Sex Trafficking

Cyntoia Brown

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When Cyntoia Brown was just 16 years old, she shot and killed a man in Tennessee who had taken her to his house for sex. She was tried as an adult on charges of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Learn more about Cyntoia’s story by watching the documentary Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, searching the hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown, or reading this article.

Your DGB for today is to contact Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, who is reviewing this case, and ask him to help Cyntoia.

https://www.tn.gov/governor/contact-us.html

FOSTA/SESTA

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Your DGB for today is to support sex workers by signing this online petition to repeal FOSTA/SESTA.

FOSTA/SESTA is a set of bills, signed into law last month, that look good on the surface. The legislation is an attempt to fight sex trafficking by making websites such as Craigslist, where trafficking is often organized/solicited, responsible for the crime. The hope is that this will make it much harder for sex traffickers to do business as platforms and sites censor themselves in order to avoid trouble. However, sex workers say the legislation is fatally flawed because it doesn’t distinguish between consensual sex work and sex trafficking. In making the internet less hospitable for sex traffickers, it also pushes sex workers off-line and onto the streets. “When they’re forced onto the streets to find clients, sex workers have fewer advance safety precautions in place, no ability to effectively pre-screen clients, and no way to ensure that they work in safe, secure locations.” https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/4/13/17172762/fosta-sesta-backpage-230-internet-freedom In addition, many - including our own DOJ - argue that the bill won’t even help the victims of trafficking to begin with.

As Aviva Dove-Viebahn said in Ms. magazine, “Even if our opinions on the sex work industry diverge, we can all agree that being a sex worker–whether by choice, circumstance or force–should not disqualify someone from basic human dignity, care and respect.” In light of this, repealing these flawed bills is the sanest choice.

 

Tackle Human Trafficking this Super Bowl Weekend

Your DGB for today is educate yourself on human trafficking and learn how to recognize the signs of human trafficking so you can report it.

Every year the Super Bowl brings about an increased awareness for sex trafficking in the cities hosting the Super Bowl, but the tragic reality is that human trafficking happens year round. Last year alone there were over 26,000 calls to the Human Trafficking Hotline and 7,500 human trafficking cases reported. While law enforcement agencies may see an uptick in sex trafficking during large events, the victims have typically been facing exploitation for a long time before the event occurs.

One way to help curb sex trafficking is to arrest the sex buyer, as opposed to the victim of sex trafficking. Statistics show that a staggering 15% of men have bought sex, but those men have a 1 in 100,000 chance of getting arrested for it. Increasing the punishment for purchasing sex should decrease the the amount of sex trafficking victims, because men will not want to suffer the legal and financial consequences. You can also contact your representatives and make sure they strengthen anti-human trafficking programs. Click here to contact your local representative and urge them to support the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

This Super Bowl weekend, spend some time educating yourself on sex trafficking and doing everything you can to help its victims, including contacting your representatives and educating yourself on the signs of human trafficking. If you see it, report it. 1-888-373-7888