She Has a Name
by Lesley Eichen
“The pimps who are trafficking young women and girls on the street have a great marketing tool: the media. You can turn on the TV now and see pimps glamorized in TV shows, music videos, and movies. Young people use “pimp” in everyday conversation: “my ride is pimped out,” “your clothes are pimping.” They do not understand the reality behind the term. “ ~ Tina Frundt, trafficking survivor
On April 12th, 2012 in Coralville, Iowa seventeen people were arrested and charges ranged from prostitution to human trafficking. Of those arrested were an Iowa City dentist, a clinical assistant professor in the College of Dentistry at the University of Iowa, a Mercy Iowa City anesthesiologist and a Waterloo woman who admitted to ‘pimping out’ her minor sister. This was the result of a two-day, multi-jurisdictional prostitution sting conducted in Coralville with the efforts of officers from the University of Iowa, Iowa City and Coralville police departments and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.
The Waterloo woman admitted to law enforcement that she was operating a prostitution business over the internet from which she illicitly profited thousands of dollars weekly. She also admitted to ‘pimping out’ her minor sister and collecting the money for the sexual acts her sister was willing to perform that she wasn’t.
Human trafficking victims are commonly found in prostitution where they are forced to meet expected quotas by providing sexually exploitative services.
If you hear the myth that prostitution is a victimless crime, consider the source. This rhetoric is spewed by those who purchase prostitutes or enslave them and their rationalizations couldn’t be more self serving. Proponents will tell you prostitutes choose this lifestyle, its two consenting adults, they find it glamorous and they profit substantially in the process.
One has to wonder if these same proponents would stand firm if the woman in the equation was their mother? Or their sister? When they purchase or enslave a woman for sexual exploitation she is someone’s daughter, perhaps someone’s mother or sister, and most definitely a human life and she has a name.
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. ~ Matthew 7:12
Contrary to the claims of those fueling and supplying the demand, the facts speak otherwise. The vast majority of those in prostitution wouldn’t seek that lifestyle and are desperate to leave it. They don’t want to be there. They want to escape.
Prostitution is fundamentally brutal and damaging to those involved in it. Prostitutes are raped, physically assaulted, threatened, and dehumanized. The health implications are devastating. Prostitution leaves physical, mental, emotional and spiritual annihilation.
Knowing that prostitution has been coined, ‘the world’s oldest profession’ there will always be a select few who will maintain that they voluntarily chose the path of prostitution without force, fraud or coercion. However, we can significantly reduce the number of those shackled into prostitution by human trafficking. Prostitution and all of the ways in which it manifests, fosters the growth of human trafficking by providing a shroud for traffickers to operate.
Advocates promoting the legalization of prostitution claim it will diminish trafficking and make a safer environment for those engaged in prostitution citing state sponsored prostitution in Nevada as an example. However, legalizing prostitution in Nevada has not improved anything, specifically for women and minors, except for lining the pockets of pimps, brothel owners and tax collectors. The increase in the sex trade in Nevada has made the state one of the main destinations for victims of human trafficking. Human trafficking happens where there is a demand for it and there is impunity to its consumers and perpetrators. The legalization of prostitution has not diminished illegal activities but flourished them. It is a breeding ground for the atrocities and exploitation of others, mainly females. Whether legal or illegal, prostitution is profoundly noxious to those involved in it because it’s not the legal status but the prostitution itself.
Legalizing prostitution increases child prostitution. This needs to be a point of distinction. Children are prostituted but they are not ‘child prostitutes’. They are victims of sexual exploitation and federal law defines them as a victim of trafficking. It is important to establish this critical difference to be able to facilitate rescuing and restoring children who are victims of trafficking.
Although there is Federal law, each state needs to create and implement individual laws addressing trafficking. If your state’s laws are not congruent with Federal law, minor victims may be considered criminals and punished for breaking the law. The term ‘child prostitute’ implicates the minor in the criminal activity of prostitution and denies the minor the legal status of victim. The term excludes minors from appropriate identification and the ability to be rescued and restored. If victimized minors believe they are criminals and will be treated as such by law enforcement, social services and society, they will seldom reach out for help. It’s necessary to consistently use terminology that accurately depicts minors as victims of trafficking – exploited children.
“I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”
~ Harriet Tubman
Human trafficking thrives because of a society’s tolerance of the degradation for the inherent dignity of human life. The depths of trafficking plummet deeper still. Forced abortions are used by traffickers to hasten a victim’s return to exploitation. For this to happen, organizations and individuals that provide abortions to trafficking victims are complicit in furthering the exploitation, specifically of minors, who are not legally able to consent for an abortion.
Those who work with victims of trafficking will attest that pregnancy often leads a woman to seek rescue and restoration, not abortion.
Any organization or individual that aids and abets a traffickers or any criminal ought to be held accountable for cooperating with the predators in furthering their victimization of the individuals involved. It is appalling to grasp that those who espouse to be trusted healthcare providers, specifically for women and young girls, are willing to partner with traffickers to exploit the women and young girls they claim to protect. Providing abortions or contraception to a minor who is being sexually exploited is to sustain that exploitation and provide impunity for the predators. Furthermore, tax payer dollars are used to fund their depravity. These are the wicked fruits of a culture of death.
“Evil and violence are not the final word. They are not capable of creating or ultimately defining reality. That is only God’s prerogative. However, evil and violence can pervert, distort, and destroy. They are parasitic on the original good of God’s creation. In this way, evil serves as the backdrop on the stage where God’s redemption shines with greater brilliance and pronounced drama. What evil uses to destroy, God uses to expose, excise, and then heal.” ~ Dr. Justin Holcomb
What to do if you suspect someone is being trafficked:
If the situation is imminent, call 911.
If there is no immediate threat, call the non-emergency number 311.
Or in Iowa call, CRTEC HOTLINE at 1-(877)-824-9747
National Center’s CyberTipline at 1-800-the-lost or online at www.CyberTipLine.org
For comprehensive analysis of your state’s existing laws go to: http://www.sharedhope.org/WhatWeDo/BringJustice/PolicyRecommendations/ProtectedInnocenceInitiative.aspx
If you, or someone you know, needs assistance leaving prostitution please contact, Partners of Shared Hope International Domestic Rescue and Restore: 1-866-HER-LIFE (1-866-437-5433)