We often hear of sex trafficking being a major issue in countries such as Mexico, China, and Russia. Little do we know though, that sex trafficking is still a major issue right here in the United States. A lot of young girls get coaxed into a world of money and stability by men that know these young girls are troubled and crave for a home. The men buy the girls some new clothing and some food to in a sense wine and dine them in order for the girls to feel like they’re cared about and they’re wanted by somebody. They gain the trust and respect of these girls since their young minds have no idea what they’re about to get themselves into.
Once the trust is established, the men persuade the girls to get tattoos, whether it be by smooth talk or force by knives, guns, or a slap to the face. These aren’t just tattoos that any regular joe schmo gets on one drunken night in vegas. No sir! These are tattoos that are branding these girls. These tattoos make it official that these girls belong to a pimp. The ink lets other pimps know that that girl is claimed for, that she belongs to someone, that she is the property of the pimp that the tattoo represents.
CNN did a report on the branding of sex trafficked women and stated “There have been nearly 40,000 people identified as likely victims of human trafficking in the United States since 2007, according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.” Now, CNN reports that the amount of sex traffickers has gone down in recent years due to many prostitution rings being disbanded and many people being arrested, but many women are being used by gangs and are being used for more than just sex. They are used for robberies, to deliver drugs, to take the fall for a gang member and going to jail, carjackings, and the list goes on. A trafficker can get 20 plus years in prison if they are caught. Having the women do other things than sell their body is keeping the girls around and keeps the men in control still since the girls won’t get as much time as they would for prostitution and the men won’t get caught for sex trafficking. Many of the girls feel like this is modern day slavery. And it is. They are forced to do things that they don’t and shouldn’t want to do. They’re being sold dreams only to be caught up in a situation that lets one no longer have any dreams.
This isn’t just a problem in major urban cities like Atlanta for example, but even rural Alaska has sex trafficking issues and it needs to be brought to light. The sex trafficking problem is world wide and Americans have been a part of the issue worldwide as well. A story on Dateline showed how Americans are contributing to Cambodia’s child sex trafficking by going on there on vacation to have sex with children as young as five years old. Let me repeat that, as young as FIVE years old. The children are bought at a young age, claimed by owners, and learn nothing but the world of sex.
Recently, the United States released a report for the worse countries for human trafficking, and while the U.S. is low on the list, we shouldn’t be on the list at all. No countries should be on any type of list for sex trafficking. It just should not be happening. Young women should not be getting claimed by pimps and gangs in order to serve the guys every wish and need. This should not be spread throughout the United States. This should not be something that happens 365 days a year. We need to help these women and children and put a stop to this. No more branding. No more false dreams. No more rape.
Jada Pinkett Smith joined with CNN this year to try and put an end to the sex trafficking of the young girls in America in a special report called Children For Sale. And while it did open the world of kidnapping and the selling of girls, did it open the eyes of the American people? Did it open the minds of the people and have them want to help put an end to the modern day slavery? Did it make people want to reach out to those that have made it out and help them find their new lives by removing those brands on their bodies and showing them that they can have dreams and those dreams can come true?
For more information on human trafficking in the United States and Worldwide, please go to HumanTrafficking.org
If you know someone in danger of human trafficking or to report a suspected instance of human trafficking, please call the hotline at 1.888.3737.888