Prostitution and Sexual Trafficking

While libertarians like Ron Paul want to legalise prostitution, those who have actually been involved with this sordid trade know just how wretched it is, and why it never should be legalised. The harm it does to women, men, children, families and societies is just far too great.

Indeed, we are now becoming more aware of the evils of human trafficking and sexual slavery, and we must remain vigilant here. New films on this topic, such as Nefarious, and organisations like notforsale are working against modern slavery in general, and the sex trade in particular.

We need to resist the reckless and amoral libertarian spin on this, and see it for what it really is: a great evil which we cannot allow to continue. Two recent articles help make the case against sex trafficking and prostitution, and both deserve careful attention.

The first, by Al Mohler, reminds us of what is at stake here. Says Mohler: “At one point in the sexual revolution, efforts were made to legalize prostitution as a ‘victimless crime,’ a term that anyone could recognize as an oxymoron. Most of these efforts went nowhere in the United States and most of Europe, though ‘progressive’ law enforcement officials often looked the other way and did little to curb the market for illicit sex.

“Then something truly interesting started to happen. Influential forces in society began to notice the scale and magnitude of the market for sex. Law enforcement officials started to acknowledge the fact that women, along with under-age girls and boys, were being ‘trafficked’ through international networks of gangsters. By the end of the last decade, American officials were aware that sex trafficking was taking place in cities large and small. Women, along with boys and girls, were being kidnapped in far parts of the world and on the streets of American cities, to be sold into what could only be considered as sexual slavery.

“Over time, the shadow of international sex trafficking became evident in criminal networks that span the globe. Women and girls answering advertisements for models, maids, and child minders found themselves sold into slavery and transported around the world.

“Wealthy Americans booked vacations to destinations where their sexual appetite of choice, including children, could be easily purchased. As recently as the 2012 Super Bowl, American officials warned that several hundred under-age sex workers might be brought into the host city. These developments make the international sex trafficking networks impossible to deny.”

But even more sobering and important is the testimony of Tania Fiolleau, a former prostitute and madam. She certainly knows what she is talking about, and she makes a very powerful case against the legalisation of prostitution. While she discusses the situation in Canada, her words are most appropriate elsewhere as well.

She says in part: “The average age of entry into prostitution in Canada is 13 to 14 years old. Customers prefer the services of adolescents for their own sick reasons. This preference is partially formed by the perception that younger prostitutes are more clean and less likely to harbor sexually transmissible diseases. Young vulnerable teens are unwittingly recruited into prostitution by friends who are already part of the ‘human flesh trade’ or by pimps who target youths who have run away from broken or abusive homes. Young unsuspecting girls are preyed upon by prostitution recruiters at malls or even on Facebook. Teens from broken homes are especially susceptible to a pimp’s offer of shelter, food, and emotional support. While young girls are usually tricked into prostitution, it is not uncommon for them to be forced into the practice through brutal beatings.

“A further reason to make prostitution illegal is that it utterly destroys the mental and even physical integrity of the prostituted woman. Approximately 80% of women entering into prostitution have been victims of rape. Prostituted persons, however, are literally raped multiple times daily, as much as 8 to 10 times per day. They are the most raped class of women in human history. One study found that prostituted women exhibited many of the same characteristics as soldiers returning traumatized from war. More than 75% of prostitutes surveyed in the study met the criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The average number of prostitutes suffering PTSD from sex slavery was seen to be 14% higher than the average number of soldiers suffering PTSD after returning from intense combat on the front lines.”

So why not legalise? “Some people think that legalizing brothels will make the prostituted women safer and allow them to lead better lives. This is far from the truth. Many of the women working in brothels have already been abused by human trafficking, enslavement to pimps, or by being controlled by criminal organizations through fear and oppression.

“Whether brothels are legal or not, a prostituted woman will always be the one who loses out in the end. The vast majority of prostituted women that work in brothels eventually end up working on the street. This happens once the signs of a woman’s sex slavery start to show on the outside of her body. She becomes too worn out and haggard-looking to appeal to the Johns that frequent the brothels. Not being able to keep up with the younger sexier recruits, she is eventually cast out on the street like garbage. Many brothel managers will throw out a prostitute when her drug addiction becomes too much for her to handle. Legalizing brothels does nothing for the problems faced by street prostitutes as virtually no brothels will hire drug addicted street walkers. Research shows that less than 3% of prostituted women ever get out of the sex industry.

“A staggering two-thirds of children born to prostituted women end up imitating their mother’s lifestyle or entering into a life of crime. For the sake of protecting children alone, brothels and prostitution should be made illegal. Approximately 80% of all prostitutes murdered are killed by their Johns, pimps, or through the abuse of drugs. Most prostitute homicides are never resolved and the Johns and pimps are never brought to justice.

“By legalizing brothels, we are only enabling a serious social problem to fester and grow worse for our future generations and entire nation. Making brothels legal will only act as an incentive for women who are lured by the prospect of easy money. The number of women entering the so-called ‘sex trade’ will climb higher every day. Once they enter the trade, it becomes almost impossible to exit. The prostituted woman becomes addicted to the fast money, the comfort provided by the pimp, and to the drugs. The younger ones who lack education hardly stand a chance of ever getting out. I know this first hand as an ex-prostitute who works tirelessly to rescue these poor abused women from their dire situations.

“In a 1998 report of prostituted persons across five countries, 92% of women said they wanted to escape prostitution immediately if they had the resources. Women who sell themselves are often coerced, forced or drugged into it—sometimes even at gunpoint. They feel they have no other skills or abilities to succeed in life. The thought of trying to escape is often not a reality when fears of being caught and killed or severely beaten start to kick in. Many times the exploited and demoralized women simply lack the self confidence or education to think and act for themselves.

“Many of these girls that come on working visas, and then are forced into sex slavery, can’t go to the police for help for fear that their families will be murdered back home. It is very hard to escape the industry, since most girls have no sense of purpose other than what they do. They are ashamed. Without resources or knowing where to go, these women become society’s lost women.”

She concludes, “We don’t need laws permitting brothels. We need laws that instill the fear of long jail sentences and stiff penalties into the pimps and brothel owners who are making dirty money off of vulnerable women and children. Many brothels lure unsuspecting women through advertisements such as: ‘Female owned and operated. Earn up to $2000.00 daily. Fun friendly, safe environment’. This is how I got lured into it. It is all a lie that conceals the horror of the trade in human flesh for sexual exploitation. Let us not forget that prostitution includes young girls and boys being sold for sex to pedophiles, something that we rarely hear in the mainstream media.

“In conclusion, it is a tragedy for any young girl or women to enter into the hell of prostitution. They become our nation’s lost women. They become victims of a dark and sinister sex enslavement. Their life is one of agony and horror. Jail-time and social humiliation is too little of a punishment for those who engage in or perpetrate the crime against women that is now to be legally sanctioned in brothels by Justice Susan Himel.

“What we need is more organizations to help women exit prostitution. As a society, we need to drastically focus on prevention. We need serious legal deterrents for the Johns and pimps. We need to raise awareness on the effects prostitution has on society. We need to get into the high schools and colleges to do preventative work with our nation’s children before it is too late. The women of our country are worth it. Our young girls are worth it. The future of our nation — which now stands at a cross road — is worth it. Legalized Brothels and prostitution cannot be an option.”

Quite right. Forget what the heartless and amoral libertarians ramble on about. This is about the human rights of women and children. This is about justice for those who often do not have a voice, and are being coerced by those who are more powerful.

If we are concerned about this, we can start by raising awareness. Get the doco Nefarious and show it to as many people as you can. For the sake of our women and children, we must act – and we must act now.

[1681 words]

15 Replies to “Prostitution and Sexual Trafficking”

  1. I thought, brothels were already legal, at least in NSW or decriminalised or regulated, though I can’t quite understand the difference.
    As in the issue of abortion the argument is brought forward “this will prevent illegal brothels”. No, all it does is prevent the arm of the law from punishing such crimes as they should.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  2. Thanks Ursula. Yes various states, as well as various nations, have differing laws on this. My generic point with this article was to argue for two things:
    -where prostitution is illegal, it should stay that way;
    -where prostitution is legal, it should be made illegal.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  3. Thanks, Bill.
    The trouble is, that even where brothels are illegal, the law is not enforced – such is the pressure of the “sexual freedom” lobbies.
    Murray R Adamthwaite

  4. But don’t you know Bill that you are denying the women and the children their sexual rights? This is just a way of them displaying such right, how dare you get in the way?

    Sadly that is the way the world is going. We really need to put harsh sentences on both the users and providers of prostitution.

    Ian Nairn

  5. Indeed, Ian! And not only the girls – who where prostitution is illegal seem to be the targets of law enforcement. What about the men who use these “services”? Let the long arm of the law come down on them too, for participating in the exploitation of women.
    Murray R Adamthwaite

  6. Bill, this is just gut-wrenching for any parent to think that it is possible for our children to end up in sex slavery. Who can say with certainty that some of our street kids, even in Melbourne, who have run away from an abusive home have not ended up in the trade ?

    Although it can be seen that America plays a major part in fueling the trade, Australia isn’t far behind, especially with so called sex tours of Thailand. Workmates spoke about such tours with several men going regularly to Thailand purely for the purposes of sex. My efforts to condemn the trade met with laughter by the men even the effort to appeal to considerations of the thought ‘what if that girl was in some way related to you’ had little effect. No, our culture has become so desensitized and has the attitude that ‘so long as it doesn’t affect me, I don’t care.

    So even us Aussies are just as responsible for the sex trade.

    A way to combat it would be to put an end to these so called sex tours, through changes in the law, but that would require the government to then ‘enforce’ the law something it isn’t doing too well at present as we can see.

    Fred Merlo

  7. Labor legalizes this wickedness and the conservatives say, “We would never have done that.” But the conservatives never turn the clock back.
    Tas Walker

  8. Thought you needed to know Bill, the ABC just did a press conference on ssm, 10 am Thurs 10/05/12, as you can guess, only the pro side was given a hearing, including 3 so called reverends, anglicans and uniting btw (I think I can mention that, it was in the read scrolls at bottom of screen).

    Looks like they gonna push ahead with the destruction of marriage regardless of what the truth is.

    Neil Waldron

  9. It’s a good thing that making prostitution legal has eliminated the sex trade.


    Lee Herridge

  10. Peter Tatchell, who was apparently offered a peerage in Britain, but which he turned down, is held up as the great human rights champion; but whose human rights does he champion? Certainly not those caught in sex trafficking and child prostitution. Of this we hear nothing. Indeed he hotly denies the evidence which is there for all to see that he advocates paedophilia. Read any of his material and one will see that although he claims not to be advocating throwing morality completely out of the window, or that sex should be only between consenting partners, without any age limit, he always asks the question: but who is to say what is consenting or what is violent? One minute he is Mr Morality but in the next breath he is saying that this is relative; so no one can judge what is right or wrong.

    Read your Tatchell, I say, read your Tatchell:

    “Everyone would benefit from a more sexually enlightened culture. The absurd laws against prostitution and pornography illustrate this point. Securing legal equality for queer sex workers would be a limited advance. Homosexual prostitutes, and their clients, would simply face equal criminalisation and harassment as their heterosexual counterparts. What is needed is the complete repeal of the laws against prostitution, and their replacement by legislation that recognises the right of people to control their own bodies and to use them in any way they wish, providing it is with consent and no one is harmed.

    “A similar principle should apply to pornography. There is nothing shameful or obscene about the human body, including pricks and pussies. Sex is not dirty, but something to be shared and enjoyed. So why shouldn’t we be able to view explicit sexual acts, both hetero and homo? After all, using porn to wank with is a safe form of sex which can help reduce the spread of HIV. For people who are not able-bodied, young and handsome, and for those who find it difficult to meet sexual partners because they live in remote communities, porn is often one of their few means of sexual fulfilment. Why should it be disparaged and criminalised?

    “It is not good enough to only seek an end to the way gay porn is more strictly censored than straight porn. Lots of explicit images of sexual acts between men and women are also banned. Equality with heterosexuals under the anti-porn laws would thus mean only a slight liberalisation while leaving the bulk of draconian censorship intact. What is required is a revision of the laws against pornography in their entireity.”

    David Skinner, UK

  11. Tas Walker, when you say that conservative governments never turn the clock back, I couldn’t agree with you more. The last decent conservative governments we had in Australia were those of Sir Henry Bolte in Victoria and Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen in Queensland and they departed the scene a long time ago. Ever since, conservative governments have slowed down the pace of permissiveness but then made concessions to the radicals just before elections just for the sake of a few more votes (for example, the RU486 issue). There are a few exceptions to this but basically it’s been one-way traffic since the 1960s. It’s very depressing.

    Peter Murnane

  12. Thanks Peter

    Yes often the conservative governments have not been too helpful on these issues. Sadly they often just go along with what Labor has been doing in these areas. And yes, it often can be quite discouraging.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

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