18 October 2016
Cause and Effects of the War on Sex Trafficking
Hollywood’s contribution to causing this war can be most obviously seen in the movie, “Taken,” in which we see a beautiful innocent girl kidnapped and sold as some kind of sex slave. Then Lifetime picked up the torch, creating made-for-television afterschool specials about human trafficking, watched by millions. The stereotypes sex workers have been fighting against for years are easy to accept, to pick up and embellish, which of course the media and politicians wasted little time in doing, although this is not a new issue. However, the hype was encouraged, the media became outraged, and stopping this horrific crime became the darling project of political activists, prostitution and pornography abolitionists, police departments, and religious groups around the globe.
The war on sex trafficking has become a modern day crusade, with politicians and lawmakers riding into war to fight a battle that is often of their own creation, and driven by ideals that are rooted in personal moral values now being forced upon others. These people have created an industry that may have begun with good intentions but has grown into a monster. This is not to say that trafficking and exploitation in the sex industry does not exist, it certainly does, but this so called war has forgotten or willfully cast aside the variable that is individual human thought.
This war has created a rescue industry hell bent on “saving” women that may not in fact need saving. These crusading knights in shining armor arrest those they claim to save, and then label them “victim”, ignoring any opposition they may attempt. As a woman, this is a direct violation of the rights my sex fought so hard for, to be treated equal, to be assumed unless proven otherwise to possess the mental capacity to be aware of my own victimization, or lack thereof. The war that police and anti-prostitution activists claim is saving women from coercion and exploitation is itself coercing and exploiting these women, yet believing itself justified, because the women in question are not viewed as human beings with capacity for individual choice, but as victims.
This over-hyped crusade has created even more dangerous working conditions, and has imprisoned hundreds if not thousands of innocent people in our country alone, simply for being associated with a prostitute, and has denied millions of women’s rights as citizens of this free country.
The police and the prosecutors are potentially wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money and distorting facts while trying to find the elusive “victims” of a crime that is being grossly over prosecuted: promoting prostitution (which can mean profit of any amount being in the possession of anyone other than the sex worker, or providing any assistance whatsoever to the sex worker, including transportation). Boyfriends, friends, anyone that a girl might have depended on to be able to call in an emergency, are now being charged with a heinous crime, which in turn causes the sex worker to work alone, or without any resource should she run into a dangerous situation.
Police departments around the country receive grants from the federal government to fight sex trafficking. So it stands to reason, that when they don’t find any “forced against their will” prostitute victims, they make them up, so that they won’t lose funding. Many women are not forced into prostitution, they are willing and want to do this type of work, and some go out of their way to do it. It is a vast sum of fast, easy money, and you don’t need a degree or a green card to earn it.
But the government has created an enticing incentive for a demographic that is often preconditioned to accept victimization, especially when it can be so obviously beneficial. All a girl has to do is say someone forced her to do it (a favorite excuse since we were children, but not a valid one until now) and she can avoid criminal charges. This is often the beginning of the end of an innocent person’s freedom.
For example, if an illegal alien is the “victim”, all she has to do is lie and, based on the U.S. anti-traffic prostitution laws: She does not have to go to jail or be arrested; she gets to stay and live in America; the U.S. government will provide her with housing, food, and education;
she will be considered a victimed refugee, and can become an American citizen.
And for the independent, self-sufficient, smart, working girl in the world, trying to stay safe as she tries to put food in her belly, there is no one to whom she can turn should a client become violent, without putting that person at risk of prison. She cannot give her mother money for groceries or to help her pay rent, without jeopardizing her mother’s freedom. She must drive herself to any appointments, alone, or risk the other person in the car going to jail. If she does not want to risk the danger in driving alone to a strange man’s home, she must still receive her client somewhere without anyone else present, even another working girl, or risk the other person potentially being charged with a crime.
Prostitution is already the second most dangerous job in our country, second only in death rate to a convenience store clerk. Yet since this war has become nearly a hysteria, whatever minimal security may have saved her in the past, is no longer a viable option if nobody she knows is willing to take the risk involved by any association with her. So how long until the sex industry takes first place?
The effects of this war continue to grow, and the coercion and injustice is unceasing. Its underlying causes are truly tragic, and those involved should be punished accordingly, but there absolutely must be a better way to investigate and separate them from the rest. This modern day crusade is a clear violation of the freedom that our country stands for.