Human Trafficking is not just overseas anymore.
SEX TRAFFICKING of both young men and women and boys and girls has been a rampant problem in this country for many years. That’s correct. Not globally, but in the United States. Only recently has the issue begun to surface in mainstream headlines, and primarily on account of the shutdown of the website, Backpage.com, where men would seek out ways to hook up with these troubled and abused youth, many of whom were kidnapped.
Although I was aware that this disgusting sex slavery was happening in this country, it wasn’t until last year, when I read a book called, “Stolen“, by Katariina Rosenblatt, that the enormity of the exploitation of humans hit home. Dr. Rosenblatt had been lured into the sex trade herself as a young teen. She was living from hotel to hotel with her brother and a mother who worked all the time and had little time to watch her children. Katariina was lonely and bored. It wasn’t long before she found herself drawn into a world of drugs, and sex. Although she escaped several times, she always went back.
They all do.
They go back because they don’t know what else to do. First of all, these abandoned young people become addicted to opioids, heroin, cocaine, molly, and other related drugs, and they have access to these through their suppliers. Second, it becomes the only life they know. As bad as they are treated, beaten, yelled at, and sometimes left for dead, it becomes a sort of Stockholm syndrome for most of them as they start to feel an attachment to the very ones who degrade and harm them.
On a website called, Bridgingfreedom.org. one particular blog discusses why those lured into sex trafficking stay, and outlines several steps:
Grooming has six steps in most cases, including: targeting, gaining trust, filling a need, isolating the victim, sexualizing the relationship and finally maintaining control. The step where a need is filled is further reason that an emotionally struggling target will have a higher rate of submission and compliance to the trafficker’s manipulation.
Many of the victims develop STD’s. Some get HIV. Most don’t live past the age of 25. Katariina was one of the rare ones. Her faith was one of the reasons she credits for being able to escape once and for all, and although it wasn’t a sudden light switch for her, God gave her the strength to leave each time she did go back.
She was at last rescued and put through a type of deprogramming; the first of its kind. She became so obsessed with how her life was saved that she went to college and kept going until she obtained a doctorate in Sex Trafficking Counseling, one of the first in the nation. Now she runs a rescue organization in Florida to counsel and house young people and get them out of a life of drugs and prostitution.
Dr. Rosenblatt helps them to lose their addiction to drugs, to get their self esteem back and to find their way in the world. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, the rewards are amazing. Several have become encouraged to follow in her footsteps to pursue a counseling career.
Many more people are deciding to take this fairly new career path, because it is sadly needed in our country. We are now seeing an influx of foreign illegal teens and children who are being trafficked for disgusting people to abuse. These are normal appearing folks who could be living right down the street from you.
What was most appalling in Rosenblatt’s book is that the john whom she eventually met who had trained many girls and some boys to go out and recruit others into the trade was a married white guy who held down a high paying job and had two young children.
These people are not who you think of when you think of the word, “pimp“.
There is a hearing on Wednesday for the founder of Backpage.com, James Larkin, to see if he can be released from jail on bond while he awaits trial. The hearing is in Arizona where he has been held since April 6th on charges of prostitution and money laundering. His co-founder, Michael Lacey, is also being held in jail, along with 5 other employees.
My article on Wednesday will detail how Backpage.com, as well as how two other sites were used by the general public to do the unthinkable: seek out pedophilia sex in almost every city in this country by the “average Joe”. The technique used to get the illegal teens to come to the United States will be delved into, and I will highlight specific cases of teens here in this country who were kidnapped and sold into sex slavery. Many of these cases have never been solved. A few have but the girls and boys who survived them and are now home again will never be the same.
This is a dangerous topic. There are also places operating under the guise of “Japanese Massage” or “Chinese Reflexology”. That’s not what’s going on behind closed doors. We will explore these ventures in this series as well, and how you can spot them and what you can do in your neighborhoods to get rid of them.