Over the past year and a half I have learned quite a bit about human and sex-trafficking both domestically and internationally. Here are some of the myths about prostitution and sex-trafficking that I have found untrue:
Myth 1: Prostitution and sex-trafficking are different.
FALSE! Prostitution and sex-trafficking are usually synonymous. Trafficking is "involves an act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them." (Source: UNODC).
Myth 2: Women go into prostitution by choice
FALSE! Most often, women do not go into prostitution by choice. 79% of all prostitutes are coerced through emotional, financial or physical manipulation - meaning they were "trafficked" according to the above definition. Almost all women involved in prostitution, strip-clubs or pornography are victims of sexual and/or domestic abuse.
Myth 3: There is no connection between prostitution/trafficking and pornography
FALSE! It is officially recognized that pornography and prostitution are linked to one another: "Since 1983, United Nations, UNESCO and Canada have identified pornography as one of the factors which facilitate the exploitation of prostitution and have acknowledged that any policy of prevention of prostitution absolutely must include resolute action against the spread of pornography." (Source: foundationseychelles.org)
Myth 4: Prostitutes are all consenting adults
FALSE! The average age a girl begins being exploited for commercial sex (prostitution or sex-trafficking) is 12. Yes, you read right, 12.
Myth 5: There is nothing I can do to make a difference in the lives of women trapped in exploitation
FALSE! Here are a few simple things you can do:
- Learn about the issues. One way to do this is by attending The Justice Conference, February 21-22, 2014. While the main conference will be held in Los Angeles, there will be partner sites all of the country, including Charlotte, NC. For more information visit www.TheJusticeConferenceCharlotte.com.
- Purchase products made by sex-trafficking survivors - here are just a few organizations:
3. Of course, Fashion & Compassion also carries products made my survivors of sex-trafficking both in Charlotte and Cambodia. See our events page to see where you can shop our products next or contact us to schedule an event.
I hope this information has helped break some false stereotypes and myths. Please share what you learn with others so that we can fight this issue together.