888
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish, and 200 more languages
Text HELP to 233733 (BEFREE)
Living in Freedom Together (LIFT)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Office on Trafficking in Persons
McCain Institute’s Human Trafficking Advisory Council
Children of the Night operate a 24-hour, nationwide, toll-free hotline to help children still on the streets.
Call (800) 551-1300
The National Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Program
SOAR Online provides education for social workers, health care providers, behavioral health professionals, and public health professionals. The training includes two main areas; how to identify, treat, and appropriately respond to individuals who have been trafficked and how to spot those persons who are at risk for trafficking.