| Sex Trafficking: Our Daughters Too|
Did you know that 293,000 American children at risk of becoming domestic sex trafficking victims (link)?
What You Can Do:
~Reframe the Conversation:
These women are victims. Unfortunately, the language that is employed across our nation has a different implication: that these women are happy with their lives (the myth of the "Happy Hooker" as referenced in the Amy Fine Collin's important Vanity Fair essay). It is time to start using different language. We can begin with something as simple as using the term "Sex worker" versus "Prostitute". Thirty years ago, the conversation about domestic violence painted battered women as women who wanted or chose to be beaten. Today, that conversation is entirely different and women have been given rights and protections that help the issue. But this shift took much time and effort on behalf of many women and men.
~Reach out to your State Representative and/or Senator:
In Georgia huge strides are being made after a four-year legislative fight that has resulted in harsher punishment for criminals conducting sex trafficking and "more treatment for victims." "The legislation calls for a 25-year minimum sentence for those convicted of using coercion to traffic someone under the age of 18, and slaps a minimum sentence of five years on those who pay for sex with a 16-year-old. People trying to have sex with someone even younger face at least 10 years behind bars" (link). More importantly, the measure also "includes protections that allow a prostituted child or adult to avoid criminal charges if they can prove they were coerced into it. Under the measure, coercion doesn't mean just physical abuse but also financial harm, destruction of immigration documents and drug use." Victims are also given state medical treatment. Georgia is hopeful that this will be a model that other states take on.
This link from the Women's Funding Network provides many helpful hints as to how to take action.
GEMS has also done invaluable work in the state of New York advocating for tougher sex trafficking laws and better protection of the trade's victims. To learn more about GEMS, you may also read "Girls Like Us" by Rachel Lloyd, the Director of GEMS.
~Use Social Media to Spread the Word
Use facebook and twitter to reveal any new facts or exciting news around sex trafficking. This will increase awareness, leading more people to take action.
What Is Being Done Now/Recent Links:
A Future, Not a Past
Fight the Scourge of Sex Trafficking:
New Law to Help Sex-Trafficking Victims Rebuild Their Lives
Gaining Ground in Campaing Against Sex Trafficking
Enslaved in America: Sex Trafficking in the United States
Wyndham Signs Agreement to Train Employees to Spot Sex Traffickers Women for Women: Nettie Washington Douglass Summons the Strength of Her Gender
Sex Trafficking in the United States called "epidemic"
Sex Trafficking in the United States: Children Across America are Unseen Victims Georgia's New Sex Trafficking Law Step In Right Direction, Advocacy Group Says
Georgia Sex Trafficking Law Goes Into Effect