Responsibility S*X trafficking
Do you have a responsibility concerning sex trafficking? Previously, I asked you to think about these questions:
- When was the last time you recognized the issue in everyday life as it comes across your eyes and ears?
- How have you addressed your personal consumption of music, movies, and clothing choices/sexualized fashion, tolerance of pornography on the web or in other venues where commodification of sex for “sale” is tolerated?
- Are you are complicit by those choices or have you been silent about this issue?
- What proactive steps have you taken to make a difference in what is being offered to society?
It is this last question that we will address for the next several weeks. To comprehensively discuss this we will concentrate on proactive steps centered in four PIER areas.
P = Prevention, I = Intervention or Interruption, E = Education, R = Restoration
Today, we will focus on the aspects of prevention personally and in your community.
Prevention of personal exposure to the elements of sexual services as a commodity to be bought sold on the “open” market is a first step. Here are some of the places you will find the culprits: Internet, magazines, movies, television, videos, children’s toys, commercials, books, clothing, etc. You will find “sex sells” and “anything goes” marketing in almost every medium. You would have to live in a bubble without access to the world to insulate yourself. Here is how you can minimize the exposures for yourself and others in your community:
Prevent personal exposure by
- what you tolerate in your television shows – Really, what are you watching?
- Not supporting businesses that advertise with sexualized messages – we’ll talk more about advocacy next time through emails, letters, petitions
- what you buy in the following: clothing, magazines, movies, videos, children’s toys
- do not buy porn or tolerate others talking about porn in conversations as if it is acceptable (we’ll talk about educating other in the next blog)
- think about what is coming to your eyes and ears and reject those that are sexualized
- Prevent children from being exposed to pornography and sexually abused (ready resources exist – see below)
Prevent the toleration of hyper-sexualization in businesses, and the other areas listed above in your local community
Prevent the silence that is so pervasive concerning issues of sexual abuse
Prevent the demand for sexual services, especially the demand for sex with children.
Preventing the demand for sexual services is an issue that runs at the very fabric of relationships and cultural valuing of women and children. In the United States somehow we look contemptuously at nations who support or condone the practices of child sex tourism, child brides, female genital mutilation, religious practices that “sells” a child into sexual slavery, or forced abortions to eliminate the girl child. All of these are well documented by various news and non-profit organizations in the global arena.
There is a great demand for sexual services in the world. The global phenomenon of sex tourism is mainly by the wealthy traveler (usually from the Northern Hemisphere) who can afford to travel for the purposes of having sex with children, who are readily available, in the Southern Hemisphere.
In the documentary “Playground” by Libby Spears, in an interview with an NGO worker in Cambodia the woman states: “Men who come here to abuse children in Cambodia have 99.9% of the time have already abused children in their own country.” They report that U.S. citizens account for 25% of child sex tourists worldwide and as much as 80% in Latin America.” ECPAT. Nevertheless, the number one destination for U.S. citizens to have sex with children is still the United States. “It’s right under our noses.” You can see a trailer of this documentary at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utjtLRqQuJI
Prevention for children can look like:
- Education for parents about the relevant issues of sexual abuse using curriculum like “Stewards of Children” available at www.d2l.org and “Internet Safety” from Enough is Enough available at: www.internetsafety101.org, and there are several other relevant sites on my website under prevention: www.traffickstop.org
- Education for children in age appropriate ways that parents can use or that can be used in a setting with children at school. Not designed to scare them but to teach them good systems of boundaries and self-protection. Options include: www.yellowdyno.com or www.radkids.org or www.kidpower.org
- Education for educators – teaching teachers the clues and cues and child may be being sexual abused or even exploited.
- Education for older children how not be tricked or trapped by traffickers and to how not be misled as a potential scheme to recruit other victims. www.liarsandposers.com
What can you NOT, not do concerning actively preventing the demand for sex trafficking? If something has really jumped out at you and you want to learn more – contact me via the website: www.traffickstop.org.
Next time we will address Intervention – as in vigilance and advocacy NOT as a vigilante!