It’s not often that you see the words “anti-slavery” in a contemporary article, but Beth Happick and Jeanne Allert, in their opinion piece for the Baltimore Sun, use those words and more in their call for our politicians to continue funding anti-human trafficking and anti-slavery efforts nationwide – and to set a good example for the rest of the world when it comes to sex crimes.
The crime of sex trafficking isn’t some far-off problem. It happens here in Baltimore City, too. Happick and Allert begin by telling one girl’s story, a story of drug addiction and forced sex and continued prostitution just to stay alive.
It began after her parent’s divorce (she goes by the pseudonym “Melissa”). After the divorce, Melissa began to use drugs. Shortly thereafter, a sex trafficker masquerading as Melissa’s boyfriend made sure she was regularly high and “sold her for sex up and down the I-95 corridor,” dumping her on Baltimore City streets once she was “used up.”
Today she’s addicted to drugs and engages in prostitution – it’s the only thing she knows as a victim of human trafficking, the “second largest and fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world,” according to Happick and Allert.
Happick and Allert write that dollars we spend in three weeks fighting the “War on Drugs” is what we spend in an entire year fighting human trafficking.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Fight the scourge of sex trafficking,” by Beth Happick and Jeanne Allert, 08/15/2011