Why Impunity for Pimps & Johns?

Friday, January 10, 2014

I'm going here. Why? Because when people stop me in a hallway, meet me for coffee, send me a Facebook message they all ask me the same question, and really, it's a question that I still ask myself every morning too, "What can I do to make a difference in the fight against sex trafficking?"

While I could give you a 100 item long list, here's where we are going to start, ok? Here is my two word answer:


I believe in justice, yet something in our society is grotesquely askew when a young man receives a 13 year prison sentence for holding up a convenience store without immediate harm {don't argue psychological damage here-- as I said, I am all for law-abiding & obedience and am not trying to minimize other crimes}, yet a person arrested for human trafficking has a 6 year maximum sentence with a $10,000 maximum fine with no asset forfeiture here in Indiana. {see}

Alarms should be sounding in your brain right now! I shudder.

Our states do not have to be so apathetic. Former U.S. Attorney and Human Trafficking Coordinator for the Western District of Missouri, Cynthia L. Cordes has fought HARD to affect change in Missouri-- and it is working. Traffickers are fleeing because the risk of punitive consequences are too great. We have MUCH work to do!

About two hours ago, I spent 45 minutes on a Google Hangout presented by some awe-inspiring abolitionists serving on the front lines against human trafficking. The panel included, Rachel Lloyd, Survivor and CEO & Founder of GEMS, Nicholas Kristoff, co-founder of Half the Sky Movement & NY Times reporter, Gary Haugen, CEO & President of International Justice Mission, David Batstone of Not for Sale and a representative from Unicef. The conversation was titled "What Does 2014 Hold for the Fight Against Modern-Day Slavery?"

The resounding theme was that of fighting impunity. With no accountability, we fail when left to our own vices, right? Sadly this applies to even the darkest evil. We have to prosecute because as Nicholas Kristof said, "Even if attitudes haven't changed, behavior will." Martin Luther King Jr. reiterated a similar notion when he proclaimed, "The law can't make you love me, but it can stop you from lynching me."

Here are a few facts:

  • There is a 1/2 of 1% chance of being prosecuted for sex crimes against children
  • For every 800 victims of trafficking here in the United States, we only have 1 conviction
  • Less than 1% of slaves today are in places where there IS an impunity index
The simple truth is that people buy and sell sex {pimps, johns and traffickers} because it is a low-risk, high-payoff industry. F

So if you want to make a difference, please do this: 

Visit www.ijm.org/traffickingact  and follow up by contacting your government representatives. 

Stand up. Speak out. Be brave. For the love of the world, PLEASE be brave. 


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