TakenSomething to consider, is that movies like , although such cases of trafficking have occurred, are not typical. In Minnesota, there needs to be a better understanding about what commercial sexual exploitation really looks like, and that includes human sex trafficking. We are not engaging in a justice movement if we do not have an understanding of what injustice looks like. To take action, you must be informed correctly.
To shed some light on the matter, and although there are instances that are different, I can only speak from my own experience. I wasn't taken from a strange room, in a strange place in a strange city. I was targeted by a familiar man, in a familiar place, in a familiar town.
In recent years, men in Minnesota called within minutes of law enforcement’s placement of a bogus ad on a website widely used by those involved on both sides of the sex-trafficking industry? That means there is a demand, right here in Minnesota. And that means traffickers and pimps exist, here. What should be even more alarming, is that there is a demand for young girls.
According to the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, the average age girls are brought into the sex-trafficking industry is between 12 and 14. Over half are runaways, some living on the streets. And an estimated 75 percent are lured into a sex-trafficking group, a pimp. And yes, it's happening through parties in rural farm places, hunting trips, and near bars. So, while there is much concern over Super Bowl Sunday, as there very well should be considering the shocking statistics of what occurs, let's not forget about what's happening in our own backyards, our own churches (yes) and/or cities.
No matter where this is happening, the fact that trafficking and sexual exploitation is occurring should be alarming enough to cause effective action towards solutions.
* Sex trafficking is a $32 billion a year industry in the U.S., victimizing between 300,000 and 400,000 American children every year according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
* Globally, the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 4.5 million people trapped in forced exploitation.