6 March 2014
Not For Sale: The Fight to Stop Human Trafficking
Jillian Mourning was a nineteen year old typical girl-next door, straight-A student. She was a cheerleader in high-school and was beginning to make a name for herself in the modeling world. She was in Arizona for a modeling job. In the middle of the night, three men, including her modeling manager, came into her room and raped her while taking videos and photographs. When she arrived back in her hometown, she tried to put the traumatic event behind her. Soon she received a call from her manager who was threatening to sell the photographs and videos to a website if she did not become part of the human trafficking industry and have sex with men for money (Trafficked). Jillian was just one of the 100,000 victims of sex trafficking in America. (Seidenberg par 2) Human Trafficking is a global issue that profits over thirty two billion dollars. To end this modern day slavery problem, we need to do three things: educate men on how to stand up for the women who are victimized by trafficking, increase the punishment of traffickers to the death penalty, and cooperate with other countries and organizations to help trafficking refugees.
Sex Trafficking is all about supply and demand. If there are men out there demanding to have paid sex with women and children, traffickers will supply them with slaves. Since there is more of a demand for paid sex and less supply of willing people to have sex for money, traffickers have to kidnap, coerce, and brainwash women, men, and children as young as five years old (Why Trafficking Exists par 1) . To end sex trafficking, we must end the demand from men. We should target men and educate them on how to stand-up and fight against sexual exploitation. Anti-trafficking organizations could put together educational classes and invite men from the community to participate and learn more about this industry. Empowering men to be the “good guys” instead of the “bad guys” is a step in the right direction. Men should come together and make a pledge stating that they will never partake in the sex trafficking industry, and that they will do everything in their power to protect their wives, sisters, and daughters from this sick phenomenon.
Speaking of the “bad guys” in sex trafficking, they do not have a powerful enough consequence for their actions. The laws that are in place against trafficking are poorly enforced which does not make matters any better. Trafficking is popular because of the ability to make an enormous profit with no real risks. To fix this issue, we need to increase the risks, which would consist of implementing the death penalty for offenders. Traffickers across the United States are typically only sentenced to three years in jail compared to weed distributers who get sentenced ten to fifteen years. (Costantini par 3) Dorchen A. Leidholdt, the Director of the Center for Battered Women's Legal Services at Sanctuary for Families in New York City says, “Short sentencing for human traffickers also means that victims are more fearful to come forward, pimps retain their power of prostitutes from behind bars, and prostitution rings are more likely to resume when traffickers are released from prison” (Costantini par 16) Even if a trafficker is in prison, they can still run their business through someone on the outside. Another issue is that in a trafficking case in some states, there has to be proof of force, fraud, or coercion from the pimp. This is a problem because most victims have been brainwashed to think that their safety is in the hands of their trafficker. A victim is highly unlikely to testify against their trafficker without fear that they might be beaten or killed. Considering the trauma that sex slaves go through, the death penalty is a much more appropriate sentence for human traffickers. Victims are drugged, beaten, raped by possibly 30 men at a time, and receive mental wounds that