Category Archives: sex trafficking

Investigating Sex Trafficking – The Price Of Sex

“The film opened my eyes to the scope and scorching pain of the human trafficking problem. While it is difficult to watch—you should see it. The best weapon against this blight is awareness.” — David Jacobson, Ambassador of the United States of America

You can see if there is a screening of The Price of Sex near you, or purchase a DVD for home use, or for play at public schools or universities.

“The portraits of the women featured in the film are powerful and heart-rending… Suitable for some mature high school classes and for college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of women/gender, anthropology of globalization/neoliberalism, and Eastern European studies, as well as general audiences.” – David Eller, Anthropology Review Database

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Alone – A Narrative Look At Forced Sexual Slavery In America

Lesli Woodruff alerted me to Alone this morning on Facebook. Her friend, Daniel McCullum,co-wrote and directed this narrative short film that tells the story of Jessie, a young girl dragged into the dark hole of sexual slavery, and her one chance at being rescued. It’s an honest look into the dark world of sexual slavery with an ending that drives home the reality of what keeps this practice alive and well, in places we’d never expect.

I asked Daniel McCullum, what motivated him to make this film?

“In the fall of 2009, I attended a presentation by the makers of the documentary Sex & Money  that really opened my eyes, ” McCullum told me. “I was shocked by the fact that forced sexual slavery is happening to girls of every social status, location, and ethnicity. No one is safe from being a victim in this industry. And that men from all walks of life are making it possible. I was shaken by the fact that it impacts all of us, whether we acknowledge it or not.”

What strikes me about this film, is the absence of sensationalism.

Sex is not exploited in the film, in fact, great care was taken to make sure the opposite occurred. I personally appreciated the completely black moments of uncomfortable darkness in the film. McCullum explains, “Very early in the process, we agreed that we didn’t want to make a film that further exploited the women being portrayed, or the actress in the film. We wanted to make sure the viewer saw sex in this context as being robbery. So creating a film that used sex to titillate was simply not an option.”

Do yourself a favor and make 15 minutes to watch. 

“I wanted to put the audience in the shoes of this guy, who at the end of the film, closes his eyes and runs away,” McCullum said. “He leaves her alone in the room, because he is too afraid to face the truth. He represents our society, afraid to really admit there is a problem. If she gets saved in the film, the burden of action is taken off the viewer, when today’s truth is that most of these girls will not be saved.”

The truth is hard to accept, but it doesn’t diminish the truth. Thank you, Daniel, for this excellent short film.

Human Trafficking In the United States

A staggering 46% of all traffficking in the United States feed prostitution. The average age of beginning in prostitution in the US is 13. Read more: End Slavery Now

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Cops Arresting Trafficking Victims?

 

As a society, we have to begin to label crimes accurately. Is a teen who is reported missing by her family, kidnapped and forced to work in an underground brother guilty of prostitution or a victim of human trafficking? Both can’t be true.

Children forced into sexual service are not being held by “pimps.” Pimp is a word that has lost it’s negative power. These children are being held by slave traders. This problem might be treated differently if we can change the words we use to describe it.

“As if ignoring all those red flags wasnt bad enough, the LAPD actually arrested a 17-year-old girl, who by virtue of her age is automatically a trafficking victim. The girl had even been reported missing by her family. Yet somehow, it didnt occur to the LAPD  that if one trafficking victim was kidnapped and forced to work at Club 907, perhaps others were as well.”  via Change.org.

 

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Teen Fights Child Slavery With Graphic Design

I’m moved by the initiative of one very talented young man. John Mark Herskind is a 17-year old from Irmo, South Carolina, and he’s taking action to make a difference in the fight against child slavery. His group,  Designers Against Child Slavery,  “calls on designers and artists world wide to unite their talents and create art packs.These art packs will be used to raise awareness as well as money for children in Southeast Asia.”
And his actions have attracted artists and graphic designers from all over the world to donate their art to raise awareness.
He’s also teamed up with The Blind Project which is a group devoted to exposing the sex trade. Through the connections he’s made, John Mark is putting together an art exhibition in Columbia which will feature work from world renowned graphic designers. – WLTX.com
If you’re a graphic designer, please take a moment to go check out his group to see if you can help.
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Two Little Girls – An Animated Story About Sex Trafficking

This is the kind of video I might have written off as sensationalism three years ago.

But I’ve read too much. The evidence of its truth is too great. And I applaud the film’s makers for their use of animation to portray the sinister way in which sex traffickers lure their victims into a life of sexual slavery. The film is part of an exhibition called ‘not Natasha’ at the Impressions Gallery in in Bradford, UK.

The film was made in consultation with five Albanian women who were trafficked into the UK and had agreed to share their experiences with the film makers to ensure the accuracy of their stories. This a powerful cautionary tale which has already become a talking point amongst victims of the sex-trafficking trade. While many films on the subject are often distressing and difficult to watch, this film draws in the audience with its animated fairy tale stlye and music before hitting home with its serious message.

It’s style lures you in and then clubs you over the head. It’s haunting. And hard to believe. And it’s true. Please share this.

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