Sunday, July 21, 2013

"And Boys Too"... Commercial Sexual Exploitation

As I have been reading papers and research results on the human trade (human trafficking), I have noticed that many sources bring up the lack of data on men who are trafficked int the commercial sex industry.  And so, today I wanted to discuss something that people do not realize.

Males are also victims of sex trafficking.  

I also received an email from an ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking) intern informing me of new research which discusses the lack of data regarding boys as victims in sex trafficking.  I have screen shots of main points from their findings below.  I would also like to encourage you to read their research report, And Boys Too.

I was looking for information on male victims of sex slavery, I stumbled upon the website The Good Men ProjectOn this site I found an article, The Other 20%, which focused on boys and men in global sex slavery.  

"The Good Men Project is not so much a magazine as a social movement. 
We are fostering a national discussion centered around modern 
manhood and the question, “What does it mean to be a good man”?"

The above blurb from their about page reminded me how important it is that young men are educated on the realities of the commercial sex industry.  Don't get me wrong, I am aware that both women and men purchase sex.  However, when it comes to slavery, there would be no supply if there was no demand.  When it comes to sex slavery, this puts responsibility on the purchaser of sex, which overwhelmingly consists of men.  This is why it is key to be aware that purchasing sex from what may seem like a "voluntary prostitute,"  may not be voluntary at all and may be a victim of human trafficking.  As a purchaser it is extremely hard to tell the difference.  This is why I was pleased to see The Other 20% on The Good Men Project,  because this site is making a point to educate young men on human trafficking, and open their eyes to the truth to who the victims are.

It truly is astonishing to think that there are an estimated 20.9 million slaves internationally, according to Polaris Projectwhich is on the low end of other statistics I have seen.  

That makes an estimated 4.18 million male slaves 
in the (mostly) forced labor and sex industry!  

Boys are being purchased to be raped by both women and men.  Not just young girls and women.  A study done by The John Jay College and the Center for Court Innovation, The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in New York City in 2008, estimated that as high as 50% of the commercially sexually exploited children in the U.S. are boys.  Don't forget our brothers who are trapped in the sex trade.  As mentioned above, here are some snapshots from And Boys Too:

When learning and educating about human trafficking, please do not forget the boys and young men who are also victims of slavery...

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Being Groomed to Be Trafficked. It can happen to anyone. Is it happening to you?

Please visit Shared Hope International for more information on "Chosen"

Hello, it's Christine.  Today I want to focus on identifying signs that lead to sex trafficking.  Yes, human trafficking and sex trafficking are comprised of both supply and demand, and in order to help #EXITslavery we must help decrease both.  As I am doing research on the demand side of human trafficking, that is the people who are purchasing commercial sex acts from people that are victims even if they may not seem like they are, I am also learning about how young women come into being sex trafficked, the supply side. 

A P.I.M.P. is a Person In Marketing of Prostitutes.  In sex trafficking, the P.I.M.P. is the trafficker.  The trafficker knows how to groom young women, and men, into selling themselves for sex.  They do this so that the young woman or man eventually thinks she/he has made the choice to become a prostitute.  From there, the young woman or man is forced, not always physically, into becoming a prostitute and may be too scared by threats, psychological and/or physical, to leave.  This is also used to trick girls into pornography, another form of sex trafficking.  The average age of recruiting girls for "prostitution," which is actually sex trafficking, is 11-14 years old.  The younger the girls are, the more naive and vulnerable they are.

 Please read below and see if you or any of
your friends are being groomed, or "Chosen,"
to be sex trafficked.  If you catch this early
you can help save a life, it may even be your own!

Grooming young women for sex trafficking by traffickers follows Maslow's Hierarchy of needs.  As traffickers, they trick young women by following, identifying and fulfilling their needs then removing the source of fulfillment and creating a sense of dependency.  This is when traffickers push the young women and men into commercial sex.  Below is a chart from Shared Hope International that shows how a pimp might utilize Mazlow's theory.

Maslow Chart_Pimp
[ The following is taken from Shared Hope International ]
If you know or meet a girl who exhibits some of these signs, don’t be afraid to ask questions:
  • At risk of being homeless or running away from home
  • Severe family issues like drug addiction, alcoholism or abuse
  • Signs of fear, anxiety, depression, tension or nervousness
  • Hyper-vigilant or paranoid behavior
  • Interest in relationships with older men
  • Unexplained shopping trips or purchases of new clothing and/or jewelry, especially if the clothing is revealing or suggestive
  • A “boyfriend” who seems overly-concerned with her whereabouts or is otherwise controlling
If she is in trouble, you may be the only one who tries to intervene. If you need help or guidance, or want to report a suspected case of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888.373.7888.

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