Sex trafficking has been around for many years and coercion fraud and force is used on both adults and minors. A commercial sex act is the cause of trafficking by prostitution, pornography, and any kind of sexual performance to give in exchange for money, food, drugs, shelter, etc. to the victim. Traffickers/Pimps top picks to find their victims is on social media, neighborhoods, and schools. They strike areas where they see that there is poverty. There are many pros and cons to sex trafficking both genders can be victims of sex trafficking but girls are the most targeted in this situation. It’s not just enough to inform ourselves, we also need to arm ourselves with the proper resources and know how to use them when needed. School districts should be required to provide education regarding sex trafficking to students and faculty.
Advantages of sex trafficking are not good, but there are pros for sex traffickers. The trafficking industry “is estimated to generate around $150 billion annually.” (Molloy, 2016) That is a lot of money and millions of people who are being trafficked today including children as well. This is a profitable business in the world and it has been stated that “It is becoming increasingly easy and inexpensive to procure, move and exploit vulnerable rights.” Pimps are happy about this because they get to buy expensive things, like name brand clothing, luxury cars, and their dream homes with this illegal money. There are some traffickers in Texas who were collecting money from sex trafficked minor girls and used that money to begin businesses. But this is how the world shouldn’t be there should be an increase of investigations, prosecution and criminal charges for these traffickers.
Girls are forced to do many things when entering sex trafficking. In the beginning, some girls think that pimps are trying to be in a relationship and promise them good things. They begin to buy them expensive clothing, bags, and shoes. They also take them to fancy restaurants or loud places to talk them into the business. Of course, the pimps are way older than the female and anyone can recognize that there is something wrong. They also begin to be controlling, wanting to know the location and demand the girls to have sex or do illegal things. Some traffickers can brand or tattoo money, a barcode, or a name on women that represent what they do. Girls who are being trafficked, enjoy doing what they do because they see that they start to get the money they never had. They have the money to buy and own expensive clothing, accessories, shoes and more.
There are many signs to recognize when minors are involved in sex trafficking and here are the cons. Those who are victimized students, stop attending school to start going into prostitution to find a way to get money for themselves and/or their families. Assisting schools in responding to sex trafficking is one of the solutions, by offering professional development to the district and school employees at no charge and then talk to students about trafficking. This will teach students just like they teach them about sex education, “Teachers don’t need to be human trafficking experts, but they should know what modern slavery is, how it happens in their community, what to look for and who to turn to if there is a student they are concerned about or a victim comes forward.” (Pannoni, 2017)
There are some victims who suffer from physical, mental, and emotional trauma and abuse after being trafficked. This keeps them from following their dreams and advance in their education. Establishing trafficking protocols and policies for schools is a step to suspect a student has been sex trafficked and to have school districts respond to this problem as soon as possible in a thoughtful and effective manner. Then schools will want to collaborate with agencies such as child welfare, and law enforcement to develop these protocols in all schools and to help these victims with the right services. This will also get social workers and Cps to help those who have been abused.
Those children who have been sex trafficked are needed to be treated. They are treated for, “drug abuse, alcohol abuse, domestic violence, delinquency, teenage pregnancy, STDs.” (Sharedhope International) It’s not popular to use protection. Many pimps make their victims take birth control pills to keep the trafficking running. If they get pregnant, they are taken to get abortions and if victims deny getting one, they are threatened to get killed.
In the United States, “A 2014 study by the US State Department found that 55% of the women surveyed who were victims of human trafficking had at least one abortion, and 30% had multiple abortions during the time of trafficking.” (Talalas, 2017) There are females in the United States where they get more than 10 abortions and some become very sick throughout the process. This trend has been going on for many years and this can be an example of sexual coercion and oppression. Those pregnancy centers can also help prevent sex trafficking by getting them trained to, “recognize signs of human trafficking and help women who might be trapped in exploitation and abuse.” (Kat, 2017) At this point, women should know their value and what they are really worth. There are many ways to get money and not in illegal ways.
On the month of April 2018, President Donald Trump signed a bill nicknamed “FOSTA” for “Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act,” this gives power to federal and state prosecutors “to pursue websites that host sex-trafficking ads and enables victims and state attorneys general to file lawsuits against those sites.” (Jackman, 2018). Pages online have been shut down such as backpage.com and craigslist “shutting down sections that might be construed as sex-related” (Jackman, 2018) right after the bill was passed. When Trump was signing this bill, he says, “This is a great piece of legislation, and it’s really going to make a difference.” (Jackman, 2018) this can help pimps from getting their victims on social networks.
There are solutions as to how we can prevent sex trafficking in San Antonio, Texas. Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department and several other agencies helped RMYA to create a new program called “Centro Seguro” there will be many agencies to help these victims. In a San Antonio Express-News article it states that that there will be “a caseworker who can counsel them and walk with them out of prostitution when they are ready.” (Polcyn, 2017). Also, the City of San Antonio website has a page of human trafficking in San Antonio, where they also provide an email and phone number you can contact at any time, “[email protected] or call the Sex Crimes Unit at 210-207-2313.” (The City of San Antonio). In that same page, they provide videos of SAPD explaining on how you can stop sex trafficking in different languages.
There are many ways to identify someone who is being trafficked, and there are many solutions to stop sex trafficking. The first step in preventing this can start in school, and the right services for these victims. School districts should be required to provide education regarding sex trafficking to students and faculty. The pimps know their ways of getting girls into this business and targets to finding their victims such as on social media, neighborhoods, and schools. Now that sex trafficking has been identified and there are many ways to prevent trafficking, you can help the victims anywhere in the United States, locally, and even in your neighborhood. There can be a stop to commercial sex acts and help victims get money in legal ways for themselves, family, food, and shelter. There are many pros and cons to sex trafficking and when it comes to girls, especially minors it’s not just enough to inform ourselves, we also need to arm ourselves with the proper resources and know how to use them when needed.