I met with this amazing women yesterday who is also our current Mrs. Minnesota, Ms. Melissa Brenny.
I heard from one of my close friends Jess, that Melissa is working on spreading awareness on sex trafficking (to support her for Mrs. America pageant, please go to https://www.gofundme.com/2cwthek) and wanted to talk with her to see if Holor could be of help to potential victims. She was such a joy to be around and I wish her the best on the upcoming Mrs. America pageant this month.
After our discussion I came home and started doing some research on sex trafficking. This blog will share details I gathered……..The first thing that came to mind when I stated reviewing statistics on sex trafficking is ‘Houston, we have a problem’.
Apparently sex trafficking is currently a booming industry globally, nationally and locally. And also it’s no longer just an urban street-corner problem, officials say it has engulfed suburban counties because the internet and digital devices remove geographical boundaries and the use of mobile apps like Wickr and Whisper avoid detection.
- Globally it is estimated that around 3 million women and girls are currently enslaved in sex trafficking, since most of the women and girls do not file complaints it is estimated that the number is much much higher.
- The US state department estimates that between 600,000 – 800,000 people are victims human trafficking each year. 80% of those trafficked are women and girls, mostly for sexual exploitation.
- Sex trafficking is producing a revenue of $30 billion annually. It is next to only drug trafficking.
Nothing thrives without demand, apparently there is high demand for sex trafficking and it escalates during major events like Super bowl etc.
Below are some of the questions I had on sex trafficking….
- What is sex trafficking?
SEX TRAFFICKING occurs when someone uses force, fraud or coercion to cause a commercial sex act with and adult or causes a minor to commit commercial sex act.
A COMMERCIAL SEX ACT includes prostitution, pornography and sexual performance done in exchange for any item of value, such as money, drugs, shelter, food or clothing.
- How do traffickers find their victims and lure them?
- Why do victims stay?
- What is the average age of victims?
13- 16 years
It is just heart breaking to see young girls are the ones that are the most vulnerable victims of sex trafficking.
I recommend everyone read this great St.Cloud times article (http://www.sctimes.com/story/news/local/2016/07/21/sex-trafficking-victims-next-door/87248556/). This article elaborates a sting operation to catch sex traffickers by law enforcement in St.Cloud.
“Sex trafficking and mass rape should no more be seen as women’s issues than slavery was a black issue or the Holocaust was a Jewish issue. These are all humanitarian concerns, transcending any one race, gender, or creed.”
― Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Stay safe and stay aware of the surroundings! Until next blog….
Note:Some of sources for this information are through US department of justice, Polaris Project