If you think slavery ended in the 1900s, you are severely mistaken. If you think slavery is confined to one race, you are plain wrong. No gender, ethnicity, race, education level, or socio-economic status is safe from traffickers. Sex traffickers prey on the weak, the vulnerable, and people looking for a better life. Human trafficking is a $32 billion worldwide industry, and an estimated 27 million people are enslaved. America is now the number one destination in the world for child sex trafficking.
Child sex trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery in which the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years.
The average entry age of a prostitute is 12 years old. Can you imagine being a prostitute around the time you were in seventh grade? While most of us were taking dance lessons or playing football, others were being forced to have sex.
Why are women, men, and children sold into this slavery and forced into sex acts? The answer is simple: economics. There is a sick demand by certain individuals for commercial sex. These individuals have created a market, making it profitable for sex traffickers to get rich off the sexual exploitation of children and adults.
In any culture that is tolerant and accepting of sexual exploitation, there will be men who make the demand and women and children who make up the supply. Today’s society plays a big role, especially the mass media, in glamorizing prostitution. That “stripper with a heart of gold” could be one of the many taken from her family, beaten, raped, and forced to work for a pimp.
The media represents women in the sex industry as liberated and empowered women making lots of money quickly, when that is not usually the case. Prostitutes are most often victims, forced into the sex industry by traffickers and pimps.