By every credible statistical source out there, pornography’s ties to sex trafficking are indisputable. And so is the nefarious role the Internet plays in all of this. B.A.C.E. takes a look at some of the reasons why sex trafficking is on the rise.
Links to Human Trafficking
According to 2016 statistical reports from UPI, human trafficking in the United States continues to see double-digit increases annually, with sex trafficking fueling a major portion of what’s behind those disturbing numbers. Reported cases jumped 35.7 percent from the previous year.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline defines trafficking as a “form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud or coercion to control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor practices against his/her will.”
Polaris, which runs the hotline, also reports that more than 7,500 cases involving 4,890 adults, and disturbingly 2,387 minors, comprised the bulk of the report. Interestingly enough, three states reported the lion’s share of trafficking reports: California was first with 1,323 cases, Texas ranked second with 670 cases and Florida finished third in this dubious category with 550 cases reported for 2015.
More disturbing statistics about the trend recently were broadcast on March 2, 2018, when Fox 8 television report aired in New Orleans, revealing a stunning 77 percent increase in sex trafficking cases reported in Louisiana involving juveniles.
FightTheNewDrug.org draws a direct relationship between the proliferation of Internet pornography and sex trafficking, pointing to a correlation of porn on the information highway with the rise in the number of women, children and in some cases men, who have been kidnapped, drugged, beaten, threatened or otherwise coerced into performing sex acts—by the very definition sex trafficking and slavery. Most of these acts are photographed and/or video recorded then sold for profit.
Reasons Behind The Rise
Web page reports from the Atlanta Daily World indicates sex trafficking is a highly profitable business and identifies four reasons behind its burgeoning statistics:
- Sexually exploiting women and girls is big business, both here in the United States and often even more so, internationally, with many countries suffering from high poverty levels. Sex trafficking can be highly profitable for the traffickers.
- The Internet provides a free channel for the criminal underground with estimates that a full 76 percent of all transactions for sex with underage girls start on the Internet.
- Diplomats from foreign countries can take advantage of immunity and sometimes aid and abet in sex trafficking, controlling visas and passports with no fear of prosecution for their acts.
- Major sporting events like the annual Super Bowl and other international marquee events make for a fertile sex trafficking marketplace—with money for sex knowing virtually no limits.
HeatWatch.org to a large degree echoes the reasons behind the steady increase noted by Atlanta Daily World, citing:
- Technology & the Internet: Based on 2005 statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 24.5 million children between the ages of 10-17 used the Internet on a daily number. One in five of them received an online solicitation for sex or were approached for sex. Those numbers have exponentially climbed each year since that 2005 report.
- Profitability: Some estimates indicate profits of $2.5-Billion per year are generated from sex trafficking. And it’s a crime that is easily repeated over and over again. Unlike a junkie who shoots up his/her supply of heroin and it’s gone, victims of sex trafficking are used over and over again, heaping profit upon profit.
- Language: Often distorted by traffickers who use vague terms like a professional prostitute to couch the reality of sexual slavery.
- Psychological manipulation: Sex traffickers are highly skilled into convincing, brainwashing and manipulating their victims into believing they are not victims at all, but “family” members who are loved and depended upon to turn a profit.
How Law Enforcement Is Fighting Back
The bad guys aren’t the only ones using technology. Law enforcement agencies at the local, state, national and international levels are likewise using high tech tools to seek, apprehend and punish sex traffickers of all stripes. Their technology-based efforts are highlighted in a recent Forbes article on seven specific weapons used to combat this new, high tech menace.
Taking a page from the technology playbook to wage a fair fight, B.A.C.E. (Businesses Against Child Exploitation) was specifically formed in 2016 with the expressed purpose of attracting likeminded businesses and membership to support and raise funds for local law enforcement to continue to upgrade their own technology, training and tools to combat child abuse, sexual child abuse, and the exploitation of children via the Internet.
We invite you to visit our web page frequently to view updates and informational blogs on how this battle is being waged, and your consideration of joining us in the fight.