A bit more than a year ago, we made public here on Public Discourse a letter we had sent to the chief executive officers of our nation’s largest hotel chains, respectfully asking them to stop offering pornography in their hotel rooms. We said:
"We are, respectively, a Christian and a Muslim, but we appeal to you not on the basis of truths revealed in our scriptures but on the basis of a commitment that should be shared by all people of reason and goodwill: a commitment to human dignity and the common good. As teachers and as parents, we seek a society in which young people are encouraged to respect others and themselves—treating no one as an impersonal object or thing. We hope that you share our desire to build such a society.
Pornography is degrading, dehumanizing, and corrupting. It undermines self-respect and respect for others. It reduces persons—creatures bearing profound, inherent, and equal dignity—to the status of objects. It robs a central aspect of our humanity—our sexuality—of its dignity and beauty. It ensnares some in addiction. It deprives others of their sense of self-worth. It teaches our young people to settle for the cheap satisfactions of lust, rather than to do the hard, yet ultimately liberating and fulfilling, work of love."
One hotel chain, Marriott, informed us that they were “phasing out” offerings of pornography in their hotel rooms. Another, Hilton, defended its participation in the pornography business by appealing, dubiously in our view, to libertarian principles. Others, so far as we can tell, have ignored our plea.
We wish to reiterate that plea here, however, by holding up to the American hotel executives the highly laudable actions of Petter Stordalen, owner of Nordic Hotels, one of Scandinavia’s largest chains. Mr. Stordalen, after becoming involved in international efforts to fight the horrific practice of trafficking women and girls into sexual slavery, announced that pornography would no longer be offered to his customers. In a public statement explaining his decision, he said:
"The porn industry contributes to trafficking, so I see it as a natural part of having a social responsibility to send out a clear signal that Nordic Hotels doesn't support or condone this."
He’s right. The pornography industry is corrupt through and through—inherently so. It should come as no surprise that it is connected to something as exploitative, degrading, and dehumanizing as human trafficking. Bravo to Petter Stordalen for refusing to continue profiting from peddling the industry’s wares.
Of course, even if trafficking were not part of the reality of the industry, good people should be opposed to pornography and unwilling to profit from it. As we said in our letter to hotel executives:
"We beg you to consider the young woman who is depicted as a sexual object in these movies, as nothing but a bundle of raw animal appetites whose sex organs are displayed to the voyeurs of the world and whose body is used in loveless and utterly depersonalized sex acts. Surely we should regard that young woman as we would regard a sister, daughter, or mother. She is a precious member of the human family. You may say that she freely chooses to compromise her dignity in this way, and in some cases that would be true, but that gives you no right to avail yourself of her self-degradation for the sake of financial gain. Would you be willing to profit from her self-degradation if she were your sister? Would you be willing to profit from her self-degradation if she were your own beloved daughter?"
The reality is, however, just as Mr. Stordalen depicts it. Human trafficking is part of the reality. And it is time for his fellow hotel executives to face up to that fact.
Indeed, it is time for Mr. Stordalen’s American counterparts to follow his commendable example. If Nordic Hotels can demonstrate this kind of moral and social responsibility, then there is no reason that Hilton Hotels and the other large chains cannot. Let them stop trying to deceive the public—and perhaps even themselves—with rhetoric about respecting or even protecting their customers’ liberty. Pornography is a social plague with horrific real-life consequences for real live people—addicts, spouses, children, communities, girls and women trafficked into sexual servitude.
At this late season of our nation’s experience with the social costs of pornography there is no longer any excuse for supposing that porn is merely a form of harmless naughtiness. Even the socially very liberal nation of Iceland is moving to ban or severely restrict it by law. Whatever one thinks of legal prohibitions or restrictions, everyone should recognize that pornography is a moral and social evil that no decent person would want to profit from or have anything to do with.
This was written by Robert P. George who is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is President of Zaytuna College and a contributor to this post as well. The original post can be found at the Witherspoon Institute. Click here to be directed to the Witherspoon Institute's website.
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Every year, federal and state governments pour millions of dollars into combatting sex trafficking through local and federal law enforcement agencies. But the emerging link between the child welfare system and child sex trafficking in the United States underscores the need for a new tactic, one that addresses the social origins of child sex trafficking.
At the end of July, the FBI’s Innocence Lost initiative, the wing of the agency tasked with addressing domestic child sex trafficking, conducted its annual three-day Operation Cross Country. During these 72 hours, federal agents across the country “recover” juvenile victims from sexual exploitation and arrest their exploiters. This year, the agency boasts that it saved 105 children and arrested 152 pimps. According to U.S. law, anyone under 18 and involved in the sex trade is considered sexually trafficked.
However, what happens to those who are “rescued” is unclear. Whether the children are placed in juvenile justice proceedings or the Department of Social Services, the story of the rescue mission as the FBI tells it ends when the handcuffs go on—often both on the exploited young person as well as his or her exploiter. (A video montage of Operation Cross Country VII accompanies the FBI’s press release.)
Julianne Sohn, spokesperson for the San Francisco division of the FBI, explained to AlterNet that the agency couldn’t account for what happens to the youth after they are “recovered” because local law enforcement agencies have varying policies on how to handle teens.
“If you’re 17 years old and sex-trafficked in New York you are literally a victim and a criminal at the same time,” Chrystal DeBoise told AlterNet. DeBoise is the co-director of the New York-based Sex Workers Project, an organization advocates for both sex workers and trafficking victims.
The Sex Workers Project has helped to decriminalize individuals who have been sex trafficked and charged with prostitution by successfully lobbying for the Vacating Convictions Law, passed in 2010 in New York, which allows a trafficked individual to have her record cleared.
But DeBoise notes there is still a long way to go: “Over 50 percent of our clients are trafficked and they tell us that the arrests were some of the most traumatizing parts of their trafficking experience.”
“It’s shocking to believe that you could be trafficked and for the rest of your life you have a prostitution record,” DeBoise said. “It is shocking.”
These FBI sweeps also result in the netting of adult sex workers. The data for Operation Cross Country in the Bay Area reveals that while its ostensible focus is to rescue child victims, the program results in a markedly higher arrest rate for adult sex workers: for the 12 children rescued, 65 sex workers were arrested in the Bay Area alone. During Operation Cross Country in 2008, the FBI recovered 47 juveniles while arresting 518 prostitutes.
Prioritizing criminal justice proceedings to combat child sex-trafficking has resulted in a paucity of services devoted to helping children most vulnerable to sexual exploitation: those in foster care. Depending on the city, 50 to 80 percent of child victims are or have been involved in this part of the child welfare system. The correlation has led many advocates to argue that funding needs to be redirected away from law enforcement and toward social services that are designed to work with traumatized children.
“People are beginning to realize that juvenile justice is not appropriate to serve sexually exploited children. People are frustrated that those kids are going to the criminal justice system rather than the foster care system, which is designed to help kids,” Kate Walker, from the National Center for Youth Law, told AlterNet. Earlier this year, Walker authored a publication for the California Child Welfare Council examining the needs of victimized children and how the welfare system should address them.
Southern California Congresswoman Karen Bass has proposed legislation to the House of Representatives that she hopes will address the cyclical relationship between foster care and child sexual exploitation. In April she reintroduced Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Human Trafficking Act (SCWRHT) that had died in committee last year. (After being elected to Congress in 2010, Bass co-founded the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth and has since been a strong advocate for extending services to foster youth.)
SCWRHT would establish training programs so child welfare agencies could better detect children at risk of becoming victims and respond to those who have already been traumatized and victimized. The legislation would also extend services to trafficking victims up to the age of 21.
Bass has distinguished herself by focusing on the social roots of sex trafficking, rather than investing in law enforcement and tougher penalties. Explaining why she voted against last November’s Proposition 35, which increases fines and penalties for convicted human traffickers, she said: “I worry that just like with Three Strikes, when there is a horrific crime we come up with an extreme response and the net gets cast too wide.”
“It’s not my focus to increase penalty, because I am also worried about the pimps.” According to one case study, approximately 25 percent of pimps come out of the child welfare system.
In 1990—fourteen years before she would make the transition to electoral politics—Bass founded and directed Community Coalition, a grassroots organization based in South Los Angeles dedicated to strengthening black and latino communities ravaged by economic injustice, the War on Drugs, and poor quality schools.
After being elected to Congress in 2010, Bass co-founded the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth and has since been a strong advocate for extending services to foster youth.
Like Bass, Kate Walker believes that with reform, the child welfare system has the potential to serve as a support network to child victims. “I think the child welfare system has a ways to go in terms of setting itself up to adequately serve these children, like prevention curriculum that includes teaching about exploitation, healthy relationships and ways to protect yourself.”
But while advocates may agree that improving the child welfare system is essential to addressing child sex trafficking, there is persistent ambivalence among policy advocates on whether locking up sexually exploited children is necessary in order to save them.
“There is a big divide in the field: should we be locking kids up or should we meet them where they’re at and provide them what they need,” says DeBoise.
Bass’ bill would create “specialized, long-term residential facilities or safe havens serving children who are human trafficking victims.”
One such safe house in Florida was forced to shut down within weeks of opening after one girl left the grounds and was raped. This recent tragic incident has led some legislators and social workers in Florida to conclude that it may be necessary to keep the premises of safe houses locked so that inhabitants cannot leave freely.
However, as DeBoise points out, “We don’t consider locking up any other victim the way we do with this population. It wouldn’t occur to us that we should lock up a victim of, say, domestic violence, if she continued to go back to her abuser.”
“When looking at the population of runaway kids involved in prostitution, there’s a tendency to treat them as criminals and force them into care.”
Casting further doubt on the incarceration model, Walker notes that one method of rehabilitating victims of sexual exploitation in California has been to send them out of state, far away from their exploiters. “Some of these places are on top of a mountain so the kids can’t run. But then they are just exploited upon their return to their communities.”
“I want to look at providing more services in the communities from which they come, because those are the communities that need them. When kids run away [from foster care] they are doing so because we are not providing something that someone else is; we’re not adequately meeting their needs,” explains Walker.
Speaking as a psychotherapist, DeBoise argues it is essential that services enable the youths to opt into therapy and shelter of their own volition: “We need shelters that are open and that have a high level of sophistication in the staff. We need to acknowledge that people can leave and they can also come back. When we work with those principles, we are successful. It’s not a problem to keep our clients, they don’t run away.”
DeBoise urges people to look at the phenomenon of domestic sex trafficking as part of a larger picture: “I think the way to end trafficking is to take seriously poverty and its consequences, racism and its consequences, sexism and its consequences. Trafficking is at the intersection of all these things.”
This post was written by C. Silver. For the original post, go to: http://www.salon.com/2013/08/15/far_too_many_kids_move_from_foster_care_into_the_sex_trade_partner/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
The FBI announced Monday the arrests of 150 people and recovery of 105 children involved in child prostitution rings across the country.
The 76-city sweep, conducted in the past three days, represents the largest such law enforcement action focused on children forced into sexual slavery, federal authorities said.
Assistant FBI Director Ron Hosko, head of the bureau's criminal division, said the children ranged from 13 to 17 years old. The youngest of the victims was allegedly being offered up by her father, who also was allegedly involved in videotaping his daughter's sexual encounters.
"We have victims whose new normal is sexual abuse,'' Hosko said. "We are trying to take this crime out of the shadows and put a spotlight on it.''
In operations involving 230 separate law enforcement agencies, authorities either made arrests or child recoveries from Atlanta to Los Angeles. The weekend action, called Operation Cross Country, also is the latest in a national campaign that has helped recover 2,700 children since 2005.
Hosko said the children, generally recruited from foster care or group homes, were being offered up on Internet sites, at truck stops, casinos and street corners.
In addition to at least one parent, the alleged pimps included individuals acting alone and some with affiliations to organized crime. In many cases, Hosko said, the children "don't see any avenues of escape'' from their handlers.
John Ryan, president and chief executive officer of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, called the criminal activity "an escalating threat against America's children.''
Ryan said the law enforcement action "is saving lives.''
The largest number of children -- 12 -- were recovered in San Francisco during the weekend sweep. The most alleged pimps --18 -- were arrested in Detroit.
In the Detroit area, where 10 children were recovered, a 17-year-old girl was rescued Saturday night from an Econolodge Hotel, where she was being held against her will and beaten. Police said a separate prostitution arrest yielded information that led police to the hotel.
In Flint, Mich., a 911 call led police to a home where they rescued two 17-year-old girls who were being assaulted and forced into prostitution. Genessee County sheriff's deputies responded and rushed the girls out of the home. A suspect, whose identity has not yet been released, was arrested.
Criminal charges are expected to be brought both in the state and federal courts and will involve a variety of offenses, including human trafficking and coercion.
LIST OF CITIES: Breakdown of arrests, children recovered
TOUGHER LAWS: Nevada increases penalties for pimps.
"Child prostitution remains a persistent threat to children across America," Hosko said. "This operation serves as a reminder that these abhorrent crimes can happen anywhere and that the FBI remains committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and holding the criminals who profit from this exploitation accountable."
This post was written by T. Baldas of the Detroit Free Press. For the original post, go to: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/29/fbi-arrest-child-prostitution-ring-rescue/2595725/
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Chris Sevier, a 36-year-old man from Tennessee, got so addicted to porn videos that his wife took his children and left him. Now he has sued Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), saying the Cupertino, Calif.-based company failed to install any filter in its devices to prevent his affliction.
In a 50-page complaint, Sevier calls Apple a “silent poisoner” responsible for the proliferation of “arousal addiction, sex trafficking, prostitution, and countless numbers of destroyed lives.” Sevier is seeking damages from Apple, but said he will drop the lawsuit if Apple agrees to sell devices with a “safe mode.”
Sevier claims that his addiction started when he “accidentally” replaced the “a-c-e” in Facebook with a “u-c-k.” Sevier said this F***book site “appealed to his biological sensibilities as a male,” and he started to prefer the images on the screen to his own wife.
“His wife abducted his son and disappeared, which was a subsequent consequence of Apple’s decision to sell its computers not on ‘safe mode,’” Sevier argued, adding that until he got the MacBook, he had never seen porn of any kind or been to a strip club or sex shop. “The Plaintiff became depressed and despondent, unable to work as a result of observing porn on his MacBook and the impact it caused.”
The lengthy description also blames Apple for helping to put old-fashioned sex shops out of business, ignoring the irony of several thousand other words describing the destructive effect porn has on people and societies. Sevier also compared porn, at various points, to cigarettes, weapons, alcohol and cocaine.
Sevier even took some time to remember the good ol' days of America in the 1950s, before things like the Internet and the ACLU created homosexuality, sex trafficking and prostitution. Apple, apparently, is responsible for turning people away from “the unquenchable reality that God is real.”
“Man has a spiritual side to him,” Sevier said. “Porn poisons the spiritual side of man.”
Perhaps the strangest part of the lawsuit comes at the very beginning, where Sevier includes a YouTube link to an edit of Zedd’s “Shave It Up” he made with his electronic music project, Ghost Wars. Sevier said the edit, called “The Demise of Guys,” a reference to a Phillip Zimbardo book, summarizes the facts of the lawsuit. Sevier even requested that Apple employ Zimbardo, a Stanford psychologist, to write the notice consumers are required to read in order to remove the porn filter.
This post was written by Ryan Neal. For the original post with comments, go to: http://www.ibtimes.com/apple-sued-porn-addiction-man-says-macbook-cost-his-marriage-kids-1345831#
The moral arguments against pornography are well-known. However, even apart from questions of fidelity and objectification, there is an inescapable problem with porn.
The truth is, porn performers might have far more in common with victims of human trafficking than you might think. A growing body of evidence suggests that pornography fuels demand for prostitutes—and therefore, human sex trafficking victims, who often end up ensnared in both trades.
The porn industry is tightly intertwined with the “industry” of sex trafficking, as the Johns Hopkins’ Protection Project has recently investigated. Their research has identified several links:
1) Forced participation in film production
If force, fraud or coercion is used to compel performers to perform for the camera, this can constitute sex trafficking.
Multiple cases document performers promised legitimate jobs, say as models, only to find themselves in front of a camera and told to perform sexual acts. This is known as fraud. And if they are not given the choice to walk away, this becomes sex trafficking. Even if initial consent was given, a performer is within her rights to change her mind. Sadly, in such cases, threats of contract violation—plausible coercion—cause the victim to give in (possible coercion). Many girls have given testimonies of becoming scared once on the film set, but their wishes to stop were ignored and followed with brutal treatment. That is force, and that is sex trafficking.
Too often, victims of human trafficking do not self-identify because they don’t know the law. So, here it is.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) defines sex trafficking as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age.”
The term, “human trafficking” can confuse people into thinking movement or crossing borders is necessary, when it’s not. Human trafficking is about exploitation. It can happen next door.
2) Forced participation in prostitution
Traffickers may exploit their victims through prostitution as well as on film. There have been cases where underage girls, under a pimp’s control, were forced to provide commercial sex in addition to performing in pornographic videos filmed by the pimp.
According to Laura Lederer of the Protection Project and Global Centurion, an anti-trafficking organization, over 25 percent of child sex traffickers take pictures or video recordings. Regarding child pornography, there is no gray area: “Any child under the age of 18 is considered a victim of human trafficking if they are induced to commit a commercial sex act. This can include prostitution or pornography. No child can ‘consent’ or choose to be involved in any form of commercial sex.”
Runaways and children kicked out of their homes are some of the most vulnerable to sex trafficking. The U.S. Justice Department's National Incidence Study of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Thrown-away Children estimates that as many as 1.7 million children run away from home each year. Within 48 hours of hitting the streets, it is estimated that 1/3 of these children are lured or recruited into prostitution and pornography.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the annual number of images and videos of suspected child pornography reached over 17 million in 2011.
3) Forced exposure to porn
Pimps and traffickers sometimes use pornographic films as grooming tools, forcing new victims to watch repeatedly, so they become hardened and learn what is expected of them. This is a corruption of the teaching technique of "translating image to action.”
Additionally, a significant percentage of prostitution survivors say they encountered buyers who used pornography to show them what was wanted. Since sex trafficking victims have no ability to choose, they are particularly susceptible to the more deviant buyers.
Sustained exposure to pornography has long-standing effects, and can create a skewed sense of “normalcy.” Mary Anne Layden of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania, states, "The large body of research on pornography reveals that it functions as ... a permission-giver for, and a trigger of many negative behaviors and attitudes that can severely damage not only the users but many others."
The path to porn addiction described by clinical psychologist Dr. Victor Cline shows how easily viewers can find themselves in a place they never thought possible:
Evidence suggests frequent viewers tend to be more frequent purchasers of prostitutes—an illegal behavior that often involves victims of sex trafficking. Pornography can be a vehicle by which people become objects to view and to use, and a catalyst to fuel demand. And you can bet, traffickers will answer it.
- Addiction: Porn consumers get hooked and often keep coming back for more.
- Escalation: Increased levels of exposure are often needed to stimulate to the same degree.
- Desensitization: Over time and exposure, the witnessing of certain acts can lose its shock factor and becomes more “normal.”
- Acting out: Viewers may have an increased tendency to act out behaviors seen in pornography
What can you do?
- Alter Your Perspective. Don’t automatically assume people in the sex industry are there by choice.
- Learn the signs of human trafficking.
- If you think you have witnessed trafficking, call the National Hotline at 1-888-3737-888 or text INFO or HELP to BeFree.
- And finally, don’t support industries that fuel demand in the sex trade.
This post was written by Marney McNall of Relevant Magazine. For the original post with comments, go to: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/reject-apathy/loss-innocents/justice-side-porn
BE A MAN.
CBS/AP) LOS ANGELES - Joe Francis, founder of 'Girls Gone Wild,' was found guilty Monday of misdemeanor counts of assault and false imprisonment stemming from a dispute with three women after a night out at a Hollywood club in 2011.
Officials said after a two-week trial, a jury convicted the 40-year-old man of three counts of false imprisonment, one count of assault causing great bodily injury and one count of dissuading a witness. He faces a maximum of five years in prison. A hearing to schedule his sentencing was set for Wednesday.
Francis met the women at a club in 2011 when they were celebrating a college graduation. Francis led one of them out of the club by the hand into his limo. According to prosecutors, the other two women followed him and their friend thinking he was going to give them a ride to their car.
Prosecutors said Francis took the women to his home, when he tried to separate one from the other two a dispute broke out. Francis grabbed one of the women by the hair and throat and slammed her head into the floor.
After an investigation, the district attorney declined to file felony charges in the case and referred it to the city attorney, who filed the misdemeanor charges.
Francis is the founder of GGW Brands LLC, he filed for bankruptcy in February listing more than $16 million in disputed claims.
Neither Francis nor his attorneys could be reached for comment.For the original post with comments, go to: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57583219-504083/joe-francis-founder-of-girls-gone-wild-convicted-of-assault-and-false-imprisonment-report-says/
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
A local woman's life took a turn for the worse when she encountered an escort service.
The couple who ran the escort service took her in, and the man became her pimp.
At first, he offered protection and fed her drug habit. He groomed her with a dream of money and security. She sold sex at ritzy parties and rode in flashy cars around the Puget Sound region.
Eventually, the pimp brainwashed her into submission and ruled every aspect of her life. He collected all of her earnings and kept track of her whereabouts at all times via cellphone.
If she failed to earn a daily quota of $1,500, she was beaten and humiliated. He would urinate on her. He whipped her with an electrical cord.
"That was his way of showing me this is just the beginning of what will happen," said the woman, who requested anonymity for this story out of fear the pimp could retaliate. "I was more afraid of the pimp than the johns."
The pimp found customers (known as johns) through the internet, Craigslist and alt-weekly papers. Her earnings paid for a house in SeaTac for the pimp and his wife. Thousands of dollars in tricks paid for hotel rooms around the Puget Sound region, including Federal Way and the infamous Aurora Avenue in Seattle. She also worked to pay back the cost of those ads, or pay back bail money if she went to jail.
The johns hailed from all walks of life. Some johns reviewed her services online. Johns would ask for particular kind of girls, which was useful information for pimps.
"I had wigs," she said. "Sometimes they'd say, 'I want a blonde.'"
In a typical transaction, the prostitute took care of business with a john while the pimp waited in an adjacent hotel room to collect the money and monitor the time.
The lifestyle left the woman with no choice but to hustle for more money, or face the wrath of her pimp. She recruited other women into the lifestyle to shoulder some of the workload when johns were seeking services at the same time. Several sessions with johns doubled as drug deals. Pimps pressured women to exploit naive customers with blackmail, for example, such as threatening to tell a john's wife unless he paid hush money.
In total, she had eight prostitution arrests on her record, including an undercover bust in Federal Way. Abused as a child, she was walking Pacific Highway in search of paying customers by age 15. Drugs like heroin became a way to numb herself and cope with the streets, where she had sex to survive.
"I had to be high," she said. "I had to feel nothing."
In a twist of fate, a heroin overdose inadvertently marked the turning point in reclaiming her life. While she was hospitalized, the pimp was jailed after a violent spree in search of her.
She formed relationships with people who empowered her. Now in her mid-thirties, she is no longer a victim, but a survivor. She is married. She lives clean and sober with a career in the mental health field. She regained custody of her three children from foster care, and now helps other mothers in similar situations. She hopes to see more reforms in the child welfare system to ensure that youth avoid these abusive relationships.
"My thanks goes to God for sending a man who was a defender of women," she said, referring to Nick Lembo, who with his wife, Jo, provided a support outlet through Overcomer Covenant Church in Auburn.
"The more eyes and ears on the ground," said Jo Lembo, "the smaller a pimp's world gets."
A grass-roots movement is under way to end the demand for prostitution, which is tangled in a web of pornography and cultural attitudes.
Prostitution has shifted away from the typical streetwalkers. Nowadays, johns arrange meetings online. Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson said officers can put an ad on Craigslist, meet with a potential john and make an arrest, all in a span of two hours.
In 2012, there were 12 prostitution-related investigations in Federal Way, Wilson said, with nine of those initiated by police and one involving a 15-year-old girl.
"It's much more underground now," Wilson said during a forum on human trafficking Jan. 9 at City Hall. "This is not a Federal Way issue. It's a regional issue."
According to the former prostitute whose story was told above, the deck is stacked against police. An officer must witness a transaction before making an arrest. When police arrest one prostitute, her pimp will find a replacement and take business to another part of the region.
"There's not much the police can do," said the woman, suggesting a solution for ending demand: spread awareness among youth.
One place to start is by reshaping the perceptions young men have toward women. Some argue the negative influence of pornography on the male sexual identity, including the accompanying message of objectifying women leads to the creation of unrealistic expectations from sex.
While there is nothing wrong with sex, young men need to be educated on how to use and understand it, according to Nick Lembo from Defenders and Shared Hope International.
"Sex is the most powerful stimulant and bonding agent on the planet," he said at the Federal Way forum. "We need to teach men to respect, honor and understand women and build wholesome relationships."
Peter Qualliotine, co-founder of Organization for Prostitution Survivors, said a boy's average age of exposure to pornography is 9. Prostitution and pornography are inseparable, he said at the Federal Way forum, and "one does not exist without the other."
The key to overcoming this obstacle, he said, is to teach young men to eroticize the mutual and consensual parts of sex, instead of the objectified images found in porn.
This post was written by Andy Hobbs. For the original article, go to: http://www.federalwaymirror.com/news/187019821.htmlBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
The crime of human trafficking is one of the most egregious human rights violations, and it is happening in our own communities. Its victims are individuals lured into this country under false promises of legitimate work, only to be forced into the sex industry on arrival. They are domestic runaways taken in by traffickers and forced to trade sex for a place to sleep. They are also girls being baited into “the life” by a presumed boyfriend who later reveals himself as a pimp. Much like victims of domestic violence, human trafficking victims are trapped by fear, isolation and brutality at the hands of their traffickers and those who purchase them for sex.
An estimated 1 million children worldwide are sexually exploited annually. The average age of girls forced into the sex trade is 12 to 14. Within the United States alone, it is estimated that nearly 300,000 children are trafficked for sex every year. The cases involve tremendous violence, such as a recent case where the victim was beaten, forced naked into a cold shower, covered with ice and then made to stand in front of an air conditioner for 30 minutes.
What can be done to prevent other children and teens from being victimized? A first step is addressing the truth about trafficking. Put simply, human trafficking is the selling of human beings for profit through forced labor, sexual exploitation or involuntary domestic servitude. Experts estimate 27 million people are trafficked worldwide annually, reaping $32 billion in illegal profits, which makes it the second-largest and fastest-growing black market in the world.
Human trafficking is a crime that can be difficult to identify and track. The Internet and websites such as Backpage.com have only exacerbated this problem, by taking the sex trade off our streets and into hotel rooms — out of sight of law enforcement and social services. Our computers provide access to a variety of sites that promote prostitution, which make millions of dollars by offering anonymity to traffickers, further facilitating the victimization of children.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act passed in 2000 became the first federal law to emphasize the need to protect victims and offer legal protection for victims of trafficking. States have responded by passing comprehensive human trafficking statutes and updating existing statutes. Today, all but one state have some form of anti-trafficking law. While momentum against trafficking is increasing, however, more must be done. Our work to reduce the demand for commercial sex is built on a simple, solid foundation: Societal change requires information. Just as a movement against drunken driving helped the public understand the danger of drinking and driving through a concerted campaign of public awareness and powerful testimonials to reduce deadly accidents, our work seeks to spark positive change. Moreover, just as domestic violence all too recently was a topic broached only behind closed doors, bringing the tragedy of human trafficking to the public eye is the first step of many.
Those who receive messages from popular music, movies and television that selling sex is just another career choice should know that most prostitutes are, at the very best, selling themselves for the lack of other means to support themselves. In fact, those used in commercial sex lead an extremely dangerous and often violent existence. Epidemiologists report that individuals used in commercial sex live only to an average age of 34. Many aren’t willing participants. The stark reality is that many aren’t even old enough to consent to sex. If apprehended, johns increasingly face serious criminal prosecution. These basic facts, if widely understood, should reduce the demand for commercial sex and thus lessen the number of human trafficking victims.
Is the effort to reduce demand for human trafficking a misguided moral crusade or an imperative to protect young people and others from those who profit from illegal, often involuntary, servitude? Decide for yourself. The answer seems pretty clear.
If you wish to join the effort, consider offering your time and financial support to charities that provide services to victims. Men can speak out against johns who purchase individuals for sex. Parents, parent-teacher organizations and schools can help educate children about how to protect themselves online. Doctors, nurses and hospitality and travel industry workers can seek training to identify victims and help them access services.
The fight to end the exploitation of human trafficking victims continues.
This post was written by Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II who is the attorney general of Virginia. For the original post, go to: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/15/the-truth-about-sex-trafficking/#ixzz2JH96Z6rr
BE A MAN.
said the pictures and literature couldn't have prepared him for the young boy who approached him last week on one of the squalid streets of Mumbai's red-light district.
The boy was maybe 3 years old, 4 at best. He had no pants on. His body was covered with open sores.
"He was playing amongst the open sewage and filth with rats as big as dogs. Unsupervised," the Toronto Blue Jays' new knuckleballer told The Canadian Press on a conference call Tuesday from India's most populous city. "You see these images and pictures that just don't seem like they should exist. And you hope that it's the only one ... but that's what's representative, these lives that just don't have a voice."
The 38-year-old was in Mumbai to work with Bombay Teen Challenge, a Christian organization that has rescued women and children from sex trafficking for the past 23 years.
It's a cause that Dickey says speaks to his own narrative. He wrote about being sexually abused as a child in his autobiography "Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball."
"It's authentic to me because of my past experience, also I have a sentimentality to it because the girls that I've seen firsthand in the streets, these 19-, 20-, 21-year-old girls. You have to look beyond that and see at one point they were daughters themselves, and having two daughters ... that just for me was so compelling."
He made the trip with his daughters, 11-year-old Gabriel and 9-year-old Lila.
"I want to give my children a heart for humanity," Dickey said. "The only way to really do that is to get them outside of the bubble that they live in, and expose them in very measured ways to what real life is to a lot of people. They've responded beautifully."
The 2012 NL Cy Young winner said it's been "a roller-coaster" visit, from the visceral red-light images of women in doorways and the cages where they keep them when they're first trafficked.
But he also saw hope.
Dickey and his daughters stayed at Ashagram, a rehabilitation campus outside Mumbai that's home to 300 women and children. They were the "most hopeful days" of the trip. They played cricket and sang songs with the children, many of whom are HIV-positive.
"Those are the miracles, the 300 lives in Ashagram, those are 300 living miracles," Dickey said. "Sure, (my daughters) heard about the wickedness and the darkness, but they got to actually see the redemption, so their response has been really positive. This is a seminal trip for them."
Dickey, who speaks openly with his daughters about his own sexual abuse, helped celebrate the opening of a clinic in the midst of Mumbai's red-light district. He helped pay for the clinic, raising over $100,000 by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro last winter.
"The facility is like a beacon of light in the middle of a swamp," he said.
BTC's Thomason Varghese said the organization was blessed by Dickey's presence.
"But we think we've been even more blessed by his daughters," Varghese said. "Just to see innocent girls loving our girls and playing with them with no inhibitions, it's just been a real joy for us to see and experience. There are friendships that have come through this despite how different their backgrounds are.
"Today the girls were in our feeding truck serving food to those who are coming from the street; just watching that was a sight to see."
While estimates of sex trafficking in India vary, most studies put the number at more than a million children involved in the country's sex trade.
Dickey was asked how can one measure success in the face of such grim statistics.
"If the organization rescues one human life from that hell, then it's done its job in some way," Dickey said. "You're talking over the last 23 years over 1,000 lives being rescued, given a second chance to have a life, rescuing children, people who were left for dead on doorsteps of these brothels.
"The women who had been trafficked into prostitution, dying in hospitals with their children by their bed, here's the Bombay Teen Challenge with a relationship in place to be able to take in and care for these children.
"How do you measure success? I think it's one life at a time."
The original post for this article can be found at: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8896558/ra-dickey-toronto-blue-jays-india-help-fight-vs-sex-traffickingBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Porn is a problem. It's a personal problem for many and a cultural problem for all. You may think you have not been affected by porn, but you have because it's embedded in the surrounding culture. The staggering size of the pornography industry, its influence upon the media and the acceleration of technology, paired with the accessibility, anonymity, and affordability of porn all contribute to its increasing impact upon the culture.
Pornography affects you whether you’ve ever viewed it or not, and it is helpful to understand some of its negative effects, whether you are a man or woman, struggling with watching it, or simply a mom or dad with a son or daughter. There is a plethora of research on the detrimental effects of pornography (and I do not think that what follows are necessarily the worst of them), but here are seven negative effects of porn upon men and women:1. PORN CONTRIBUTES TO SOCIAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS WITHIN MEN
Anti-pornography activist, Gail Dines, notes that young men who become addicted to porn, “neglect their schoolwork, spend huge amounts of money they don’t have, become isolated from others, and often suffer depression.” (Pornland, 93).
Dr. William Struthers, who has a PhD in biopsychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, confirms some of these and adds more, finding that men who use porn become controlling, highly introverted, have high anxiety, narcissistic, curious, have low self-esteem, depressed, dissociative, distractible (Wired for Intimacy, 64-65).
Ironically, while viewing porn creates momentary intensely pleasurable experiences, it ends up leading to several negative lingering psychological experiences.2. PORN REWIRES THE MALE BRAIN
Struthers elaborates, As men fall deeper into the mental habit of fixating on [pornographic images], the exposure to them creates neural pathways. Like a path is created in the woods with each successive hiker, so do the neural paths set the course for the next time an erotic image is viewed. Over time these neural paths become wider as they are repeatedly traveled with each exposure to pornography. They become the automatic pathway through which interactions with woman are routed….They have unknowingly created a neurological circuit that imprisons their ability to see women rightly as created in God’s image (Wired For Intimacy, 85).
In a similar vein regarding porn’s effect upon the brain, Naomi Wolf writes in her article, "The Porn Myth,"
After all, pornography works in the most basic of ways on the brain: It is Pavlovian. An orgasm is one of the biggest reinforcers imaginable. If you associate orgasm with your wife, a kiss, a scent, a body, that is what, over time, will turn you on; if you open your focus to an endless stream of ever-more-transgressive images of cybersex slaves, that is what it will take to turn you on. The ubiquity of sexual images does not free eros but dilutes it. 3. PORN TURNS SEX INTO MASTURBATION
Sex becomes self-serving. It becomes about your pleasure and not the self-giving, mutually reciprocating intimacy that it was designed for.4. PORN DEMEANS AND OBJECTIFIES WOMEN
This occurs from hard-core to soft-core pornography. Pamela Paul, in her book Pornified
, quoting the research of one psychologist who has researched pornography at Texas A&M, writes,
‘Softcore pornography has a very negative effect on men as well. The problem with softcore pornography is that it’s voyeurism teaches men to view women as objects rather than to be in relationships with women as human beings.’ According to Brooks, pornography gives men the false impression that sex and pleasure are entirely divorced from relationships. In other words, pornography is inherently self-centered–something a man does by himself, for himself–by using another women as the means to pleasure, as yet another product to consume (80).
Paul references one experiment that revealed a rather shocking further effect of porn: “men and women who were exposed to large amounts of pornography were significantly less likely to want daughters than those who had none. Who would want their own little girl to be treated that way?” (80).
Again, it needs to be emphasized, that this is not an effect that only rests upon those who have viewed porn. The massive consumption of porn and the the size of the porn industry has hypersexualized the entire culture. Men and women are born into a pornified culture, and women are the biggest losers. Dines continues,
By inundating girls and women with the message that their most worthy attribute is their sexual hotness and crowding out other messages, pop culture is grooming them just like an individual perpetrator would. It is slowly chipping away at their self-esteem, stripping them of a sense of themselves as whole human beings, and providing them with an identity that emphasizes sex and de-emphasizes every other human attribute (Pornland, 118).5. PORN SQUASHES THE BEAUTY OF A REAL NAKED WOMAN
Wolf, in her own blunt way, confirms this,
For most of human history, the erotic images have been reflections of, or celebrations of, or substitutes for, real naked women. For the first time in history, the images’ power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women. Today, real naked women are just bad porn (Quoted in Wired for Intimacy, 38).6. PORN HAS A NUMBING EFFECT UPON REALITY
It makes real sex and even the real world boring in comparison. It particularly anesthetizes the emotional life of a man. Paul comments,
Pornography leaves men desensitivzed to both outrage and to excitement, leading to an overall diminishment of feeling and eventually to dissatisfaction with the emotional tugs of everyday life…Eventually they are left with a confusing mix of supersized expectations about sex and numbed emotions about women…When a man gets bored with pornography, both his fantasy and real worlds become imbued with indifference. The real world often gets really boring…” (Pornified, 90, 91).7. PORN LIES ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE MALE AND FEMALE
Dines records how porn tells a false story about men and women. In the story of porn, women are “one-dimensional”–they never say no, never get pregnant, and can’t wait to have sex with any man and please them in whatever way imaginable (or even unimaginable). On the other hand, the story porn tells about men is that they are “soulless, unfeeling, amoral life-support systems for erect penises who are entitled to use women in any way they want. These men demonstrated zero empathy, respect, or love for the women they have sex with…(Pornland, xxiv).”This content originally appeared on theResurgence.com. Resurgence exists to train people to love and worship Jesus in all of life. Visit theResurgence.com for more gospel-centered resources.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.