I promised myself I’d post more information about human trafficking and justice issues on my blog, considering I am “The Justice Pirate” to stand up against oppression and the sickening accounts of labor and sexual trafficking and more. I haven’t posted enough about it in a few years, not since I borrowed vintage outfits for several months a few years ago in which for each outfit post I explained various types of trafficking. I really enjoyed doing that but slacked since, though my voice and heart continues to pour out on such matters.
Last year the Super Bowl was in my state of NJ, which is one of the best states in the entire country along with two other states (yes only 3 are this good). There were dozens of arrests of traffickers and rescuing of victims of sexual trafficking that took place on the night of the Super Bowl alone. Unfortunately this year the Super Bowl is in one of the lowest trafficking fighting states in the country, in one of the lowest fighting cities at that. Our hope is that what happened in NJ last year will happen this year in Arizona.
The problem with sporting events is that where there are groups of people gathered (especially the thousands who celebrate at sports events), there are usually demands for company to celebrate these things with. Many pimps (which are traffickers) tend to be on the look out for new girls to recruit, and many of them are underage, while others are not. These girls often get tricked, kidnapped, coerced, beaten, forced into drug use, or are highly threatened into becoming prostitutes. Out of fear and desperation, they are trained and obey how to act and are made up to look older if they are young (stress and abuse also ages them). They then are hired by those looking for company for a night and are “raped for profit” as Gary Haugen of IJM states. A lot of those girls are abused in various ways rather than just used for sex. If they get caught, usually the prostitute is criminalized, feel they can’t trust police or much of anyone, and a lot of the time these women fall in love with their pimps who have abused them awfully so they don’t escape and will return to them after released because at least they are being fed and clothed by someone even if they are abused by them. The prostitutes adjust and feel they have no where to go so they continue in the work.
The average age of entry into prostitution is 13 years old! Many prostitutes don’t make it to 25 years of age (usually dying from drug abuse, suicide, murder, or HIV/AIDS). It is a terrible situation and many laws in the US have been changing to help them rather than to criminalize them. Also the “Johns” who hire these girls don’t realize that these prostitutes are treated as such and there have been programs made throughout the country to help teach them the truth and to help them with their lust addictions. Many “Johns” get away with their purchases of women, but laws are changing to take matters more seriously. Pimps when caught sometimes get off easily, but over the past year alone I have found dozens of cases where these people have received 25+ years of sentencing rather than up to 6 months as I noted a few years ago.
This Super Bowl we (Justice Network – which I am a part of) and NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking are doing the #HTchallenge to spread more awareness to those in the nation to fight and raise a voice for the defenseless and disregarded in hopes of ending slavery. You can find what you can tweet here to help you out as well as various Facebook message you can write. There are also images you can share (such as the one I have posted here). I hope you will come along side me to be a “game changer”!