The Evolution of Sex Trafficking

To say that sex trafficking is something of the late twentieth century would be a discredit to victims who’ve suffered hundreds of years ago. For centuries upon centuries, women have been objectified and scrutinized. Though the medium has changed, the degradation has remained the same and has even intensified.

Ugly origins
Modern day sex trafficking can be traced back to the story of Sara Baartman. Born in South Africa in 1790, Baartum was a tender 20 years of age when she was lured to Europe by a British military surgeon, who enticed her with fantasies of riches and fame. She was born a slave and thought that she would inevitably be escaping a life of servitude for one of freedom. Unfortunately upon her arrival to England, Baartman was put on display as a freak show. She was shackled and chained and left destitute. Soon after, she was transported to France where her life of misery continued.  Ravaged by disease, Bartmaan died at the age of 25, alone, thousands of miles away from family and everything familiar to her.

Baartman’s desire to escape is a feeling felt by many victims of sex trafficking. Unfortunately, young girls who deal with abuse in the home resort to running away because they can see no other resolution. Though, sex trafficking victims come from disadvantaged homes and affluent homes.

Modern day slavery
Out on the streets, victims are lured by pimps with gifts, shelter and food. Young girls’ minds are taken over by older men and ultimately pulled into “the life”. Girls as young as eleven are trafficked to grown men, raped and abused by their pimps, and left helpless. For some girls, escaping is not an option. For others, they feel this is their only way to survive, and give up the idea of leaving their pimps. Whatever the case, sex trafficking is rape.

Sex trafficking is the most common form of modern-day slavery and there are 1.39 million victims worldwide. The pimps are the major players in this industry, but we would be remiss without acknowledging a huge catalyst: paying customers.

The source
The sex trafficking industry is a billion dollar industry. Until stiffer penalties and laws are enacted, those who pay for sex, specifically sex with minors – which I must reiterate is rape – will continue to pollute our communities. In states such as California, Proposition 35 pushes mandates that impose stiffer penalties on ALL parties involved, except the victims.

The major issue is that currently, young girls are being arrested and prosecuted. Girls, who are being raped, are also being arrested and prosecuted. This is why we need a drastic intervention and a drastic revamping of our current legal system.

Sex trafficking is a global crisis, and cutting off the source is the first step in healing. The point we aim to stress is that these young girls are victims. The education of law enforcement must continue. Stiffer penalties must be enacted. Our daughters and sisters need us. We need to begin the discussion and begin to take action.

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