Florida is 3rd highest for reported sex trafficking cases.
300,000 children are lured into the commercial sex trade every year in the United States.
80% of women in the sex industry are under the control of a pimp or trafficker– this includes every facet of the sex industry including prostitution, pornography, strip clubs, escort services, and others.
75% of women in prostitution have been homeless at some point.
90% of women in the sex industry report childhood sexual abuse and/or incest.
50% of prostitutes began working in the sex industry as minors, which makes them victims of sex trafficking.
68% of individuals with a history of sex trafficking met the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis, which is equivalent to that of treatment-seeking combat veterans.
What is sex trafficking? Sex trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which individuals perform commercial sex through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Minors under the age of 18 engaging in commercial sex are considered to be victims of human trafficking, regardless of the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Sex traffickers frequently target victims and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage, or other forms of control and manipulation to keep victims involved in the sex industry for their profit. Sex trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry that is based on the principles of supply and demand. Therefore, people who purchase commercial sex increase the demand for commercial sex and likewise provide a profit incentive for traffickers, who seek to maximize profits by exploiting trafficking victims. Buyers of commercial sex need to recognize their involvement in driving demand. By not buying sex and not participating in the commercial sex industry, community members can reduce the demand for sex trafficking.
What is sexual exploitation? Our mission includes the phrase "sexual exploitation" to cover every form of exploitation in the sex industry. Sexual exploitation exists within diverse and unique sets of venues and businesses including fake massage businesses, escort services, brothels, in public on city streets and truck stops, strip clubs, hotels and motels, and elsewhere. While not every woman we meet may be under the control of a pimp or a trafficker at that moment, we find that more often than not it is a part of her story; however, regardless of whether she has been sex trafficked or not, we extend an open invitation to any woman we meet that has been exploited in the sex industry to have the opportunity for healing and a fresh start.
There is an overwhelming amount of evidence available that affirms the position that prostitution is inherently harmful and dehumanizing and fuels trafficking in persons. Prostitution and related activities also fuel the growth of modern-day slavery by providing a façade behind which traffickers for sexual exploitation operate. Where prostitution is legalized or tolerated, there is a higher demand for human trafficking victims, and there is nearly always an increase in the number of women and children trafficked into commercial sex slavery. Due to this fact, we aim to fight each and every form of exploitation. We desire to help be a part of eradicating sex trafficking in our community by reaching out to all who are being exploited through the sex industry. It is also important to note that the vast majority of women in prostitution don't want to be there. Few seek it out or choose it, and most are desperate to leave it. A 2003 study first published in the scientific Journal of Trauma Practice found that 89 percent of women in prostitution want to escape. It is known that few activities are as brutal and damaging to people as prostitution. Field research in nine countries concluded that 60-75 percent of women in prostitution were raped, 70-95 percent were physically assaulted, and 68 percent met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder with symptom severity in the same range as treatment-seeking combat veterans. Beyond this shocking abuse, the public health implications of prostitution are devastating and include a myriad of serious and fatal diseases, including HIV/AIDS. State attempts to regulate prostitution by introducing medical check-ups or licenses don't address the core problem: the routine abuse and violence that form the prostitution experience and brutally victimize those caught in its netherworld. Prostitution leaves women and children physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually devastated. Recovery takes years, even decades.
Why do sex industry advocates de-link pornography, prostitution, and trafficking? The answer is because it increases profits. Disconnecting trafficking from prostitution and pornography normalizes most of the sex industry. Here's how the de-linking works: every time an adjective is put in front of the word prostitution, pornography, or trafficking, it falsely carves out a group of human beings whom we allow to be sold for sex. For example, forced vs. voluntary trafficking - it's assumed that some people volunteer to traffic themselves; child vs. adult pornography - it's assumed to be normal and mainstreamed to make pornography of adults; illegal vs. legal prostitution - it's assumed that legal prostitution reduces harm and thus it's acceptable. We know that this is a false presupposition and thus aim to fight all forms of exploitation in the sex industry.