It took me months to get through this book. I was busy, yes, but the real reason was the way it tore at my heart. Here in our own country 100,000 children are trafficked for sex every year. Sometimes that means a child is kidnapped and sold but most kids involved in prostitution began either as runaways or throwaways, trying to escape sexual abuse and violence at home. Rape Is, a website that seeks to educate about rape culture, compares the experience of prostitution to that of rape. Nobody chooses to be raped. While prostitution may look like a choice in this country, the only ones with real choice in this multi-million dollar industry are the pimps and the johns.
Prostitution is another face of modern day slavery. 90% of prostitutes have pimps. Whether they are kept in a hotel room or walking the tracks, he owns them. The author describes it this way:
Once a desperate teenager finds herself under the spell of a pimp, once she is drawn in by the lure of fancy clothes, money, and undying love, she clings to the promise of emotional and economic security, things every child needs – and every neglected child craves. Abusive relationships at any age involve control, dependence, and elements of brainwashing.
If we could see prostitution as a symptom instead of a crime, we would be able to take some baby steps towards true dignity for women and children.
Halle Berry wrote a moving letter to the girls of our country and opened with these words:
Being a girl isn’t easy. Today in New York City, a girl will flee an abusive home, only to be approached by a pimp-trafficker who will promise her love and protection. He will not deliver on these promises. Instead, he will assault and degrade her, and later sell her repeatedly to johns. I have never met this girl, but she is my daughter.
America, it is time to value our daughters…every one of them!