Commodity: a material or product that that has value and can be bought or sold.
It can be inspiring and uplifting to think of our involvement in seeing people rescued from sex trafficking. Unfortunately, we have to consider some ugly truths if we truly want to see this injustice end. Warning: the facts below some may find upsetting and disturbing. I hope that you will read it anyway.
The earliest account of illegal drug smuggling in the US was in the 1800s. For centuries now, drugs have been sold illegally at astounding prices, profiting drug lords and wreaking havoc for families worldwide. The blackmarket value of cocaine runs around $150 per gram. That’s a minuscule amount for a large sum; and other drugs are often worth more.
It’s pretty simple to understand why drugs are expensive. They’re extremely difficult to acquire in the first place, and there are limited quantities to be sold.
People, however, average $90 per “session.”
And people can be sold again. And again. And again. In one day.
This means little upfront cost for the traffickers and exponential profits.
What drives this? What demand could possibly be supplied with human beings?
I recently read an article from Fight the New Drug about the correlation between sex trafficking and pornography.
The correlation comes down to this: It’s more than a supply-and-demand scenario. It’s more than “Johns” (those that purchase trafficked victims) watching taboo, even violent sexual acts and wanting to try what they’ve seen. No, the correlation between sex trafficking and porn is that porn often IS trafficking.
No porn user would say that they wanted to directly contribute to a victim’s abuse, rape and torture… but case after case of reported trafficking has revealed distributed footage of the victims’ “performance.”
As Fight the New Drug added, you wouldn’t know that what you were watching was anything other than “consenting” actors, because sexual acts in porn have become so increasingly violent and degrading already.
It becomes a revolving door: trafficked victims are used in porn, which increases the demand, which means more trafficking, which means more porn.
According to the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime, an estimated 76% of “purchases” of underage girls are sold online. Children as young as seven have been made to perform sexual acts for distributed recordings, video chat rooms, etc.
This is so disturbing, and I’m sure we are all feeling sick to our stomachs right about now. I want to make this clear- I am not in anyway trying to guilt anyone who has used porn. I do, however, think that a lot of porn users see their actions as harmless. This is not the case. What may seem like a harmless, private and personal decision is actually fueling the sex trafficking industry.
So what do we do?
Let’s get super real.
Admit, to God and yourself, how you have been part of this cycle. (Ladies, this is not only a men’s problem, either. Even if you have never watched porn, have you read erotica? Do you enjoy the 50 Shades of Grey movies? Are you making any contribution to this industry?)
And then let’s refuse to demand the commodity. Porn-proof your home, your computers, tablets, phones, etc. Refuse to participate in conversation that approves of it. Use your platform to inform others of what horrors the porn industry is feeding. Hopefully when the demand diminishes, the supply will be freed.
As A21 Campaign states in their hashtag, #BodiesAreNotCommodities
Check out the full article from Fight the New Drug here.
Today’s post has been a difficult one to write, but I hope and pray it has opened your eyes to the reality of this injustice. Thanks for reading! Be sure to leave a comment and follow the journey on social media.
Chat next week,