According to Nicholas Kristof’s column on January 25, johns are marketing young girls for sex on backpage.com, which is owned by Village Voice Media.
According to the article, “Lauren Hersh, the ace prosecutor in Brooklyn who leads the sex-trafficking unit there, says that of the 32 people she and her team have prosecuted in the last year and a half — typically involving victims aged 12 to 25 — a vast majority of the cases included girls marketed through Backpage ads.”
Backpage.com is a website that allows people to purchase various things, including sex.
This was the fate for a 13-year-old girl named “Baby Face” in Brooklyn, NY. In November, Baby Face was sent to an apartment complex for sex. The john was waiting downstairs to ensure that she did not try to escape. Baby Face went upstairs like she was told, but instead of going to the apartment she was meant to go to, she decided to pound on an apartment door in the hopes that someone would answer. Thankfully, someone did.
“Baby Face said she hurt too much to endure yet another rape by a john. She told prosecutors later that she was bleeding vaginally and that her pimp had recently kicked her down a stairwell for trying to flee,”according to the article.
Baby Face called her mother, then 911, which set in motion the arrest of Kendale Judge, who now faces sex trafficking, rape, kidnapping and compelling prostitution charges. He has pleaded not guilty to all of them.
This incident casts light into backpage.com and how it- as well as the Internet in general- has been used a vehicle to traffic and sell young girls for sex.
According to the article, “Attorneys general from 48 states wrote a joint letter to Backpage, warning that it had become ‘a hub’ for sex trafficking and calling on it to stop running adult services ads. The attorneys general said that they had identified cases in 22 different states in which pimps peddled underage girls through Backpage.”
But backpage.com is not budging.
“Censorship will not rid the world of exploitation,” stated Steve Suskin, legal counsel for Village Voice Media, in the article.
Yes, I agree censorship will not rid exploitation, but it damn sure will help! It is reasons like this that sexual exploitation of young women are so easily available. Companies are unwilling to accept or acknowledge the role they play in perpetuating the trafficking and exploitation of humans.
They think, oh you have to go after the johns and those who actually traffic humans in order to rid the world of exploitation. But what they do not realize (or choose to ignore) is the fact that by blocking avenues they normally use to exploit these women, you are essentially helping stop it. You are not being an innocent bi-standard allowing young women’s lives to be degraded, humiliated and tortured for profit. You are setting a standard (however small) that the world needs to follow.
The trafficking and exploitation of humans for sex is a world-wide phenomenon. It is a phenomenon that will not end by one measure alone. It will take a collaborative effort on the parts of the government, advocates, bi-standards, [internet] companies, and victims to stop this. But until all these parties are willing to cooperate and acknowledge their role in perpetuating human trafficking and exploitation, it will not end and countless young girls will fall victim to this.
Read statistics on human trafficking. (a little out dated, but you will get the idea of how serious the problem is around the world.)