The View From My Soapbox is Not So Great…

You know there’s something wrong with the world when children are being sold as sex slaves.

There. I said it. Just put it right out there.

And here’s something else I’ll put right out there: it’s not something that they make up in the movies, it’s not going on just in faraway countries to faraway girls in little dirt huts–it happens right here, in the United States, maybe even just miles from your house, and more often than you want to know.

Apparently, the Super Bowl (wherever it is held) is sex trafficking’s day-after-Thanksgiving-money-making weekend. Thousands of sex workers are brought in just for this event…I can’t even talk about this. You guys get the picture.

So what’s more horrifying? The monsters that kidnap and sell these kids? Or the monsters that buy them? Who are these people? Are they even human? I imagine them, skulking around in the shadows, prowling the streets, red eyes giving away their black souls–but in reality they probably look pretty ordinary. Except they’re evil.

Where I lived in Italy, there was this road my bus would drive down on the way to and from school. Prostitutes were posted at every streetlight, day and night. My mom called them “Ladies of the Evening”, but they were far from being glamorous, Julia Roberts-style power-hookers, and I am sure they didn’t make their own money or their own decisions. Beyond the road, there was a field, and that’s where people “parked” to recieve services. Every now and then the Ladies would break into a group sprint–they’d all haul off into the tall grass of the field and duck down, and someone on our bus would always shout “The hookers are running!” And we’d all jump out of our seats to watch because it meant that the hookers were being shot at. And being the sweetheart that I’ve always been, I’d smirk and think to myself, “Man, how stupid did these women have to be to choose that kind of life? How much money can she make if she’s wearing that neon-green satin mini skirt every single day?”

But you know what? Those women weren’t Italian. (Some of them might not even have been women!) They were all specially imported by the mafia from north Africa. And now that I’m older, I can guess that they didn’t voluntarily go to Italy thinking, “This is going to be so great. I’m going to turn tricks in a field for peanuts, and then, for fun, I’d also like to try getting shot at.”

I suppose I’m also old enough to know that just because there’s nobody in fishnet stockings and six-inch heels standing under a streetlight down on the corner on Main Street, doesn’t mean that people aren’t being exploited anywhere near me. It doesn’t even mean that sex trafficking only happens in the city; I’ve actually heard rumors of it being a major problem in a town just 15 minutes down the highway (from where I live with my children who are 14, 6, and 2.)

Surely there is something that us ordinary people can do. I am just sick. I couldn’t go to sleep until I wrote at least a little something, even if it’s only to make just a few people more aware. And because I am mainly uneducated about this whole thing, and also because I’m tired, I’ll leave you guys with some links:

Love 146

Change.Org

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About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

2 responses to “The View From My Soapbox is Not So Great…

  • Tiffany Jones

    Toni, Thanks so much for raising awareness. This is a cause that is near to my heart. I lose sleep too just feeling sick about it all. I hope that you signed the “I’m not buying it” petition with regards to the super bowl. Raising awarenesss is the first step to a solution and if we can sit at our computers and take a couple of minutes to be educated and speak up when there is an opportunity then Do It! You don’t need to personally know these children to care about them. However, if it were one of ours…what would we be willing to do.
    Tiffany

  • Angela

    Thank you for the links and for writing about this issue. It enrages and sickens me to think of all the children in this world who are abused and victimized. I signed the petition, am looking for ways to do more to try and feel a little less helpless and powerless.

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