Posts tagged with "Sex Trafficking"

Molly Gochman: Using Art to Combat Trafficking

Can art combat human trafficking?

You already know the answer. 

Art has the power to reach beyond our rational brains.  At its best, art has the power to reach to the very core of what makes us tick. It can make us see ourselves differently and it can inspire us to action. When we say that art “moves us,” this is actually literally true; art can not only make us more aware, it can inspire us to behave differently. 

Meet Molly Gochman

There may be artists who are a better example of art moving us to take action, but in the anti-trafficking field, there aren’t many who are more effective than New York-based artist, Molly Gochman.

Her particular genius is, she translates the commonest of experiences, something that is a part of everyday life, into something transcendent. She creates something that once you’ve seen it, you can’t un-see it. 

After learning about the metaphor you’re about to read, your world is going to be at least slightly different. The world as a whole will be at least slightly better.

Cracks in the Sidewalk

The metaphor begins with cracks in the sidewalk. Any sidewalk. Anywhere.  Cracks in the sidewalk are part of everyday life, and we hardly ever notice them. 

Gochman’s artistry, her ability to make connections that the rest of us don’t see, resulted in her thinking one day, “We don’t pay attention to sidewalk cracks. They’re in plain sight, just like human trafficking!”

She knew that 40.3 million people live as slaves. “There are overlooked populations,” she says, “and these include refugees, immigrants, LGBTQ people, people of color, indigenous people, people with disabilities, women and girls, and children, and they are at risk of being enslaved, spending their lives being exploited for the profit of others.”

Like most of us, the idea of doing something about a problem so huge was daunting. For her, almost the biggest part of the problem of changing the conditions of those who are most vulnerable is, these individuals are there, but no one sees them.

Wanting to do something about what she considered almost unimaginably horrible, she asked herself, what could she, one individual, do?

Her answer was, as an artist she could help raise awareness. 

She started small.

She began pouring red sand into cracks in a sidewalk in Miami, at an art fair. She was doing this initially as a way to start a conversation with the people who were walking by. As she expected, people were curious about the strange sight of a grown woman pouring bright red, blood-colored sand into cracks in a sidewalk.

“Why are you doing this,” people would ask.

“It’s an art project to raise awareness about modern day slavery.” 

“I thought slavery had ended!” was a typical response, and pretty soon, a robust conversation was underway.

This initially small project grew. It touched a nerve. The more people learned about Gochman’s 

Red Sand Project, the more the idea of pouring red sand in sidewalk cracks spread. Other people began doing it.  

Today, Red Sand Project is a participatory artwork that uses sidewalk interventions and earthwork installations to create opportunities for people to question, connect, and take action against vulnerabilities that can lead to human trafficking and exploitation. 

As Gochman puts it, “We do this to recognize those who are overlooked. We invite individuals to take the time to fill a sidewalk crack with red sand and to then document their sidewalk transformations on social media using #RedSandProject. 

“The intention is to encourage us all to not merely walk over the most marginalized people in our communities—those who fall through the metaphoric cracks.”

And where is the project today? With the help of Stardust Arts Foundation, in this past year alone the Red Sand Project team has mailed more than 22,000 Red Sands Project toolkits, and supported over 45,000 people doing Red Sand Project events. Since its founding in 2014, “more than a million people have come into contact with it,” Gochman says, her voice seemingly registering amazement at this fact.

It’s reached a million people, and the project continues to grow.  For more information, visit the website, https://redsandproject.org

Mitzi Perdue is the founder of the anti-trafficking organization, WinThisFight.org and author of 52 TIPS FOR PREVENTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING. Contact her at Mitzi@WinThisFight.org or call her at 410 860-4444.

 

Looking for an Education about Sex Trafficking? Here’s an Answer

Would you like an overview of human trafficking in America? Would you like a report that manages to be not only comprehensive, but also brief? And that has the most recently available information and statistics?

Jeff Keith from Guardian Group has an answer for you. He and his colleagues designed the 15-page report, 2019 Human Trafficking in America, and according to Keith, they did it, “To create a tool that enables people to get information in one place without having to seek it out. We sourced it from well-done research projects and then added to it our own analysis of the problem based on 10 years of experience.”

He goes on to say, “Our goal was to make it human and personal, and not just about statistics.  We wanted to avoid ‘paralysis by analysis,’ where you get so many statistics that you take away the person behind it.  This report isn’t just statistics, it’s about someone’s loved one, or maybe a community member.”

Keith also had another goal.  “We wanted to re-educate people and show people what’s really happening. People may watch the movie Taken or Pretty Woman, and think that’s how it happens here, but typically that’s not the case.”

To get a feeling of how different trafficking is likely to be from what you see in those two movies, read this quote from page 4 of the report:

“The pimp/traffickers monitor social media or dating sites for potential victims. They look for a vulnerability or a problem they can solve. Posting “my mom is the worst” on your Facebook page offers a predator the opportunity to swoop in and become the victim’s hero. They may also recruit victims at places teens hang out such as: parks, malls or outside shelters for runaway and homeless youth. Pimp/traffickers view humans as a product to be sold.”

In creating this report, Guardian Group members wanted not only awareness, they wanted impact.  Keith is pleased to report that already there have been amazing impacts.

“For example,” Keith says, “within a few weeks of a training session where a lot of the information in the report was communicated at a local hospital, members of the staff in the Emergency Department experienced a truly impactful result.”

Keith goes on to explain that shortly after the training session, there was a motor vehicle accident that occurred. The woman that was in the car accident had to be put on an automatic 24-hour hold due to her injuries. During that time a nurse and social worker both noticed several red flags.

  • The young woman’s story changed various times.
  • She would not make eye contact.
  • She was very afraid of the man that had been driving the car.

The hospital staff notified Law Enforcement and a multiple jurisdictional trafficking case was opened. The young woman was returned safely to her family.

Keith believes that the more people who read this report, the more impact it will have. To download a .pdf of 2019 Human Trafficking in America, go to Guardiangroup.org, click on Community under the Training tab, and then scroll down to Human Trafficking In America Report.

 

Elizabeth Peyton-Jones

A Threat in the Fashion Industry–and What Can Be Done about It

 

The Jeffrey Epstein case brought to light one of the ugliest secrets of the fashion world. In too many cases, a pretty girl is offered a glamorous and lucrative career in modelling and ends up being trafficked.

Traffickers Use Modeling as a Lure

That’s what happened to at least some of the young women who ended up servicing Epstein and his friends. In the view of Elizabeth Peyton-Jones, founder of Responsible Trust for Models (RTM) “Fashion is a global industry with no borders and no controls, and this makes it is easy to use and abuse the system.”

Peyton-Jones has an impressive and effective approach to addressing the issues in the model industry which are hiding in plain sight, like the abuse of power and the ability for predators to use model agencies as scammers or worse, trafficking and money laundering.

As she puts it, “The modeling industry attracts children who wish to work as models. They are self-employed which means they fall through the cracks. It is not up to them to change the abuse; it is up to the adults in the industry to see what is wrong and change it.” 

She goes on to say, “We at RTM wish to aid in protecting the vulnerable within the industry by creating a globally recognized standard, one that’s  awarded to model agencies, and that will allow  ethical agencies to step up and show best practice and alert brands as to which agencies are best to source their models through.”

Abuse Hiding in Plain sight

We’ll get to Peyton-Jones’s ideas on improving the safety of models in a moment. But first, let’s take a look at a typical case of how models can be exploited. It’s the case of Larisa Popova. That’s not her real name, but the events described did happen.

“At age 16,” begins Peyton-Jones, “Popova was a young, beautiful, eager and impressive Russian girl.”

Her fabulous looks attracted a European scout who was in Russia looking for ‘new faces’ for their internationally renowned brand. “They loved her look so much they decided to sign her to an agency in NYC with the intention she would be their next new prodigy,” says Peyton-Jones. This young girl had a ‘Mother Agency’ in Russia who was supposedly taking care of her.

Popova, who arrived in NYC did not speak a word of English, needed some serious guidance, which the agency in NYC gave her. She was given a tutor for English and her career began to take off. She made a significant sum of money, but the ‘mother agency’ refused to open a bank account, which meant Popova had to take wads of cash home to Russia each trip.

The agency became suspicious when, even after several months of asking, no bank account was opened. Popova had also started hanging around people taking drugs and alcohol. The US agency gave the mother agency in Russia an ultimatum, “Get your model away from the bad element, open up a bank account or the police will become involved.”

At that point, Popova disappeared.

When the agency looked into things further, they discovered the truth: The mother agency was a prostitute ring and the model agency had been a front for a criminal gang, which meant that the brands had inadvertently sourced a model who was legitimizing a criminal activity. If this ever got out, the brand’s reputation would be destroyed as it is directly their responsibility and their supply chain.

This obviously does not end well for anyone. The US agency is wondering what they could have done better, and it’s hard for the  brand to pursue this because of the negative press it would attract.

Peyton-Jones won’t speculate on what happened to Popova. All she knows for sure is that the fashion house or model agency was never able to locate the girl.

What Can Be Done

Peyton-Jones knows that because of the glamourous nature of the industry and indeed models, this is a difficult story to tell and gain sympathy. However, the fact that any person can approach anyone in the street, mall or online, whether legitimate or not, and there is no method of knowing who the good guys are, means that everyone is vulnerable. If you have a child who is easily led, she is a potential victim. This is so even if she never set her sights on fashion.

The resolution to this is simple and positive and will allow for positive change in an industry which is calling out for better, more modern governance and operational behavior.

It begins with an industry-led and curated kite mark of best practice. A good house-keeping mark, if you like.

  1. 1.A global standard, respected and recognized by industry professionals championed by model agencies, allowing for best practice, professionalism and labor rights for models.
  2. 2.A piece of research to show that this abuse exists, mapping countries and profiling for patterns.
  3. 3.A training and educational program for models which will allow them to understand their career value and teach them about finance, contracting, social media rights and public speaking.

Funding at this point is important for the research piece. For philanthropists who would like to see a measurable outcome and want to shift the dial on modern slavery, this is an opportunity.

For more information, go to https://www.modelstrust.com or @models_trust. Or contact Peyton-Jones on sue@modelstrust.com

Mitzi Perdue is the Founder and President of Win This Fight and author of 52 Tips for Combatting Human Trafficking. Contact her at Mitzi@WinThisFight.org.

Anti-Trafficking Organizations

Using Counterterrorism Methods to Fight Modern Slavery

By Mitzi Perdue

Our expert is Nic McKinley, Founder and CEO of DeliverFund, a nonprofit, private intelligence organization that uses counterterrorism techniques to combat modern slavery. DeliverFund is made up of former elite intelligence operators from the CIA, NSA, FBI, and Navy SEALs. 

Interview with Nic McKinley

Editor:  There seems to be an explosion in human trafficking. Why?

McKinley: The problem has grown because of the Internet. The Internet allows scale, and to get a feeling for it, let’s look at the human trafficking issue through the lens of technology. In the days of the Pony Express, you could write a letter and it could take weeks or months to get it delivered, and the whole process was expensive. Today, you can send all the emails you want at a fraction of a penny and at the speed of light.

Editor: So, a person who wants to advertise sex on-line can reach hundreds of thousands of potential clients at almost no cost?

McKinley: Yes. The bad news is, traffickers can cheaply market their product to customers at a large scale at very little risk to themselves. The good news is, using technology and an understanding of black-market economics, we can introduce risk. We can make it more expensive for them, and we can disrupt their ability to reach the customers. 

Editor: How? 

McKinley: We make it more expensive for the trafficker. If the trafficker faces a lifetime in prison, word gets out among the traffickers. There’s now serious risk to the trafficker. 

And this brings us to black market economics. From a business point of view, how do people handle risk? 

The answer is, insurance. 

For the trafficker, insurance against going to jail means the trafficker has to spend more money on the “muscle” to control the girls, more money on bribing hotel employees, more money hiding what’s going on. Our goal is to make the transaction so expensive that the trafficker can’t make money on it. 

Editor: You played a role in taking down the infamous commercial sex trafficking site, BackPage.com. Is this part of making trafficking uneconomic for the trafficker?

McKinley: Yes, the traffickers’ Achilles heel is the Internet. The traffickers can’t make money if they don’t advertise on the Internet. Nobody stays in business if they can’t make money at it. We want to take away their ability to advertise.

Editor: How does DeliverFund use technology to bring this about?

McKinley: Our role is using our military and intelligence training to help law enforcement. Arresting human traffickers is the ultimate form of prevention, but keep in mind that the only people with the authority to arrest the human traffickers are law enforcement officers–so that is who we serve. 

We provide them with the technology tools and the cyber investigative techniques to be more effective in investigating and prosecuting human traffickers. Most law enforcement departments don’t have even one full-time human trafficking analyst or intelligence professional. We use our intelligence training to do the heavy lifting of finding the traffickers, and then we hand the information over to law enforcement. 

Interestingly, they validate and verify everything we give them. We work within the system. 

Editor: If someone likes your approach and wants to make a donation to DeliverFund, what would their donation make possible?

McKinley: For $50, a donor can know that he or she funded discovering the physical location of a trafficked victim. $75 would fund mapping out a trafficker’s network. $100 funds finding out a trafficker’s online footprint. And $500 funds an intelligence report on a trafficker that can help put a trafficker away for life.

Editor: Do you have a final thought for us?

McKinley: We believe the ultimate prevention program is the elimination of human traffickers. Without them, there would be no victims of human trafficking. 

For more information on Nic McKinley’s work or to make a donation, go to https://deliverfund.org. We are dedicated to supporting anti-trafficking organizations like this one.

Rachel Lloyd

 Recovery, Dignity, and Helping Others after Being Trafficked

 Recovery, Dignity, and Helping Others after Being Trafficked

By Mitzi Perdue

 

If you were to meet Rachel Lloyd today, you’d see a leader known for improving the lives of young women who have been sex trafficked. The organization she founded, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS), has helped thousands of girls and young women be restored to a life of dignity.

We’ll get into how this miracle gets accomplished in a moment. But first let’s take a look at Lloyd’s extraordinary journey from being trafficked herself to leading a movement that has transformed laws, attitudes and most of all, lives.

When Lloyd was 17, she left England and her abusive, alcoholic mother, hoping to start a new life in Germany. She arrived in Munich with enough money to pay for two weeks’ room and board. She assumed she could get a job waitressing.

However, there was a flaw with this plan. “I didn’t speak German,” she recalls, “and that meant I couldn’t get the kind of job I was counting on.”

At the end of two weeks, things were becoming desperate.  “I was about to be kicked out of my bed and breakfast, and that meant I’d have no place to go. I walked into a strip club and said I could dance. My plan was to do it to do it for a week, so I’d have enough money to pay for a ticket back to England.”

However, she wasn’t even qualified for a job dancing. The manager did offer to pay her to be a hostess, the kind that encourages customers to have a drink with them.

She soon learned that having a drink with a customer wasn’t just “having a drink with a customer.” There was a back room where the high paying customers expected her to spend intimate time with them.

Her first night, an 80-year old man bought her a bottle of champagne. In return, she had to go the back room with him.  

After her “back room” experience was over,  she felt so dirty that she spent the rest of that night in the shower, “wanting to scrub my skin off.” The experience was harrowing, but it did mean that she had enough money pay her rent. 

Her plans to work at the strip club for only a week, didn’t work out.  The money was good, but her self-esteem was low, and it wasn’t much of a step to being sex trafficked. 

Her life became full of beatings, hunger, betrayal, violence, and terror. It was a nightmare.

 

After two years, she was able to get out of “the life,” with the help of a military family and a church on a US Air Force base in Germany. From there, she emigrated to the United States, got her GED, a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in Applied Urban Anthropology.

Her time of being exploited for commercial sex left her with a deep desire to help other young women.  She started GEMS in 1998, and in the years since, she’s helped mentor more than 300 girls and young women a year, helping them get out of “the life.”   In the last 21 years, she’s:

  • Created a place of safety and support for thousands of girls and young women 
  • Passed legislation that finally protects children 
  • Reached millions of Americans through awareness and cultural change efforts 
  • Created the survivor leadership movement 
  • Permanently changed the conversation and landscape on CSE (Commercial Sexual Exploitation) and domestic trafficking in the U.S. 

She sums up her life by saying, “Obviously there have been experiences I would rather not have had and pain I wish I hadn’t felt, but every experience, every tear, every hardship has equipped me for the work I do now. I get such deep satisfaction from knowing I’m fulfilling my purpose, that my life is counting for something; it puts all the past hurts into perspective. My pain has become my passion and I find true joy in my work, in my life, and in seeing ‘my girls’ fulfill their purpose too.” 

If you’d like to support girls and young women who are working to rebuild their lives after having been trafficked, visit Lloyd’s website: https://www.gems-girls.org/about-anything  And even better, donate.  Your donation can make an extraordinary difference in the lives of the many young women whose lives GEMS and Rachel Lloyd touch.

Mitzi Perdue is a business owner, speaker, and author of the books, HOW TO MAKE YOUR FAMILY BUSINESS LAST, and also 52 TIPS FOR PREVENTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING. Contact her at Mitzi@MitziPerdue.com or call her at (410) 860-4444 for more info about human trafficking education.

Conchita Sarnoff

The Jeffrey Epstein Story: Media and Cultural Rot


The Jeffrey Epstein Story: Media and Cultural Rot

By Mitzi Perdue

Want some sordid details about how the rich and powerful evade the law? 

This is a story uncovered by investigative journalist Conchita Sarnoff. There’s a good chance that a lot of what you know about the Jeffrey Epstein case comes either directly from Sarnoff’s writing, or from others who benefitted from her decade’s long research.

Sarnoff learned about the Epstein case in a roundabout way. She was researching the issue of sex trafficking in the United States when she stumbled upon the Epstein case.

Her interest began when she was at a dinner in Mexico City, January of 2006. A government official startled her with an accusation. 

 “You Americans are a bunch of hypocrites,” he told her. “You buy our drugs, sell us illegal weapons, and now you are stealing our children.”

Sarnoff was aware of accusations that our government had facilitated the sale of guns in Mexico, and that there is a drug epidemic in the US, but hearing that we in the United States were stealing children from another country to traffic them for sex was new and deeply disturbing. 

When she returned home to Washington, DC, she began to research the issue. Soon after, she met Deborah Sigmund, founder of the anti-trafficking organization Innocents at Risk.

 Sigmund arranged for her to meet the Italian ambassador who was hosting an anti-trafficking breakfast. There she met a  12-year old girl who had been trafficked from Mexico to the United States and ended up in Washington, DC.

Sarnoff came from what she describes as a “charmed childhood,” and had never been abused, but even so, she felt “… an instant identification with this child.” Meeting the little girl made the issue real to her.  

Sarnoff decided to investigate human trafficking further with the idea of producing a documentary on the subject. Soon she had enough material to write a book on trafficking. 

Her history played a large role in what happened next. She’s related to General David Sarnoff, founder of NBC.  Some of her friendships overlapped with Jeffrey Epstein’s and Ghislaine Maxwell’s social circle.

Because of these connections, whenA Epstein was found guilty in 2007, she had access to him and Ghislaine Maxwell. Through extensive research and guidance from neighbors and friends inside Epstein’s circle, she learned that Epstein’s crimes involved the rich, the powerful, the famous, and the royal. 

As Sarnoff revealed in her book TrafficKing, “The people implicated in the Epstein case ranged from Harvard University to the White House to Buckingham Palace.”

“I had known Jeffrey Epstein since the early 90s and met Ghislaine Maxwell around the same time,” she says. In 2010, after further investigation she did something that few other people could do. She telephoned Epstein and Maxwell to find their side of the story. She spoke to them both. 

Epstein warned her during one of their telephone conversations they were “probably being taped by the Feds.” Unmoved she continued the conversations. There was nothing to hide.

Later in her investigation when Epstein was exposed as a Level 3 Sex Offender, that is, one who was at high risk of re-offending, Sarnoff telephoned Judge Ruth Pickholz to find out why the Manhattan DA’s office had appealed his registration to a Level 1. 

She next contacted the Manhattan DA, Cyrus Vance, Jr., questioning his decision to appeal Epstein’s sex offender status.  She also relayed to him information on 11 parole violations she had learned about from Brad Edwards, a lawyer for the victims.  

As she continued investigating the Epstein story, she learned that he wasn’t only sexually abusing children; he was also paying at least one girl to service his rich and powerful friends-–the very definition of child sex trafficking. She told this to the attorney Brad Edwards and suggested that Epstein should be accused of sex trafficking.

IN 2008, she pitched her book, and in 2009, Random House Mexico signed a book deal. In 2012, however, they killed the deal. Richard Johnson, Page 6, New York Post, printed two stories about her book deal. 

https://pagesix.com/2014/11/05/author-faces-off-against-bill-clinton/

Newspapers which, as society’s watchdog, should have been all over this insider’s story, as they have been since November 2018. Instead they shielded and protected Epstein and his enablers while silencing Sarnoff.

https://pagesix.com/2015/12/01epstein-sex-scandal-book-clears-bill-clinton/

In 2010 and 2011, she pitched the book again. To her intense consternation, 27 publishers turned her down. Publishers and mainstream media outlets continued to ignore her. Sarnoff can’t know whether it was Epstein’s financial clout or his political connections, or maybe something else, but it wasn’t until 2016 that her book saw the light of day. 

 

“If the press and the media hadn’t sat on the story,” she said, “I wouldn’t have spent ten years of my life following this case and writing this book. More importantly, a trafficker would have gone to jail before he could harm even more victims.”

 

“I don’t believe in exposing all the dirty laundry in public ” she continues, “but what is happening to our country when we shield a predator like Epstein is dangerous to our children and communities.”

Her book, “TrafficKing” is available on her website CONCHITASARNOFF.COM  and on Amazon. It’s the story of how Sarnoff, despite being offered a bribe to stay silent, risked her life to expose the brutal reality of human trafficking and the Jeffrey E. Epstein case.

Sarnoff continues to lecture about human trafficking and is the founder of the Georgetown University Human Trafficking Research Center at the Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is also Executive Director of the Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking. For more information about this anti-sex trafficking organization, go to atrvt.org.

Mitzi Perdue is the organizer of the Global Anti-Trafficking Auction. Contact her at Mitzi@AntiTraffickingAuction.com

Vanda M

Traffickers Target the Vulnerable; They Don’t Care If You’re Rich, Poor or In-between

Although traffickers prey on people who are vulnerable, you don’t have to be poor or come from a broken family to be vulnerable. Vanda M came from a solidly middle class, two-parent family.

Her father worked for a major hospital and her mother was a deeply religious woman whose approach to sex was close to Puritanical. How could it happen that Wanda could end up in the commercial sex world?

“I was a product of the rebellious 1960s,” Wanda begins her explanation. “I was a rebellious kid, and when my father told me, ‘I won’t pay for your college if you date a black guy,’ I immediately started dating a black guy.”

The rebelliousness was only part of what was going on in her life. “I was influenced by hallucinogens, and then there was a covert aspect of what my parents were teaching me. I remember watching my dad watching the Miss America contest.”

Vanda remembers how “…he was judging women by their boobs and butts. And my mother was really interested in my being pretty and able to attract a good provider.” Vanda learned that how she looked was an important value to her parents.

The Perfect Storm

Those factors played a role, but they became a perfect storm when tragedy struck her family. Vanda was 13 when her adored older brother drowned in the town reservoir.

Four years later, her father died in a car accident. There were no grief counselors back then, and the family didn’t have the tools for coping with their anguish.

In the case of Vanda, she acted out. She ran away from her private boarding school, and with $100 in her pocket, she ended up in Times Square, New York.  

She needed to support herself, and not finding any other kind of work, she got a job as a stripper. Surprisingly, it didn’t seem like a bad job. At first.

“I was a show-off,” she recalls. “I remember walking out to do my stripping.  I saw a man’s jaw drop and heard him say to the guy next to him, ‘Now there’s a woman!’” Given her parents’ emphasis on physical appearance, she liked this.

Vanda quickly found a boyfriend. As often happens with traffickers, he was positively brilliant in psychologically manipulating her, and quickly led her into the world of commercialized sex.  

“I left him nine times in nine months, but I was so needy because of the loss of my brother and father, that I kept coming back,” she remembers.

Finally, she was able to break loose for good. She called her mother, asking, “Can I come home and revamp my life?”  

An Amazingly Together Woman

Revamping her life worked. She started college, studying criminal justice, but before finishing, she left to become a full time stand-up comic.  

Her career since then has been a success, but she felt it took a lot of effort to become the person she is today. “I read everything I could find on personal improvement, I meditated, I took courses.” She even read philosophers and famous scientists.

Today, Vanda is one of the most “together” women your likely to come across. It took her some hard work to get to where she is today, and she’s living proof that people can have a life of dignity and respect and love even after a seriously dark time.

Maybe it would be fair to describe her as the living embodiment of the saying, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” She jokes about how her mother once told her, “Vanda, why do you have to learn everything the hard way?”

When asked if she has a tip, garnered from her life’s experiences, she says, “Teach boys to satisfy their sex desires without ‘stealing sex.’ Don’t get sex by using pills or getting a woman so drunk she doesn’t know what she’s doing.”

 Instead, she hopes young men and young women will learn to be decent people. That means becoming the kind of person who can earn a real relationship with a deserving partner.

Vanda W is writing a book on her experiences that’s coming out in 2020. Come back to www.AntiTraffickingAuction.com/blog for an alert for when it’s published, as well as to learn more about anti-trafficking organizations.

 

 

Is Trafficking More Prevalent Now?

Joanna RubinsteinJoanna Rubinstein from the World Childhood Foundation knows that child-trafficking is more prevalent now than ever before. She also knows why.

“In the past, a trafficker might be able to find five or six young people who were vulnerable, and it would take weeks or months of grooming to entrap them. Now, with the Internet, the trafficker can be working on a couple of hundred prospective victims at the same time.” 

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How Sex Traffickers Exploit Vulnerabilty and Gaps in the Law

By Mitzi Perdue

Yasmeen Hassan, Global Executive Director of Equality NowYasmeen Hassan, Global Executive Director of Equality Now, has an interesting take on sex trafficking.  Although Harvard-educated, she grew up in Pakistan, and her defining moment came at age 10 when her country’s laws were ‘Islamized.’

She got to see, under the new regime, how women were treated as second-class citizens. The experience was the starting point of her lifelong advocacy for women’s rights.

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A Physician Looks at Sex Trafficking

By Mitzi Perdue

Dr. Cesar Chelala During a trip to Egypt in the 1990s, Dr. Cesar Chelala learned something that was a cross between horrifying and hard-to-believe. Ninety percent of the women there had undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

You may already know this, but FGM means cutting out a woman’s clitoris. The process is so painful that an adult woman may remember the misery of the procedure for her entire lifetime.

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