Whenever I heard the phrase “human trafficking” I would think of it as something that took place in such places as Sudan, South America or some third world country. Last night at our Respect Life meeting we had a woman speak to us on the subject of human trafficking. Oh how wrong I was! Not only was the hard truth of this subject shocking but enraging. Hard fact number one: Human trafficking is taking place right in our back yard. Los Angeles area is one of the top places in the world for human trafficking. The main reason is money. Human traffickers make more money in the US than they can anywhere in the world. We’re not talking about slavery like it was practiced before where a person was captured and transported to the new world and sold to a slave holder to work on the owner’s farm, we’re talking about human trafficking that involves the sex trade. Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimate that there are between 100,000 to 300,000 kids, under the age of 18 being exploited in the United States.
Now I know what you’re thinking, only girls who run away or low-income girls from the ghetto get involved in this trade. Wrong again. Hard truth number two: Although it is true that many young girls who run away or are from the ghetto do get involved in this trade, there are many girls from well to do families who are lured into this trade by the devious tactics of the human trafficker. Here is how it works. A young girl is working in a department store, a well dressed, beautiful woman approaches her and compliments her on her beauty and tells her she knows where this young girl can make ten times what she makes working in the department store. The young girl is suspicious but since this is a refined looking and attractive woman she relents and agrees to talk to her after her shift. They meet in the parking lot where the woman invites the young girl to take a ride with her. The young girl has some suspicion but since the woman is driving an expensive Mercedes-Benz car she agrees to go with her. They go to a private home where the woman introduces her to a young man who flatters hers and promises here some wonderful things. to make a long story short; the young woman is groomed into the sex trade where she will be closely watched and told that if she does not do what she’s told bad things will happen to her and her family. Click here for a story that recently appeared on CBS and KCAL TV Los Angeles. Watch this CNN video documentary on how “the girl next door” is sold into sex slavery. This will change you. Well worth the 42 minutes of the documentary.
Hard truth number three: Once they have a young girl in their grip they force her to produce a certain amount, anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 per night at $50-100 per trick. If she fails to make these sums she will be severely beaten. These young girls are so traumatized and intimidated with threats of physical harm to themselves or their families that they do what they’re told by these criminals.