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USA: Sex and the sun - Sex trafficking shatters young women’s lives

Publish Date: 14 Apr 2011
Source: The Southwestern College Sun
By: Amanda Abad

She lived a comfortable life. She was raised in an upper-middle class neighborhood and was a straight-A student.

Her mother was even her Girl Scout troop leader when she was younger. She met a guy. Her life changed.

This guy was no ordinary person. He is what police call a finesse pimp, a con man who pretends to be his victim's boyfriend. These pimps use mind games and make young girls fall in love with them.

To prove her love for him, he convinces her to do sexual acts because he says it pleases him. But in reality, it makes him money and money is the only thing he cares about.

The stories are not always like the teenager described above. Many girls are foster children or come from troubled homes and were molested or sexually assaulted at a young age.

Many girls are runaways. These girls are at very vulnerable points in their lives when they are tricked into sex trafficking. And these girls do not always meet a finesse pimp.

These girls usually meet a gorilla pimp, a beast that uses physical and sexual abuse to make the girls comply. If a girl meets the finesse pimp first, he later sheds the façade and becomes a gorilla pimp by making physical threats on the young girl and her family.

For the first time the United States was ranked in the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report in 2010. This report started 10 years ago when national and international legislation was passed to do an annual research and assessment of all types of human trafficking across the world.

Accounts of adults and children in the U.S. becoming a victim of sex trafficking are becoming more and more common.

Most children are forced into the world of sex trafficking between the ages 12-14. Many runaways have a good chance of being "pimped" within 48 hours of their departure.

Sex trafficking is the fastest growing multi-billion dollar business in the world of organized crime, because unlike drugs that disappear after use, these young girls can be used until their death. Many of the victims die within the first four years of enslavement due to AIDS, drug overdose, suicide and beatings.

To degrade and humiliate the girls the pimps often brand them with tattooed sayings like "property of sir-pimp-a-lot," "pimpin is ez slut," and "this whore belongs to pimp moneybagz."

The pimps also make their girls perform sexual acts with black eyes and bruises. To prevent the girls from escaping, the pimps typically keep the girls drugged up and keep them hooked.

Pimps do drive-bys to keep an eye on their girls and when the pimps are too busy they have pimping partners "baby sit."

In San Diego County one of the most notorious places for prostitution is El Cajon Boulevard, but there are many other streets being watched by the police as well.

Many victims are escorted from San Diego to Los Angeles, then Las Vegas and returned to San Diego to keep sex trafficking suspicions low. According to the FBI, San Diego is a high-intensity child prostitution area and is a gateway for international sex trafficking.

When a girl escapes, there is less chance her pimp will exert a great deal of time trying to find her because it is easier for the pimp to find a new girl than to risk getting caught. But once she finds her freedom, often times she doesn't have a place to stay.

Thankfully, GenerateHope offers a sanctuary to these desperate girls. GenerateHope is San Diego's first organization that provides long-term recovery programs that are designed to help the sexually exploited into full rehabilitation.

Its staff provides a safe environment where the victims are offered education and job training. GenerateHope also offers individual and group therapy, as well as healing from the trauma of sexual abuse and ruined self-esteem.

Girls as young as 12 are being victimized by the grim world of child prostitution, but programs like these are offering them a new ray of hope to ensure them a future is still possible. To see how you can be a part of this movement, please visit GenerateHope.org.

© 2011 - Southwestern Sun

http://www.southwesterncollegesun.com/2.9090/sex-and-the-sun/sex-and-the-sun-sex-trafficking-shatters-young-women-s-lives-1.2165319


Stop Demand makes the following comments - to raise awareness, educate and encourage readers towards critical analysis.

While this is an illuminating article, it is typical of most articles about trafficking - it focuses on two groups: the pimps/traffickers and the girls.  Yet it is utterly silent (not one word) on the most significant group - the countless sex-buying men without whom there would be no pimping, no traffickers and no damaged/raped girls. 

Pimps and traffickers, while vile, are only intermediaries.  They make their money from the long line-up of men that will pay to have sex/exploit/rape these girls.  Without demand (overwhelmingly by men) there would be no supply (mostly of girls).  Traffickers would simply have to find another 'product'. 

To Amanda Abad:  It would great if you were to write another article - this time on "the johns" - the key group fuelling the misery and damage that is inherent within global sex trafficking.