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Where Pimps Peddle Their Goods
Backpage accounts for about 70 percent of prostitution advertising among five Web sites that carry such ads in the United States, earning more than $22 million annually from prostitution ads, according to AIM Group, a media research and consulting company. It is now the premier Web site for human trafficking in the United States,according to the National Association of Attorneys General. And it’s not a fly-by-night operation. Backpage is owned by Village Voice Media, which also owns the estimable Village Voice newspaper.
Attorneys general from 48 states have written a joint letterto Village Voice Media, pleading with it to get out of the flesh trade. An online petition at Change.org has gathered 94,000 signatures asking Village Voice Media to stop taking prostitution advertising. Instead, the company has used The Village Voice to mock its critics. Alissa thought about using her real name for this article but decided not to for fear that Village Voice would retaliate.
Roman Polanski, as writer Conchita Sarnoff declares, is not the only rich pedophile walking away with a slap on the wrist.
Billionaire pedophile goes free
Film director Roman Polanski is not the only convicted pedophile to walk free this month and return to a life of privilege. On Wednesday, hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein completes his one-year house arrest in Palm Beach, which has been even less arduous than Polanski’s time at a Swiss ski chalet.
Here’s what he did:
In March 2005, Reiter’s department, acting on a complaint from the Florida parents of a 14-year-old girl, launched an investigation that would eventually uncover a pattern of predatory behavior stretching back years and spanning several continents, knowingly enabled by Epstein’s associates and employees. Two or three times a day, whenever Epstein was in Palm Beach, a teenage girl would be brought to the mansion on El Brillo Way. (“The younger the better,” he instructed Haley Robson, a local teenager who was paid to bring other girls to the house, and who declared, on a police tape, that she was “like a Heidi Fleiss,” the infamous California madam.) Advised that she would be giving a “massage,” the girl was then pressured to remove her clothes, submit to fondling and a large vibrator, and sometimes lured into more invasive sexual contact. Each girl was paid $200 or more, depending on how far things went, by house manager Alfredo Rodriguez, who was instructed always to have $2,000 cash on hand.
The Palm Beach Police Department identified 17 local girls who had contact with Epstein before the age of consent; the youngest was 14, and many were younger than 16. And that was just at one of Epstein’s many homes around the world—he also owns property in New York, Santa Fe, Paris, London, and the Caribbean. Subsequent investigation by the FBI, reaching as far back as 2001, indentified roughly 40 victims, not counting Nadia Marcinkova, whom Epstein referred to as his “Yugoslavian sex slave” because he had imported her from the Balkans at age 14. Now 24, Marcinkova became a member of the household and is alleged to have participated in the sexual contact with underage girls.
Women make up the majority of modern-day slaves in the world. They’re forced to work as sexual slaves in prostitution and strip clubs. (Men and boys are often enslaved as laborers). Women and girls can be shackled, beaten and raped, and forced to not look their “masters” in the eyes. The similarities to the Atlantic Slave Trade is striking; one difference, however, is that estimates place the number of modern-day slaves at a higher number.
Here’s a blog post from Amanda Kloer at Change.org on her 10 predictions for 2010:
Top 10 predictions for state of abolition in 2010: Sexualization to lawsuits
This is particularly scary:
6. Increased sexualization of children. I hate to make this prediction, but 2009 trends indicate that in 2010, the sexualization of kids will increase. Whether it’s sexy Halloween costumes for tweens like Noah Cyrus, dolls that pole dance, or an increased pressure for younger and younger girls to slut it up MTV-style, the barrage of sexual culture aimed at kids is going to get worse before it gets better. Maybe 2011 will be the year we finally see a dip, but I’m not optimistic for 2010.
With our increased awareness of sexual slavery, pedophilia and incest, WHY are women being hypersexualized and children being sexualized? Does sex (let’s get real, we’re talking about female sexuality, for the most part) really sell? Is there proof to this or do we just buy into it? Is sexuality really liberating to women or is the “whorification” contributing to making us less credible and ignoring our real contributions to society? And while men are increasingly being sexualized, has it diminished their credibility at all? Is there a demand for male sexuality, whether by gay men or hetero women? Does it exist or is it ignored?
Despite laws, reports the NY Times, few perpetrators of sexual slavery are arrested. Some police officers aren’t digging for information when they arrest prostitutes and some are making arrests for prostitution rather than trafficking in order to push their caseloads through.
Despite tough laws, few are arrested for sex trafficking
A federal law passed in 2000 with life prison penalties has resulted in 196 cases with convictions against 419 people, according to the United States Department of Justice.
The scale of those numbers contrasts starkly with the 14,500 to 17,500 people the State Department estimates are brought into the United States each year for forced labor or sex.
Now that we’ve got the laws (not all countries do), we must enforce them. It’s an outrage that slavery exists again in the ‘modern’ world.
The recent case of Shaniya Davis brought to light the problem of sexual slavery in this country. Headlines, stories and TV broadcasts all talked about the horrors of a mother who sold her 5-year-old into sexual slavery. But, may I ask….
Why aren’t we also talking about the demand side of sexual slavery? Why aren’t we talking about the rape of a 5-year-old child prior to her murder?
If we don’t talk about the demand for minors and adults in prostitution and slavery, we will never solve this problem.
According to blogger Katherine Chon, the Washington Post allows advertisements of sexually trafficked women – even though the Post itself has reported on the dangers of sexual slavery:
“Advertisements for massage parlors that are often fronts for brothels selling trafficked women are run in The Post every day, despite the fact that the publication has reported on human trafficking in massage parlors.”
Evidently, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Boston Globe have decided against facilitating sexual slavery in its advertisements. The Washington Post should do the same. Visit her blog to read the full story and find out how to take action.