Sex Trafficking = Slavery

So, during the past three weeks I read a few articles on  sex trafficking and the Super Bowl. Of course, the Super Bowl is not responsible for human/sex trafficking, but research has shown that the number of sex  trafficking cases hike during such big sporting events. Traffickers  use the opportunity to make money by selling to the people traveling to the area for the game. The recruitment of victims increases with the sudden increase of demand. These days, transactions can even be made online. The articles focused on the initiatives taken by government officials, volunteers, and non-profit organizations (such as SOAP/Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) to raise awareness about the issue. Most importantly, teaching hotels’ staff how to identify sex trafficking victims. That said, I quickly read some of the comments after the articles and found myself sadden by how little people seem to know about the problem. There are many myths and misconceptions about the subject. Therefore, I decided to write this post in an attempt to clear out some confusion.

Sex Trafficking vs. Prostitution. Sex trafficking is not your average prostitution case. Of course, when we think of prostitution, we usually think of willful prostitution. We think the men or women practicing prostitution have come to this position willfully, on his/her own. Well, unfortunately, this is not always true. It’s important to distinguish the two. Sex trafficking is not your “willful” prostitution case. Sex trafficking or human trafficking is a form of slavery, physical, mental, and emotional.

Sex Trafficking can happen everywhere. We always want to think that these cases happen in far away countries or to over people, but this is not the case. The perpetrators of such crime do not discriminate between the rich or the poor. They do not discriminate based on the color of your skin or the language you speak.

There are many spectrums of human trafficking, including, but not limited to:

 Trafficking in women for sexual exploitation / Sex Trafficking. An organized network, where women are forced or blackmailed into sexual slavery and held in inhumane conditions and constant fear.

Trafficking for forced labour. They are recruited and trafficked using deception and coercion and find themselves held in conditions of slavery in a variety of jobs.

Commercial sexual exploitation of children in tourism. This crime type has been apparent in Asia for many years and has now taken hold in Africa as well as Central and South America. The phenomenon is promoted by the growth of inexpensive air travel and the relatively low risk of prohibition and prosecution in these destinations for engaging in sexual relations with minors.

 Trafficking in organs. Trafficking in humans for the purpose of using their organs, in particular kidneys, is a rapidly growing field of criminal activity. The health of victims, even their lives, is at risk as operations may be carried out in clandestine conditions with no medical follow-up.

Human trafficking happens every day, not just during sporting events. Human trafficking is slavery. Remember to keep an eye out and spread the word. Talk to friends about it, you never know who might need the information. If you are a victim of human trafficking, call the hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733).

I hope everyone has a nice weekend. Stay safe, enjoy the Super Bowl and remember to keep an eye out. Good Luck.

Thanks for reading,

Steph

For more information:

Super Bowl Surge in Sex Trafficking

Sex Trafficking in New York City & New Jersey

Human Trafficking in America’s Backyard

Girls' Globe

Human trafficking occurs in every corner of the globe from the southernmost foothills of Patagonia to the northernmost region of Siberia. Human trafficking is an egregious violation of human rights – one that often strips its victims of self-worth only to refill them with fear, isolation and desperation.

In the United States, a country most may not immediately associate with human trafficking, the U.S. Department of Justice ranks human trafficking as the second fastest growing criminal industry, behind only drug trafficking, with between 14,500 and 17,500 new people trafficked into America each year.

Every hour, 34 people in America are forced into prostitution. 

In 2013, human trafficking made national headlines when Ariel Castro was arrested (and eventually convicted) for kidnapping, raping, and forcibly locking three girls in his basement for a period spanning over ten years. One victim, Amanda Berry, even bore his child, thereby increasing the victim count to…

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A Shameless Call to Writers…

Hello! I hope everyone is doing well. This is my shameless attempt to build some sort of writers’ support group. Are you a writer? Do you love to write? Please send me a note.

Last year, early in December, I had a conversation with a dear friend, and she kindly pointed out that I’m letting my fears dictate my actions. My fears focused on whether I could combine all my interests together. Could even call any of them my passion?

Those of you familiar with my blog know that I’m interested in film and media studies, women’s issues and that I love reading. I started this blog so I could practice my English while writing about the subjects I love the most. I often worried that my interests were too scattered. I feared that I wasn’t as persistent or as dedicated to these subjects to feel proud about them.

Did you ever have a passion that you desperately wanted to deny? Perhaps because pursuing such passion would be a difficult task or a huge risk? These were the feelings I shared with my friend during a heart to heart section over dinner. I never called myself a writer. In my heart, I felt that my writing was not good enough, my grammar was (still is) outrageous, and that I had nothing good to say anyway.

It didn’t matter that I was always writing short stories. It didn’t matter if a respected institution ever thought one of my stories was good enough for an honorary mention. I wrote and directed a couple of  student films in college. I had my share of criticism (good and bad), but I had made up my mind. I didn’t have it, whatever it meant. I didn’t understand that writing is a skill that can be learned. The it factor is the moment we become skilled.

At times I felt like my ethnicity alienated me. English is not my first language, so I thought my writing wouldn’t appeal to anyone. My obsession with grammar (read adventures of a rookie blogger) kept me in place. I also wrote a lot of fanfiction, but I never even called myself a fan fiction writer, which I am.

So, today I accept the tittle. I’m a writer. I love reading. I would like to engage with other writers, improve as a writer, and have fun while doing it. Yes, I love film/filmmaking and media studies, and I’m passionate about women’s rights and education around the word. These days, I don’t see a reason why I should define myself by only one thing. In fact, nobody can.

Thanks for reading!

Best, Steph

Resolutions and Girls in Nepal

I hope everyone has a wonderful year, full prosperity, joy, patience and love.

New Year’s Day has become a symbolic day for many, carrying the promise of new beginnings and new achievements. Personally, my resolution this year is to become more involved in my community. I also like to continue advocating for girls’ rights and education around the world.

And with that said, I would like to introduce her-turn’s Resolution 2014 campaign. An organization dedicated to raising awareness about girls’ issues around the world, such as child marriages and the lack of access to education for children. Late last year, her turn started Resolution 2014, a fundraising campaign to help Nepali girls in need. The organization’s workshops give girls the opportunity to “learn essential life skills that pertain to their health, safety, and develop leadership skills.”

An estimated 41% of girls younger than 18 are married off by their parents. In more than one third of new marriages in Nepal, the girl is younger than 15. Often forced into the marriages because of lower dowries, the illusion of protection from the new husband, or a lessened financial burden, the young brides suffer physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Once married, girls are forced into sexual activity and become pregnant before their bodies fully mature.

“Despite its widespread acceptability and prevalence, child marriage is illegal in Nepal. With parental consent, Nepali law states that a girl must be 18 years old to marry. Without parental consent, she must be 20. Though seldom enforced, these laws may better the lives of Nepali young women.” Girls’ Globe

Please take a minute to check their site and learn more about their workshops. We all have hopes and dreams. Let’s help these girls realize their dreams this year. Five to ten dollars will be enough.

Okay, I’m going to shut up now. I hope everyone has a great year!

Best,

Steph

A Woman rape victim sentenced to 200 lashes: What’s Saudi Arabia monarchic law?

Adonis Diaries

A Girl, a rape victim sentenced to be lashed: What’s Saudi law? 

“The victim’s sentence was increased because her lawyer had spoken out…”

Again, who “has shown ignorance?”

When the defense attorney for a raped Saudi Arabian woman appealed a Sharia Court decision that the 90-lash sentence against his client was unjust, what resulted was more than doubling of the punishment meted out to the woman who was raped and beaten by 7 men, as reported by the women’s rights-centered news portal The Clarion Project on Sept. 22, 2013.

Timothy Whiteman, Wilmington Conservative Examiner, published this Sept. 24, 2013:

A yet to be publiclly identified female gang rape victim was initially found guilty and sentenced to 90 lashes for violating the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia‘s (KSA) rigid Islamic law on segregation of the sexes.

The Kingdom’s General Court determined the woman sat in an automobile…

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Gendercide in India: Interview with Nyna Caputi, producer and director of documentary film “Petals in the Dust”

Something to look into… Media Activism.

Girl’s Globe is a wonderful blog to follow. This is how I stay updated on human rights, gender equality, and gender-based violence concerns.

Thanks for reading,
Steph

Girls' Globe

Petals in the dust 2Nyna Pais Caputi, the producer and director of the film Petals in the Dust, is originally from India and currently lives in the Bay Area. She founded the Global Walk for India’s Missing Girls in 2010, which is an international awareness campaign on “gendercide” in India that has taken place in over 25 cities and five countries. Caputi’s film, Petals in the Dust, is a documentary that brings to light the tragic murders of millions of Indian girls and women due to a preference of sons among Indian society. The film explores the roots of misogyny, the experiences of women across socioeconomic and political lines, and the efforts bring an end to gender-based violence. The upcoming film’s trailer has been screened in numerous cities in India, Canada and USA, and is quickly drawing attention from people. Girls’ Globe catches up with the woman behind the camera.

Jasmine: You…

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