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Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking

By Babs IversonPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2023
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Teens are victims of human sex trafficking which is a lucrative criminal activity. Sex trafficking is a billion-dollar illegal and criminal industry. Eradicating sex trafficking in one place, it seems to crop up in another location. That's why, we must stay vigilant. 

What happened? Why is this on my mind?

Recently, a post about a missing teen in our area was upsetting and disturbing. It's too close to home! Besides, the mother's heartbreaking request for help reminded me of a news story where the parents had to hire a private investigator to find their daughter, who disappeared last year, at a Dallas Mavericks basketball game. That story ended with the teen being found in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

If the missing person is a teen, the police consider them a runaway which is so outrageous. The police arbitrarily tell the parents that the teen is a runaway. Therefore, no "Amber Alert" is broadcast. The police department's attitude obviously enables and helps the criminals. Since the police consider the matter to be a runaway, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the criminals know the police department's M.O. (modus operandi) which gives the sex traffickers of teens a window of opportunity. Why is this acceptable?

When a teen is kidnapped, abducted, and enslaved into human sex trafficking, a crime has been committed. Kidnapping isn't a misdemeanor, it is a felony. While it is a felony, each state within our country has its own laws regarding the level and punishment.

Was wondering. Is teen sex trafficking considered a human rights crime?

While the teen is not a participant, they are a victim. However, there are cases where victims have been prosecuted and received jail sentences that are unfathomable.

In regard to sex trafficking, there are a number of myths. For example, the clients would be persons unknown to me which is a myth. The second myth, it happens in poor seedy high-crime neighborhoods. The third myth, it's an after-dark evening crime. The fourth myth, only uneducated teen girls are involved. The fifth myth, it wouldn't be an issue in our neighborhood or family. As for the sixth myth, there's nothing a person can do about the sex trafficking of teens.

Surprisingly and amazingly, the clients could be your friend, neighbor, or pastor. According to a sting operation and news reports, businessmen, coaches, pastors, and teachers were identified as clients.

Since sex trafficking clientele wants to feel safe, the medium to well-to-do neighborhoods is where the illegal activities are taking place. This is exactly the opposite of the myth, that it takes place in high-crime areas in the evenings. In reality, the crime occurs in the mornings and afternoons in medium-income to well-heeled areas of the community.

Sadly, beautiful and smart teens are abducted, beaten, kidnapped, and exploited in illegal sex trafficking. In most cases, they are powerless to escape their nightmarish situation. The teens are strictly ruled, often beaten, and heavily guarded.

Teens taken from schools, sporting events, or walking in their neighborhoods. Abductions can happen anywhere and anytime. It's not in some seedy poor high-crime neighborhood. Tragically, it affects all neighborhoods.

As a matter of fact, you can do something. If you see or suspect sex trafficking of teens, please do not confront them. Do not put yourself in a dangerous situation. It's best that you report suspected human trafficking by calling Federal law enforcement at 1-866-247-2322.

Or, you can call the National Human Trafficking hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

As for the teen, who recently went missing, the Texas Counter Trafficking initiative helped. The teen was found and was hospitalized.

Remaining vigilant, your help is requested. With your help, we can stop the sex trafficking of teens.


About the Creator

Babs Iverson

Barbara J Iversen, also known as Babs Iverson, lives in Texas and loves her grandkids to the moon and back. After writing one story, she found that writing has many benefits especially during a pandemic and a Texas-size Arctic Blast.

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Comments (40)

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  • Ollex2 months ago

    I appreciate that this is a controversial comment and suggestion but having been in LE as a High rank Detective, I have seen and heard of some real horror accounts from survivors of sex trafficking. Therefore, I wish that with the technology that is now available, until each young person reaches the age of 18, adulthood, parents should be able to choose to have a GPS implant in their child’s arm or elsewhere in their body to enable their location to be identified at all times. Once the YP is an adult, it’s their choice to have it removed. I accept that there may be negative consequences of doing this ( for example; traffickers obtaining a scanner to look for it and remove it or a YP subject of child abuse or a Human Rights violation or USA amendment violation et al….) But we could at the very least, start a discussion and dialogue about it to research the possibility of such and getting people together who could firstly develop such a tool and then secondly, focus groups with a mix of parents, the general public, LE, Probation officers, Education reps, Medical reps etc to further the discussions with a view to either establishing this in law as a parents right to request their child to be implanted or to provide overwhelming evidence that the majority of the people given a voice, reject this and it is shelved , rejected by the law makers.

  • Michael king 3 months ago

    This is a real issue and devastating to the teens and their families. Great story Babs and highlighting an important issue.

  • C. Rommial Butler3 months ago

    Another myth is that it only happens to teen girls. Teen boys are also used in this way. Admittedly, most clients are still men. The Boys Town coverup was a well-documented example. This is a link to the documentary that was never officially released, which is why some edits are incomplete on it. I researched this and other such horrors, where people in government are plainly INVOLVED. This is another reason the problem persists, and the "runaway" MO might not be as happenstantial as it seems? Hard to tell, but like Thomas Paine remarked in Age of Reason: “I lay it down as a position that cannot be controverted, first, that the agreement of all parts of a story does not prove that story to be true, because the parts may agree, and the whole may be false; secondly, that the disagreement of the parts of a story proves the whole cannot be true. The agreement does not prove true, but the disagreement proves falsehood positively.” Great piece highlighting an all-too-common problem which is routinely ignored.

  • Colleen Millsteed 3 months ago

    This is a real issue and devastating to the teens and their families. Great story Babs and highlighting an important issue.

  • Sid Aaron Hirji3 months ago

    When I moved to a different area of the city I saw missing children posters everywhere. Many became sex workers. great story

  • Novel Allen3 months ago

    The sad thing is that unruly teens do run away. Making life hard for the true cases. We all have to be vigilant, it is in all our best interest. Sad but a reality.

  • Nicole Trandel3 months ago

    Someone made a comment that human trafficking has been going on since the '80s. I totally agree I don't know if anybody remembers the case of Johnny Gosh from Des Moines Iowa. He was a newspaper carrier and he disappeared in the early hours of the morning. A year after that Eugene Martin disappeared. I think a year or two later some kid named Ricky disappeared on his paper route. I think these kids were targeted for human trafficking. There were a couple of sightings of Johnny throughout the years and he said he needed help. According to his mother he went through years later to talk to her for about 2 hours. I'm assuming from what she has said that he was putting to human trafficking. He has not been heard from since he supposedly went to his mother's house. And these boys were like 12 and 13 years old. This is really sad. It's sad that human beings will use another human being to make money.

  • Veronica Coldiron3 months ago

    Thank you for bringing this to light. It's so easy to think it "will never happen to me", but it can. My mother was maniacal about knowing our whereabouts and you never heard about sex-trafficking back then. The is a great article! Congratulations on the Top Story! It's well deserved!

  • Dorothy Gibbs3 months ago

    So sad, but needs to be discussed

  • Melissa Ingoldsby3 months ago

    Congratulations 🎉 on your top story! This is such an important issue that is disturbing and needs to eradicated from humanity. I’m very glad you wrote about it

  • The Dani Writer3 months ago

    Babs, thank you for speaking out on this issue. I have attended intensive workshops on human trafficking and have been disgusted that this practice continues, preying on the weak and vulnerable. I believe that there is corruption at all levels for it to continue the way that it has and it is sickening. I am in complete agreement that the public must be at the forefront of stopping the practice. I also recommend awareness training (although it's not easy.) I did mine through 'Voice of Hope.' Let's eradicate this abhorrent scourge.

  • Alex H Mittelman 3 months ago

    It’s so sad. Good article! So tragic.

  • Ruth Stewart3 months ago

    Humans are so awful to other humans. It's a terrible thing. Teens have enough to put up with, without worrying about the risk of being trafficked. And the police reaction is not good enough! Thank you for educating us.

  • This is so sad and it's been happening for a long time. I remember hearing about it in the mid 1980s. Thank you Babs for bringing this important issue to light.

  • Scary. We've received warnings concerning parking lots where people do something to the vehicle that causes a slight delay for the person trying to get in--all the criminal needs to abduct you.

  • Phil Flannery3 months ago

    Thank you for highlighting this problem Babs. I know it happens everywhere, in every country and everyone needs to be aware. Too many lives are being destroyed.

  • JBaz3 months ago

    I am so glad you brought this forth. Teens listed automatically as runaways….so misunderstood. Congratulations

  • Gina C.3 months ago

    Very important topic and information, Babs! You did a wonderful job with this. There could definitely be improvement with the protocols and more proactivity. Congrats on an amazing Top Story! 🤗❤️

  • Dana Stewart3 months ago

    An important topic Babs. I agree that there could be more pro-active measures. Assume it’s a kidnapping instead of a runaway. Shine that light, and Congratulations on Top Story.

  • Diani Alvarenga3 months ago

    It’s good to be aware of these issues!!

  • Dana Crandell3 months ago

    A great article about a serious problem, Babs. I can tell you though, that the policy for police response comes down from a higher authority. I know many of the locals and I can assure you, they'd much rather be out there finding the dirtbags. Corruption definitely exists, but the problem is much higher in the ranks.

  • I can't believe parents of missing teens are being ignored. Disgusting.

  • hadia bintezubair3 months ago

    Support me iam a new writer

  • Cezanne Libellen3 months ago

    This is so sad. I am so glad that this has been brought to light.

  • Congratulations on Top Story!

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