In ‘Girl Slavery in America’, a recent post published on Huffington Post, Executive director of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, Malika Saada Saar, highlights (like this earlier piece I published) that there is a marketplace for the bodies of girls in the West as well as other parts of the world. She also makes the very important point that it is not the girls who are victims of the prostitution trade who should be penalised, but the men who fuel demand for them in the first place.
…Unfortunately, in both urban and rural regions of the nation, American-born girls are being trafficked and sold. An estimated 100,000-300,000 American children are at risk for becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation. According to the Department of Justice, the average age of a prostituted girl in the U.S. is 12-14 years. These sexually exploited girls are routinely raped, beaten into submission, and even tattooed like cattle by their pimps.
…we must …stem the demand for buying and selling girls for sex.
Men who purchase girls for sex are committing child abuse. They are not simply paying for sex; they are instead perpetrating brutal acts of rape against vulnerable children who do not choose to sell their bodies. No child wants to be sold for sex.
It is time to prosecute those who sell and purchase girls. If they are subject to punishment for their criminal acts against children, pimps and “johns” will be less interested in the marketplace of very young girls. The laws already exist—but there is minimal political will, at the state or federal level, to prosecute them–especially the “johns”. Despite all the political jingoism about being tough on crime or protecting our children, lawmakers are remarkably indifferent to prosecuting these child abusers.
How is it that in our nation, in the 21st century, any one of our daughters can be bought and sold for the purposes of sexual exploitation, and without the severe threat of punishment? What is happening that girls’ lives are worth so little? In the context of a civilized society, this level of tolerated violence against girls is an irreconcilable contradiction. No girl in America should be purchased, sold, raped, abused or exploited — and with impunity. Read article here.