Sex Trafficking

                      Shared hope International            http://www.sharedhope.org/learn/faqs/

 

Sex trafficking is when a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion. A commercial

sex act means any item of value is traded for any sexual service (prostitution, pornography, or

sexual performance). Domestic minor sex trafficking is the commercial sexual exploitation of

children, under 18 years old, within U.S. borders for monetary or other  compensation (shelter,

food, drugs, etc.). This is synonymous with child sex slavery, sex slavery, child sex trafficking,

prostitution of children, and commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). 

At least 100,000 American children are being exploited through pornography or prostitution

every year. The average age a child is first exploited through prostitution is 13 years old, though

children as young as infants have been identified in pornography.

 

Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) sex trafficking requires force, fraud or coercion

UNLESS the victim is a minor. Any minor used in a commercial sex act (the exchange of any item

of value for a sex act) IS a victim of trafficking, regardless of their willingness or desire to engage in

the sex act.

 

Traffickers and pimps use physical, emotional, and psychological abuse to coerce young women

and girls into a life of sex trafficking. Traffickers are master manipulators and employ tactics to create a trauma bond between the victim and trafficker. Traffickers often use the threat of violence against victim or a victim’s loved one to secure their submission.

 

Many pimps often use a “lover-boy” technique to recruit girls from middle and high schools. A lover-boy will present himself as a boyfriend and woo the girl with gifts, promises of fulfilled dreams, protection, adventure – whatever she perceives she is lacking. After securing her love and loyalty, he will force her into prostitution.

 

Age is the primary factor of vulnerability. Pre-teen or adolescent girls are more susceptible to the calculated advances, deception, and manipulation tactics used by traffickers/pimps – no youth is exempt from falling prey to these tactics. Traffickers target locations youth frequent such as schools, malls, parks, bus stops, shelters and group homes. Runaway, homeless or previously sexual abused youth also may have an increased risk of becoming vulnerable to traffickers.

 

A pimp is another name for a sex trafficker. Pimps or traffickers are those who profit by receiving cash or other benefits in exchange for the sexual use of a minor by another person. The buyers of sex from juveniles can be anyone – professionals, students, tourists, military personnel, a family member. Because buyers often pay in cash and may interact with a victim for as little as five minutes, buyers are increasingly difficult to identify.

THE NUMBERS

In 2012, the (UNODC) United Nations Office on Drugs and

Crime reports the percentage of child victims had risen in a

3 year span from 20% to 27%. Of every three child victims,

two are girls and one is a boy. Gender and age profile of

victims globally:

  • 59% Women

  • 14% Men

  • 17% Girls

  • 10% were boys

 

600,000 to 800,000 women, children and men bought and

sold across international borders every year and exploited

for forced labor or commercial sex (U.S. Government).

  • When international trafficking victims are added to the                                                                                                                    estimates, the number of victims annually is in the range                                                                                                                          of 2 to 4 million

  • 50% of those victims are estimated to be children

  • It is estimated that 76% of transactions for sex with                                                                                                                            underage girls start on the Internet

  • 2 million children are subjected to prostitution in the                                                                                                                              global commercial sex trade (UNICEF)

  • There are 20.9 million victims of Trafficking World wide                                                                                                                                  as of 2012

  • 1.5 million victims in the United States 

 

THE IMPACT

Human Trafficking has surpassed the illegal sale of arms.

  • Trafficking will surpass the illegal sale of drugs in the next                                                                                                                          few years

  • Drugs are used once and they are gone, but victims of                                                                                                                              child trafficking can be used and abused over and over

  • A $32 billion-a-year industry, human trafficking is on the                                                                                                                              rise and is in all 50 states (U.S. Government)

  • 4.5 million of trafficked persons are sexually exploited

  • Up to 300,000 Americans under 18 are lured into the                                                                                                                    commercial sex trade every year

  • 14,500 to 17,500 of those victims are trafficked into the                                                                                                                                United States each year

 

ACCORDING TO NON-GOVERNMENTAL U.S. SOURCES

The average victim’s age is 11 to 14.

  • Approx 80% are women and children bought, sold and imprisoned in the underground sex service industry

  • Average life span of a victim is 3 to 7 years (found dead from attack, abuse, HIV and other STD's, malnutrition, overdose or suicide)

  • The largest group of at-risk children are runaway, thrown away, or homeless American children who use survival sex to acquire food, shelter, clothing, and other things needed to survive on America's streets. According to the National Runaway Switchboard  1.3 million runaway and homeless youth live on America's streets every day. [5,000 die each year] It would not be surprising to learn that the number of children trafficked in the United States is actually much higher than 300,000.

 

Children are often targeted by traffickers as they are deemed easier to manipulate than adults. More money can be earned by younger girls and boys exploited in sexual exploitation, especially virgins. Pre-pubescent girls are reported to be injected with hormones to bring on puberty. Younger girls are expected to have a greater earning potential, and as such are in greater demand.

 

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL CONSEQUENCES OF TRAFFICKING FOR VICTIMS

Child victims of human trafficking face significant problems. Often physically and sexually abused, they have distinctive medical and psychological needs that must be addressed before advancing in the formative years of adulthood.

  • Child victims of exploitation can face a number of long-term health problems:

  • Sleeping and eating disorders

  • Sexually transmitted diseases

  • HIV/AIDS, pelvic pain, rectal trauma and urinary difficulties from working in the sex industry

  • Drug addiction

  • Chronic back, hearing, cardiovascular or respiratory problems from endless days toiling in dangerous agriculture, sweatshop or construction conditions

  • Fear and anxiety

  • Depression, mood changes

  • Guilt and shame

  • Cultural shock from finding themselves in a strange country

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Traumatic bonding with the trafficker (Stockholm Syndrome)

 

PULL FACTORS

Demand for cheap labor and for prostituted women, girls, and boys is the primary "pull" factor. Common push and pull factors exploited by traffickers include:

  • Unemployment and perceived job opportunities overseas (into the U.S.)

  • Unhappy home situation: The victim may be in an abusive situation, their family may be in debt, or there may be an addict in the family

  • Relatives and friends live in the destination country

  • Returning migrants, legal and illegal, say they have made a better living for themselves

 

Sex buyers are far more complicit in the victimization of sex trafficking victims. Sex tourism and child pornography have become worldwide industries, facilitated by technologies such as the Internet, which vastly expand the choices available to pedophiles and permit instant and nearly undetectable transactions. 

 

TRAFFICKING VICTIMS

  • Child trafficking victims, like other child victims, come from many backgrounds and include both boys and girls across a wide range of ages

  • Children are trafficked to the U.S. from all regions of the world and represent a variety of different races, ethnic groups and religions

  • They may be brought to the U.S. legally or smuggled in

  • Internationally trafficked children, especially adolescents, may be lured overseas to the U.S. through the promise of work or school and the opportunity to send money back to their families

  • Children are also vulnerable to kidnappers, pimps, and professional brokers

  • Some children are sold to traffickers by their families, who may or may not have an understanding of what will happen to the child

  • U.S. citizen children may also be trafficked within the U.S., and come from multiple racial groups and socio-economic backgrounds

 

Needs of Rescued Trafficking Victims:

RUNAWAYS:

Many youth, especially U.S. citizen children trafficked within the U.S., runaway from problems at home and may be exploited as a result of emotional vulnerability, homelessness and the need to survive. Youth who run away from home and engage in "survival sex" often find themselves vulnerable to pimps and traffickers involved in prostitution networks. Approximately 55% of street girls, and a good percentage of boys, engage in formal prostitution and some think it is much higher than that. This means that a child client who has been homeless or living on the street for any amount of time has a great likelihood of having been sexually exploited or trafficked.

The sexual exploitation of children is not limited to particular racial, ethnic or socioeconomic groups, although children from poor families appear to be at somewhat higher risk of commercial sexual exploitation. In fact, most of the street children encountered in the study were Caucasian youths who had run away from middle-class families. One clear theme is the proportionate number of street youth who have histories or recurrent physical or sexual abuse at home and took to the streets in a desperate effort to bring their abuse to an end.

According to these researchers, child exploitation in the United States affects as many boys as girls, but boys are less well-served by social service and law enforcement systems because of the widespread belief that boys are better able than girls to fend for themselves. Without intervention, research has shown many boys shift from being victims of sexual abuse to victimizing other boys and girls as pimps and traffickers.

 

RECRUITED CHILDREN:

People are recruited in several different ways such as through fake employment agencies, acquaintances, newspaper ads, front businesses, word of mouth or abduction. Traffickers may be neighbors, friends, returnees, agricultural operators, owners of small businesses, diplomats and even families. Increasingly, however, the traffickers are organized crime syndicates, often in collaboration with corrupt law enforcement entities, government officials or employers, who may use several intermediaries from the first point of contact to the final destination of the victim. It the victim is transported, they use both legal and illegal means of transport and various techniques to keep their victim enslaved.

They may keep them under lock and key or in isolation from the public and from their family members or support networks, confiscate their passports or identification documents, use the threat of violence against the enslaved person or their families, threaten them with shame, fear of imprisonment or deportation, and control their money.

The psychological effects of torture are helplessness, shame and humiliation, shock, denial and disbelief, disorientation and confusion, and anxiety disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias, panic attacks and depression. Victims may experience Traumatic Bonding (Stockholm Syndrome) - a form of coercive control in which the perpetrator instills in the victim fear as well as gratitude for being allowed to live or for any other perceived favors, however small.

 

7 Reasons It’s Necessary to Join the Fight Against Human Trafficking

1. HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS THE THIRD LARGEST INTERNATIONAL CRIME INDUSTRY

    (BEHIND ILLEGAL DRUGS AND ARMS TRAFFICKING)

     According to U.S. Federal Law, sex trafficking is defined as a trafficking situation where a commercial sex act is induced by force, 

     fraud or coercion or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age.

2. HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS A $32 BILLION A YEAR INDUSTRY WORLDWIDE

     To put that into perspective, Justin Bieber is worth $200 million (according to Wikipedia.) That is the net worth from his career not

     per year. Human trafficking is a $32 BILLION A YEAR industry.

3. SOME GIRLS (OR BOYS) ARE SOLD BY THEIR PIMPS UP TO 20 TIMES A NIGHT.

     This causes serious damage and deterioration to the human body and can have a lasting traumatic impact on the victim who may

      require severe medical attention and even reproductive surgery after being rescued.

4. HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS PRESENT IN ALL 50 STATES.

     Even though the Polaris Project names California, Texas, Florida and New York as the four biggest human trafficking states in

     America, it happens in EVERY SINGLE STATE.

5. LEGISLATION FOR THE ISSUE IS LACKING. SOME VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING ARE CONSIDERED

    “PROSTITUTES” AND ARE THEREFORE CHARGED AS SUCH WITH CURRENT LAW.

     This can cause fear and be used as a tactic by pimps to keep their victims from seeking help from law enforcement to get out.

6. 8 DAYS, A FULL LENGTH FEATURE FILM, GIVES A REALISTIC LOOK INTO THE MODERN WORLD OF

    HUMAN TRAFFICKING. THE VICTIM AND TRAFFICKER ARE ALWAYS CHANGING.

     Now that you know the crime exists, it’s time to do something. Raising awareness is only the beginning. The demand for children

     for sex must stop, buyers must be prosecuted for their crimes and victims must be set free.

7. 8 DAYS FILM WAS CREATED AS A TOOL TO RAISE AWARENESS. SEX TRAFFICKING HAPPENS EVERY

    DAY, ALL AROUND US.

     Proceeds from sales and merchandise go to organizations that support victims and fight this crime.

What is PORNOGRAHY?

 

Porn is any material that is designed to stimulate

erotic feelings in a person.

20% of pornographic images are of children; 55% of child pornography

comes from the U.S. The sale of child pornography in the U.S. has

become more than a $3 billion annual industry. In a study of 932 sex

addicts, 90% of the men, and 77% of the women indicated that looking

at pornography “played a significant role in their addiction.” Viewing

pornography essentially rewires the brain & drastically influences how

dopamine & other chemicals are received & used in the brain. 

(“Wired For Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain”)

The internet has been a boon to the pornography industry.
  *  More than 4.2 million porn web sites are 
      accessible. 
   *  The sites generate and estimated $1 to $7
       billion a year in revenue.
   *  72 million estimated visitors to porn web sites
       monthly.
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