Sex Trafficking

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.




Filed under City Cultures

5 responses to “Sex Trafficking

  1. Wow, those are some devastating statistics! I wonder what you think about how Traffic in Souls works as a story that might have informed people about the problem. Did it seem like it was trying to be informative, shocking, both? It might be interesting to compare the rhetorical strategies in that film to the ones used in present-day anti-trafficking campaigns, like the image you posted above or the “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” campaign that Ashton Kutcher was involved in.

  2. aualum12

    This information is extremely disturbing to me. I’m like you, I really didn’t even know that sex trafficking existed until after watching the movie TAKEN. As a future teacher and mother myself, I feel it very necessary to learn more about this horrific crime. With this becoming more and more prominent in our society and world today, I find it crucial that we educate ourselves about this crime, and take any steps possible to prevent it.

    You seem like you are very interested in this topic. It could possibly be a good topic on which you could find a good deal of information for your final project. If you choose to pursue this idea I would be interested in seeing what you come up with!

  3. saltysnail27

    First off let me say…Liam was AWESOME in Taken. Also, the reason I loved this movie so much was because it made me feel as though “this could never happen to me.” I tend to feel this way about a lot of things especially this topic. But when I read posts like yours and hear real stats it gives me the chills. So, thanks fo that!! We all need to be aware of our surroundings and we all need to be equall aware that these things can happen to anyone! 🙂

  4. It’s been interesting to hear so much praise for Taken in this class–I haven’t seen it, but from what I understand it’s kind of exploitative and fear-mongering. In Traffic in Souls, Officer Burke is a basically unbesmirched paragon of virtue. The film itself is by modern standards pristine, and seems to highly contrast the newer film in tone. I just read the New Yorker review of Taken, and I understand it to be a lot more explicit regarding the sex and violence. It’s especially troubling to read about the impunity with Liam Neeson’s character exercises his brutality, including apparently a scene in which he shoots a man’s wife in order to extract information from him. It might seem like a stretch, but it seems possible that the culture perpetuated by this mindless violence is related to the moral degradation that encourages such abhorrent enterprises as sex slavery. By the same token, it seems that the increasing infantilization of women in advertising and pop culture is also somewhat culpable for portraying women as helpless victims (e.g. Maggie Grace’s character in Taken so helplessly wanders directly into the hands of sex predators). It seems that young girls are currently being indoctrinated to simultaneously be more fearful and more exposed.

  5. nam88

    I remember watching TAKEN and like you I was so surprised that this is as big of an issue as it really is. Also, that movie has scratched any potential studying abroad ideas for me because my father now believes that would happen to me. After reading your statistics it became more evident to me that so much of this occurs right under our noses and no one even notices it. It’s such a scary thought and makes me think twice about my decisions.

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