In all honesty this class has really sparked my interest in sex trafficking. I was interested in it when I first watched Taken, but I never actually did research to find out more about it. Personally, after the movie I was more interested but at the same time I think I was honestly scared to research it further because I guess I really didn’t want to know how common it was. However, the more I think about it the more I find that more people should be informed of the statistics of sex trafficking because it is actually a lot more common than people think it is.
A few of the first statistics I found were shocking. One site claims that 100,000 to 293,000 children are in danger of being forced into this ever-growing industry. The site also said that 12 years of age is the average age for entering the pornographic or prostitution industry. This is something that troubles me so much because it shows how naive I have been towards the knowledge of younger children. When I was 12 I was not even thinking of anything beyond new clothes, the latest drama that would “ruin my life”, or even what was going on the next day. The fact that 12 year olds are sexually active, forced or not forced, really just makes me sick to my stomach, as I’m sure it does all of you as well.
Another aspect of sex trafficking that I was unaware of is how much of this goes on in the U.S. I guess after watching Taken I just automatically assumed that most of this took place in other countries. However, after research I have learned that 55% of Internet child pornography comes from the United States. As a future teacher and hopefully a future mother, I feel that this particular topic is something that should probably be discussed more often than it actually is. Yes, it is a very uncomfortable topic, however I feel that many people are unaware of how much sex trafficking, especially with young children, actually happens.
Unfortunately the sale of child pornography has become a 3 billion dollar industry, which just goes to show how many people are actually helping this gruesome torture continue. Another extremely disturbing fact is that less than 10% of local and state law enforcement offices surveyed had policies on human trafficking. If that is the case, it just goes to show how much of an under discussed issue this really is.
While I have focused a great deal on the young age of children involved in sex trafficking, I also want to explore the issue of older victims as well, especially since girls around our age are also targeted. I think a lot of us aren’t paranoid enough about the things that could happen to us. I know personally that I don’t think about it enough. While I have taken numerous self-defense classes and I own weapons I still never think about the fact that it could happen to me. I believe too many women think that it could never happen to them when in all reality it very well could. According to a different site that I found, 62% of confirmed trafficking victims were 25 years of age or older. The bottom line is that sex trafficking is not a frequently discussed topic, and in all reality it should be. If more people were aware of the shocking statistics in relation to sex trafficking then maybe we could bring down those statistics simply by being aware of how often it actually happens.