In 1998 upon returning home after work one evening, by daughter passionately greeted me at the door with, "Mom, Mom we have a show for you! Come sit down on your bed and watch!" My daughter, age 8 at the time and my son, age 5 came dancing out of my walk-in closet with music blaring, wearing nothing but high heels and a bow tied around their waists. To say I was mortified while telling myself I must be a really bad mom, is an understatement. When I asked my daughter where she got the idea, she reminded me of the giant billboard that we passed frequently, which read, "Tanga Lounge - Exotic Nude Dancers". The image, silhouettes of nude women dancing.
The point here is that our society is continuously making impressions on all of us about what sexuality means and this billboard experience was before the internet had even fully exploded. Today we are all inundated, including our children with no filters, with messaging regarding sexuality norms.
"According to a 2014 poll conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy a depressing 74% of teen girls say they often get the message that attracting boys and looking sexy is one of the most important things they can do." - My Diary Unlocked, by Janet Larson.
Child sex-trafficking is a deeply rooted and growing commerce and it is a happening right here in the USA. Here are a few facts that will hopefully wake up the average middle class American:
- 300,000 - children in the U.S. are prostituted annually (ndaa.org)
- 12 - the average age that a trafficked victim is first used for commercial sex (DHS)
- 2,700 - child sex-trafficking victims have been rescued by the FBI in the U.S. over the past 10 years (FBI Innocence Lost Initiative)
- 83% - sex trafficking victims identified in the United States that were U.S. citizens according to a study of U.S. Department of Justice human trafficking task force cases. (Office of the Attorney General of Florida)
Having spent many years working in hi-tech corporate America in sales (a male dominated industry), I saw business dinners and conference attendees close their day with a visit to the local strip club, all in good sport and accepted as normal. I was once told by a boyfriend, an IT professional, that it would be a great compliment to him, if I accompanied him to a strip club. I participated in two of these invites early in my career and have declined ever since. I chose not to participate further because the energy felt dark and it made me uncomfortable to be there. However, knowing what I know now, I would have spoke up and done my best to enlighten my male and female counterparts on why patronizing these places was not innocent fun or normal, but that it was contributing to the sex-trafficking industry and that their daughter, their niece, or their little sister could have been seduced into this dark world.
No little girl grows up saying I want to be a porn star, a stripper, or a prostitute. They were either sexually abused or neglected as a child or they were an average American teen who fell prey to a sophisticated and manipulative seduction. It is happening to your average middle class teen at malls today. I personally know of two accounts. It is a slow seduction that preys on a girls needing male attention to feel loved or good enough. This doesn't happen like in the movie "Taken", these girls are showered with attention, courted, and then slowly over time put to work in these elaborate sex trafficking rings. These children will often develop Stockholm syndrome, identifying with their abuser and don't know how to get out or even want to get out, as they are full of shame and are trapped by the belief that this is love.
I happen to be lucky in that I have heard this story first hand from my housekeeper, who escaped from this life 6 years ago. I say "lucky" because now I know the importance of raising awareness of sex-trafficking in the US.
Sex is a normal human function, but western culture is fostering and feeding sexuality in a way that is not healthy, and it is doing so much harm in the collective spiritual mind and damaging our true relationships. The statistics above demonstrate the high demand for prostitution and pornography or this huge supply chain would not exist. It is simple economics.
There is a societal acceptance that goes unchecked, as we are asleep to the problem and the damage it does to our power and spirits. This is not a male "sin" against women, but it is a collective negligence that has been fostered as normal. We have all co-created this at some level, men and women. We are all equals, therefore we all have to search inside ourselves to see where we have participated. Separating men and women further, is not the answer. Uniting, finding your voice, and joining together in purpose and in our hearts of consciousness is how we liberate these people from misery...and the people that truly get this, will heal and change the world!
To learn how you can help commercially sexually exploited children in the U.S. visit: Bridging Freedom
FREE Upcoming Family Awareness Event 1/16/16: Jammin' for Freedom