S: Human Trafficking
FC: Sex Trafficking in the U.S. | By: Megan Sawyer
1: Sex trafficking is a crime against human rights that exploits people for forced sex. A common misconception of human trafficking is that it only exits in foreign regions or third world countries. It is quite the contrary. Tens of thousands of children are put in the hands of traffickers in the U.S.; at truck stops, motels, by strangers, even by their families. Sex trafficking is the largest circulating form of human exploitation. Every victim of human trafficking is considered to be forced into exploitation. I chose sex trafficking in the United States because i am a part of the iEmpathize organization on the home front and the victims of sex trafficking tug at my heart so much that it impassions me to want to help and rescue them. I want to help them become adjusted and have their lives back and be treated as humans again. | Preface
2: Preface............................................1 General Information.......................4,5 Important/ Current Events.............6,7 Interview with Amanda Sawyer.....8,9 Brad Riley and iEmpathize............10 Themes............................................11 My Response...................................12 Works Cited.....................................13 | Table of Contents
4: Sex trafficking has become increasingly more organized and violent. It is the quickest growing criminal business worldwide. The majority of sex trafficking victims in the United States come from troubled backgrounds: runaways,orphans, abused in their homes, abandoned, living on the streets. Some are kidnapped or sold into exploitation by their own families."Two children per minute are exploited into sex trafficking"-UNICEF. One hundred thousand children are circulated into sex trafficking in the United States annually. Men, women, young girls and young boys can all be victims of sex trafficking but women | and young girls seem to be the most common. Sex traffickers have refined their technique of luring girls into forced prostitution to a science. They offer them good jobs, promise fortune, glamor, empty marriage proposals . Once they have successfully seduced their victim into prostitution they use a variety of ways to "condition" them. Conditioning is the process of beating, starving, raping, gang raping and confining the victim in order to mentally and physically break them down to a point where escape is far from there minds. The victims of sex trafficking face many diverse health risks: drug addiction (a common way to | General Information
5: tighten the grip over their victims), broken bones, concussions, forced abortions, burns, STDs, memory loss, some women have been so violently abused that they have to have re-constructive surgery on their vagina. Victims of sex trafficking often don't attempt to flea their captors because they have been violently threatened and so have their families. Fear is a major weapon of traffickers. | There are countless organizations and people dedicated to rescuing and helping these victims. The issue they face is how underground and sometimes virtually undetectable and out of reach the victims are by their clever, criminal captors. Many rescues have been made and children reunited with their families thanks to the FBI and organizations like iEmpathize and Love146. http://www.iempathize.org/blog/?p=1004
6: Sex trafficking in the United States is quickly expanding and happens everyday all around us. Just last month and this month there were some stories published on the FBI website about sex traffickers facing justice. November 29, 2011- In Birmingham a man was sentenced on child sex trafficking charges. On the same day, two men from Houston plead guilty to | sex trafficking. December 5, 2011- In Atlanta an already convicted felon is sentenced for sex trafficking a minor. He was known as "The Candyman" In March of 2006 a major player of the Sex Trafficking business is put in federal prison for thirty five years. A Chinese woman of New York known as Sister Ping, was sentenced for her brutal and extensive crimes of smuggling and human trafficking. She was well known for smuggling three thousand illegal immigrants from China to the United States, making $40 million from the immigrants by charging $40 thousand a person. She held and tortured the immigrants once they reached the U.S. they endured inhumane conditions on the vessels used to transport the immigrants and her threatened by the violent Fuk Chin Gang.
7: Not all sex trafficking victims are foreign. There are many victims that are citizens of the United States. A man from Anchorage, Alaska on May 9, 2008- was convicted of recruiting young women as prostitutes. He controlled them by forcing them to use cocaine, beating them and keeping them in small closets for days. There are people that are rescuing these victims- from federal officials to hope organizations to your average citizen. There were two young teenage girls from Ohio that were kidnapped at their local Wendy's and taken to a house with barred windows and forced to be prostitutes. They were trained and beaten down and sent to truck stops, motels, strip clubs and malls to be sold for sex. One night while they were working a truck stop in Detroit a truck driver called 911 and told the police that there were some very young girls trying to do business there. They were rescued and finally reunited with their families.
8: 1.How did you first learn about sex trafficking? When I was in high school we read about it in News Weeks. 2. Would you categorize sex trafficking as a business? Yes, because they are selling a "product" for profit. 3. Are the victims of sex trafficking just women over the age of 18 that can consent for themselves or does it go beyond that? No,sex trafficking is usually a practice directed toward the most vulnerable- unprotected children (easily prayed upon) 4. How are the victims taken away from their families? Under false pretenses- either promises of education, work or a brighter future in a place of greater economic wealth. 5. How do you rescue victims of forced prostitution? Raids, strategies specific towards each situation- its not easy, most children are never rescued. 6. What happens after they are rescued? Process of healing, coming to terms with what happened to them, education, in some instances finding a new life all together. 7.Do traffickers try to get them back after they have been rescued? In some cases yes, they are seen as property, not human beings. | 8.How are the victims taken care of after they have been rescued? They are given a new set of job skills that allow them to be independent. 9.Do the victims go back to prostitution of their own free will? Sometimes. If they never have a chance to heal because its what they know. 10.Can anyone be involved in rescuing victims of sex trafficking? Yes, perhaps not directly but keeping an open eye is always helpful. 11. Does the government allow this to go on? Not openly. Its specific to each government. They can only do so much because its so well concealed. There are agencies that work with governments to impede sex trafficking. 12. Do you think sex trafficking is too wide spread to be stopped? No, if we give up then it will never stop. | Interview with Amanda Sawyer
10: Brad Riley & iEmpathize Brad Riley went on a trip in 2006 to Cambodia with the Love146 organization to witness first hand the horrendous conditions the victims of sex exploitation lived everyday of their lives. Women, men, young boys and girls by the hundreds all being sold for sex. Everywhere he went there was advertisement. Every taxi he got into he was being pursued by prostitutes of all ages. He also witnessed the people that spend their every waking moment trying to rescue the victims from a lifetime of being pillaged and raped. He witnessed the hope that exists in what the victims lives could be. When he returned to his four children and wife in Boulder, Colorado he told everyone he could about the horrible things that were happening to those innocent people and how they could stop the exploitation. | He founded iEmpathize, an organization much like Love146, that rescues sex trafficking victims and places them in safe homes to get them back on there feet again and provide them with love and care. To make them feel human again. iEmpathize isn't about having sympathy for the victims- its about having empathy. Virtually putting yourself in the victims shoes feeling what they feel and making a difference in their lives.
12: Going into this research project I had a general idea of what sex trafficking is. However, I was unaware of the scope of sex trafficking in America. Like many American citizens, I narrowed sex trafficking down to only being present in struggling counties. It was a shock to see the video about Sheri and listen to her story. It could happen to anyone. I hadn't realized how sophisticated the traffickers have become and how underground the actual business is. The numbers of children trafficked in America are appalling and make my stomach turn, but to hear the stories of the victims that are rescued by not just federal officials, but by organizations with ordinary people who run them, allows me to believe that there still is hope for those thousands of victims everyday. And the courage and strength of the victims that escape of their own free will is moving. After all the research I have done, it is very clear to me that this is what I want to do. I want to help rescue the victims of sex trafficking through iEmpathize. | Response
13: Pictures (in order) : . N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Dec 2011.