Report by Domina Elle
The show 8 Minutes may be down, but the rescue industry is alive and well.
The same narratives which resulted in the show 8 Minutes are the same which are behind the current ‘human trafficking’ (anti prostitution) bills known as the JVTA and the SAVE ACT both which have thus far received unanimous support in both the Senate and Congress. After they are rectified (basically joined together) it will be on the President to veto or approve it.
While the narrative of these bills speak of ‘rescuing’ trafficking victims, sex workers know all too well that it will actually equate to more doors being kicked in, more of the same old vice operations equating to more arrests of adult consensual sex workers whose lives will be devastated. Welcome to the ‘new war on drugs’.
Is there an epidemic in sex trafficking in the USA?
No one here denies that there are instances of forced sex labor. No one denies that there are people who want out of sex work. No one is denying that there are people harmed by sex work. These circumstances and many others are part of the reason decriminalization would establish much needed relief.
Arrest and the subsequent circumstances harms both victims of trafficking and consensual sex workers. Only recently and in very few instances are victims spared arrest, even the children. The resulting record devastates a person’s chances for a life with many opportunities. How does society expect a person arrested for prostitution to be able to earn an income another way? Or be able to rent housing? In this age of data=no privacy such a record ensures that many people will have sex work as their best or only option (including victims of sex trafficking!). Arresting victims or consensual sex workers is a contradiction and a violation of human rights. These new laws are meant to attack prostitution despite the rhetoric about sex trafficking victims. There is no distinction being made between who is ‘forced’ and who is working by choice.
Notice when you watch the evening news and there is a report about a prostitution sting. Notice that now all prostitution stings are being referred to as ‘sex trafficking rescue operations’. Police have exchanged the word ‘prostitution with ‘sex trafficking’.
Is there a huge problem with forced sex labor in the USA?
By and large the many anti-trafficking agencies, organizations (such as POLARIS PROJECT) and faith based rescue non profits push the narrative that 100,000 to 300,000 to even MORE (depending on who the source is) are being SEX TRAFFICKED in the USA ANNUALLY. That is a LOT of people let alone children. But is this true?
How can this be? Is it now being claimed that ALL sex workers are sex trafficking victims? YES for the most part. Why are we arresting ANYONE who is being referred to as a VICTIM, we must ask? Does this make any sense to you?
It is going to make a lot less sense as you read further….
Since sex trafficking victims (including minors) have been arrested for prostitution when ‘recovered’ (remember only a few states have legislation which prevents the arrest of sex trafficked minors and these laws are relatively new) we can use the prostitution arrest data from every state (which is public) located at the Department of Justice website to give us a better idea of the actual scope of prostitution and sex trafficking in the USA. Anyone under 18 is automatically legally defined as a sex trafficking victim.
Have you heard that your city is a sex trafficking HUB? Media outlets featuring articles and reports on prostitution and sex trafficking often state this about whatever region where the report is being made, the media is usually quoting local faith based rescue organizations who get their data from larger organizations such as POLARIS PROJECT.
Why not look at the data from your state and other states? You might just be surprised.
You can do this here:
THIRTY ONE YEARS of totals and you do not get the annual total given by most ‘rescue orgs’
US Department of Justice PROSTITUTION ARREST DATA FROM 1981-2012
FEMALES (all ages) 1981-2012: 1,954,426 (31 year total)
Of this number, 35,371 were under 18. (1.81%)
Of this number 1,919,046 were over 18 (98.19%)
The majority of those under 18 were 17: 17,235
Followed by age 16: 9,124
then by age 15: 5,082
age 13-14: 3,477
age 10-12: 259
Under age 10: 187
Of those over 18, the majority were ages 25-34: 781,079
Followed by ages 21-24: 431,436
then by ages 18-20: 240,033
total ages 18-24: 671,469
ages 35-65+ were: 465,861
Total ages 21-65+ 1,679,817
MALE prostitution arrests 1981-2012 1,009,891 (31 year total)
Under 18: 186 were age 10
ages 10-12: 477
ages 13-14: 1,803
age 15: 2,265
age 16: 4,751
age 17: 9,398
Of those over 18, the majority were ages 25-29: 199,352
Ages 18-20: 78,948
Ages 21-24: 159,367
TOTAL ages over 30: 553,345
TOTALS ALL ARRESTS MALE AND FEMALE ALL AGES 1981-2012 (THIRTY ONE YEAR PERIOD)
OVER 18: 2,964,307
UNDER 18: 54,254
WHERE ARE THE 100,000 TO 300,000 juveniles the rescue orgs allege are being trafficked annually?
Let’s do some math shall we? Regarding the claims which Polaris Project and so many faith based ‘rescue orgs’ use to justify what they are doing.
Keep in mind, the same narratives have been used to pass recent ‘anti-trafficking’ laws in various states, and is the same rhetoric which is currently being used to pass (unanimously) the JVTA (Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act) and the SAVE ACT!!!
These rescuers claim that over 100,000 children are trafficked ANNUALLY. It is also claimed that each victim will service anywhere from 10-48 (or more!) UNIQUE ‘johns’ in a day! It is also stated that pimps never allow these victims a day off. Lets do some simple math.
Let’s go ahead and say that 100,000 victims exist. Let’s keep the number of ‘johns’ down to 10. Let’s give the victims some days off too:
100,000 (victims) x 10 (unique clients) x 200 (days working): 200,000,000!
It would require no less than 200,000,000 men to fulfill this claim.
How many men are living in the USA according to the US Census? In 2010 the census reported that there were only 107,965,933 men between the ages 20-79!
Are you beginning to see?
From 1981-2012, over a 31 year period there were a TOTAL of 259 10-12 yr old girls ‘recovered’ having been sex trafficked. Interestingly enough there were MORE BOYS ages 10-12 ‘recovered’ during this 31 year period, but the popular narrative only refers to girls, rarely if at all mentioning boys!
Isn’t 12 the average age of entry often given by these rescuers? Over a 31 year period there was a total of 736 10-12 year olds. Is the excuse going to be that law enforcement is totally inept or simply hasn’t found the millions of child sex trafficking victims hiding in the US? (Don’t forget to add previous and subsequent years when using the 100,000 claim!)
By far, in both categories of male and female as stated by the Department of Justice data- we can clearly see the ‘average age’ is much older than what popular faith based anti-prostitution narratives want us to beLIEve.
We care very much about victims who are forced into sex labor. However we cannot accept narratives which rely on junk science, gross exaggerations, and blatant lies, especially when these narratives are resulting in the devastation of so many people’s lives; resulting in the persecution of many thousands of adult consensual sex workers.
Please open your eyes to these false narratives. Please stand with us against the SAVE ACT and the JVTA!
The DOJ data presented here was painstakingly collected and quantified by Norma Jean Almodovar original source the DOJ and FBI data bases. Please visit and support her site, where you will find so much more:
We will be publishing more information about the JVTA and the SAVE ACT shortly. In the meantime read the awesome report by Kate Zen titled: The JVTA: Not Just Bad For Trafficking Victims
This is not about rescuing people. If it were, services and assistance would be plentiful. The agenda is about arresting people and trafficking them against their will into debt slavery to the state. How is it not acceptable to be a debt slave to a pimp- but it is acceptable to be a debt slave to the state? The ‘rescue industry’ is a modern day ANTI PROSTITUTION movement, cleverly disguised as a humanitarian effort to address sex trafficking. Who can argue with ‘We must save the children?”
A legal distinction must be made between forced and consensual, which the anti-prostitution movement refuses to make. Decriminalization is the answer.
Here are some excellent reads that will enlighten you further:
Other Dreams Of Freedom by Dr.Yvonne Zimmerman
(Have evangelicals monopolized and misled US anti-trafficking efforts?)
Sex Slaves and the surveillance state by Thaddeus Russell
We can prevent the damage arrest causes by decriminalizing consensual erotic services. You can support this effort by supporting the US based case to decriminalize. DECRIMINALIZE CONSENSUAL ADULT EROTIC SERVICES!