The global sex trade crisis is a serious problem in today’s society. Sex trading has been going on in the world for thousands of years. What is so surprising is that today over 1.5 million people are victims of sex trading each year. “Sex trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion.” (Sex Trafficking Fact Sheet) The person induced to perform such an act is usually under the age of 18 years.
Victims of Sex Trafficking
Victims of sex trafficking can include men, women, girls and boys. The majority, over 95 percent, are women and girls. Below is a list of common situations that lures victims into acts of sex trafficking.
• “A promise of a good job in another country”
• “A false marriage proposal turned into a bondage situation” • “Being sold into the sex trade by parents, husbands, boyfriends” • “Being kidnapped by traffickers” (Sex Trafficking Fact Sheet)
People also become victims of sex trafficking through debt-bondage. “Sex traffickers frequently subject their victims to debt-bondage, an illegal practice in which the traffickers tell their victims that they owe money and that they must pledge their personal services to repay the debt.” (Sex Trafficking Fact Sheet)
Victims of sex trafficking are tortured in several ways. “Sex traffickers use a variety of methods to “condition” their victims including starvation, confinement, beatings, physical abuse, rape, gang rape, threats of violence of the victims and the victims’ families, forced drug use and the threat of shaming their victims by revealing their activities to their family and their families’ friends.” (Sex Trafficking Fact Sheet)
Victims face numerous and severe health risks. T physical risks include drug and alcohol addiction. Tortured victims experience physical injuries that include “broken bones, concussions, burns, and vaginal/anal tearings.” Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common physical harm that “results in memory loss, dizziness, headaches, and numbness.” Sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, UTIs, and pubic lice also occur regularly. Most of these are incurable and may result in death. Other problems such as sterility, miscarriages, and menstrual problems occur in women. The respiratory diseases include TB, pneumonia, and hepatitis malaria. Forced abortions are used for women of all ages. Health is a major problem with sex trade victims, and most do not make it out alive. (Sex Trafficking Fact Sheet)
“Psychological harms include mind/ body separation/ disassociated ego states, shame, grief, fear, distrust, hatred of men, self-hatred, suicide, and suicidal thoughts. Victims are at risk for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is an acute anxiety, depression, insomnia, physical hyper-alertness, self-loathing that is long-lasting and resistant to change.” (Sex Trafficking Fact Sheet)
“Victims may also suffer from traumatic bonding, which is a form of coercive control in which the perpetrator instills in the victim fear as well as gratitude for being allowed to live.” (Sex Trafficking Fact Sheet)
Types of Sex Trafficking
“Victims of trafficking are forced into various forms of commercial sexual exploitation including prostitution, pornography, stripping, live-sex shows, mail-order brides, military prostitution and sex tourism.” Gang members make millions of dollars each year off the victims’ services. (Sex Trafficking Fact Sheet)
“Victims trafficked into prostitution and pornography are usually involved in the most exploitive forms of commercial sex operations. Sex trafficking operations can be found in highly visible venues such as street prostitution, as well as more underground systems such as closed brothels that operate out of residential homes. Sex trafficking also takes place in a variety of public and private locations such as massage parlors, spas,...
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