Friday, June 3, 2011

Sex Trafficking of Americans: The Girls Next Door - 300,000 young American girls

"There are more young American girls entering the commercial sex industry—an estimated 300,000 at this moment—and their ages have been dropping drastically. "

“we’re still in the Dark Ages with trafficking because, unlike incest, rape, and domestic battering, trafficking generates massive revenues—$32 billion a year worldwide.”

these articles may have graphic descriptions of these crimes

Sex Trafficking of Americans: The Girls Next Door
By Amy Fine Collins May 24, 2011

....In the Sex Crimes Bureau of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, in the pediatric division of Fort Bragg’s Womack Army Medical Center, in the back alleys of Waterbury, Connecticut, and in the hallways of Hartford’s Community Court, Assistant D.A. Rhonnie Jaus, forensic pediatrician Dr. Sharon Cooper, ex-streetwalker Louise, and Judge Curtissa Cofield have all simultaneously and independently noted the same disturbing phenomenon. There are more young American girls entering the commercial sex industry—an estimated 300,000 at this moment—and their ages have been dropping drastically.

“The average starting age for prostitution is now 13,” says Rachel Lloyd, executive director of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (gems), a Harlem-based organization that rescues young women from “the life.” Says Judge Cofield, who formerly presided over Hartford’s Prostitution Protocol, a court-ordered rehabilitation program, “I call them the Little Barbies.”

The explanations offered for these downwardly expanding demographics are various, and not at all mutually exclusive. Dr. Sharon Cooper believes that the anti-intellectual, consumerist, hyper-violent, and super-eroticized content of movies (Hustle & Flow), reality TV (Cathouse), video games (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City), gangsta rap (Nelly’s “Tip Drill”), and cyber sites (Second Life: Jail Bait) has normalized sexual harm. “History is repeating itself, and we’re back to treating women and children as chattel,” she says. “It’s a sexually toxic era of ‘pimpfantwear’ for your newborn son and thongs for your five-year-old daughter.” Additionally, Cooper cites the breakdown of the family unit (statistically, absent or abusive parents compounds risk) and the emergence of vast cyber-communities of like-minded deviant individuals, who no longer have disincentives to act on their most destructive predatory fantasies. Krishna Patel, assistant U.S. attorney in Bridgeport, Connecticut, invokes the easy money.

Criminals have learned, often in prison—where “macking” memoirs such as Iceberg Slim’s Pimp are best-sellers—that it’s become more lucrative and much safer to sell malleable teens than drugs or guns. A pound of heroin or an AK-47 can be retailed once, but a young girl can be sold 10 to 15 times a day—and a “righteous” pimp confiscates 100 percent of her earnings....

Introduced and signed into law under the Clinton administration, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. 1591, covers labor trafficking as well as sex trafficking, but only when a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or when the person induced to perform such an act is a minor, under 18....

The unlikely trafficking-abolitionist coalition—consisting of secular social-justice advocates, faith-based groups, black activists, second- and fourth-wave feminists, liberals, conservatives, Democrats, and Republicans—shares a peculiar adversary in the form of trafficking skeptics, coming largely from the left. The Nation, for example, ridiculed the “‘sex slave’ panic,” and both Slate and City Pages questioned the alarming statistics published by the Department of Justice, the State Department, and non–government organizations such as ecpat and the Salvation Army.

“All the numbers we have on trafficking are inaccurate,” avows Deirdre Bialo-Padin, chief of the domestic-violence bureau of the Brooklyn D.A.’s office. “They’re too low. It’s an underreported crime. Who is going to raise her hand and say, ‘Hi, I’m a trafficking victim!’ when her family has been threatened? With the right laws in place, we will get harder numbers.” For victim advocates, saying that trafficking in America isn’t a problem is akin to J. Edgar Hoover saying the Mafia doesn’t exist. Melissa Farley believes “we’re still in the Dark Ages with trafficking because, unlike incest, rape, and domestic battering, trafficking generates massive revenues—$32 billion a year worldwide.”....

Scates had noticed that the X-rated classifieds in the back of The Hartford Advocate had dwindled slightly, she hoped as a result of the task force’s valiant efforts. But she quickly caught on that a new, tech-savvy generation of pimps was filling the void by merchandising girls on Craigslist (in September 2010 the site succumbed to pressure to remove its adult-services section, which was expected to earn $44 million last year); on Backpage.com (owned by Village Voice Media); or via theeroticreview.com. Females on theeroticreview.com are rated for consumers—ostensibly by “hobbyists” but more often than not, victims say, by their ever shrewder pimps. With the help of untraceable, prepaid cell phones and credit cards, this futuristic breed of trafficker can....obliterate any paper trail. “....

the theory behind the Sex Purchase Law in Sweden. As of 1999, johns are punished by up to six months’ imprisonment, traffickers are locked up for 2-to-10-year hits, and prostitutes are offered medical care, education, and housing. As a result, prostitution has been reduced by 50 percent in Sweden, and the purchase of sex, which is understood to be a human-rights abuse, has decreased by 75 percent. In contrast, Europol studies show, nations such as Holland and Australia, where prostitution has been legalized, have become lucrative, low-risk magnets for international sex-slave drivers and organized crime..... http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2011/05/sex-trafficking-201105


Sex Trafficking: The Girls Next Door
By James R. Marsh on June 2, 2011
Vanity Fair has a great story about child sex trafficking and prostitution in All-American Hartford, Connecticut. Here's an edited excerpt of this excellent piece:

There are more young American girls entering the commercial sex industry—an estimated 300,000 at this moment—and their ages have been dropping drastically. “The average starting age for prostitution is now 13,” says Rachel Lloyd, executive director of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (gems), a Harlem-based organization that rescues young women from “the life.”

The explanations offered for these downwardly expanding demographics are various, and not at all mutually exclusive. Dr. Sharon Cooper believes that “history is repeating itself, and we’re back to treating women and children as chattel,” she says. “It’s a sexually toxic era of ‘pimpfantwear’ for your newborn son and thongs for your five-year-old daughter.” Additionally, Cooper cites the breakdown of the family unit (statistically, absent or abusive parents compounds risk) and the emergence of vast cyber-communities of like-minded deviant individuals, who no longer have disincentives to act on their most destructive predatory fantasies. http://www.childlaw.us/2011/06/sex-trafficking-the-girls-next.html


Colin McEnroe Show: 'Sex Trafficking Of Americans' How is prostitution treated in Connecticut? By Colin McEnroe Published: Jun 01, 2011

....But the story of Connecticut's human sex trafficking ring is not as distant as 19th-century London. It's a story of right here, right now, maybe a girl you saw walking across the parking lot as you drove past a motel in the Meadows or on the Berlin Turnpike. She's young, and maybe even something about the way she's dressed makes you think, "She's a hooker."

What might not occur to you is how young the woman is and how trapped into the trade. Some of those young women, right here, right now, have been bought and sold so that they can be forced to do a smaller, seamier version of the buying and selling of themselves. http://www.yourpublicmedia.org/content/wnpr/colin-mcenroe-show-sex-trafficking-americans

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