In very brief, the podcast was about a missing girl off of a cruise ship who is speculated to have been abducted and sold into sex trafficking. It was a very informative episode and I highly recommend it. It sent me down a rabbit hole on Google and now I need to write about it.
What exactly is sex trafficking?
It’s basically, modern-day slavery. It involves the recruitment, transportation and ultimate control over a victim to perform sex, sexual acts, or be sexually exploited. The victim is forced to perform sexual services to the traffickers’ customers. Victims usually work and live in terrible situations and if they attempt to escape, are often left to face deadly consequences imposed by the trafficker.
Where is it happening?
In a short answer, everywhere. Sex trafficking is happening everywhere. In every country, state, province, everywhere. After learning more about it I recognize how big of a problem it is and how little it’s talked about.
Sex trafficking is happening everywhere, every day. Experts call it a low-risk high-profit crime. Because the industry is so hidden it’s difficult to even get accurate stats. Most of it goes undiscovered, unfortunately.
Victims are often hidden in private homes, vacant properties, hotel rooms and more. From the exterior, it often doesn’t look alarming. And that’s what makes it so difficult to investigate. This is a crime that happens even in the high-profile world. I found an article discussing Peter Nygard and how he trafficked victims from Canada to the United States for an astounding length of time. Read it here.
Most traffickers look for victims that are vulnerable.
Maybe they have poor mental health, a low-paying job, troubled relationships, basically any struggle. Then the trafficker twists the situation to make the victim believe they can improve it. Maybe it’s a promise of a better life, more money, etc.
Most commonly, victims are moved so they remain isolated and away from friends and family. Before long, the trafficker controls everything about the victim and the victim is forced to perform in sex. They are controlled, often physically and emotionally abused and lose their free will.
It’s also common that victims who escape do not report it to the police.
A few reasons for this are:
Not knowing they were/are a victim of human sex trafficking
Threats made concerning the victims loved ones
Lack of knowledge
Lack of trust in police
Risk of deportation
So I really think it’s important to learn the signs.