Human Sex Trafficking.
It is real. It is happening now.
And it is in Delaware. It could be in your neighborhood. It could be a student in a school. In some circumstances, it could be your own .
There are few things more gut-wrenching than being sold into slavery to perform sex acts. Even more horrifying is that it is happening now, in real-time, in our state.
How does this happen? It happens in various ways, but the truest injustice is how Delaware laws are not strong enough to prevent it.
The victims of these crimes, often American children, are treated like social pariahs. But it does.
Every single day. To date, since legislation specifically dealing with Human Trafficking passed in the Delaware General Assembly, there has been one prosecution in Delaware. In Maryland, there have been over in the last year alone. Far from it. It means our law enforcement, attorneys, legislators, and state government do not have the knowledge and training to truly tackle the issue.
It is our moral responsibility as a state to make sure this never happens again.
The top of Delaware is in the middle of what is known as the I corridor. Delaware is actually the perfect spot for pimps to take advantage of The First State with these crimes. It is not a coincidence that Delaware has over 90 massage parlors that are suspected of human trafficking. Yolanda Schlabach, from Greenwood, DE, has made it her mission to end human sex trafficking in Delaware.
She founded Zoe Ministries of Delaware, a non-profit whose one priority is to bring awareness to the horrible crimes happening in our own state. To date, she has met with over 8, Delawareans to bring attention to the issue. If it is a documented fact that this is happening, in the 49 other states of this country, what makes Delaware think it is immune to these crimes?
If anything, we are more prone to it because of our lax laws in regards to Human Sex Trafficking. In a News Journal article published March 24thSchlabach said the following:. Schlabach approached the Markell administration about this issue and met with stiff resistance.
But is that enough? Not even close. This is not the first legislation to address Human Sex Trafficking in Delaware.
Inthe General Assembly passed Senate Bill This legislation, meant to strengthen Delaware state code and give stiffer penalties to those who traffic human beings whether in sex acts or forced labor, also gives the state to right to seize property owned by the sex trafficker who is found guilty of violating the law.
It also created a Human Traffic Coordinating Council. The original intent and the implementation have been two very different things.
Today, not even three years later, the council is down to three members. The state police are not one of those members. This is who was supposed to be on it:.
Obviously, we have a huge problem in Delaware. The law also was meant to guarantee training for law enforcement, something which has not happened with fidelity. As you watch the below video, note how certain pictures were NOT included in the final cut of the video. The first picture in this article was shown in the presentation. Is it too horrible for people to see what is happening in their very own communities?
While Schlabach discussed how this happens in Delaware, I did some digging of my own based on her talk. She mentioned a website called Back.
She also talked about Rubmaps. All of these help to perpetuate the disgusting and appalling continuation of child sex acts. Many prostitute appear on Craigslist and Back and potential johns are asked to either reply to the ad, call a phonethem, or contact them via Kik. Kik Messenger is predominantly a cell-phone app.
It is based out of Canada which makes it favorable to pimps because it is very difficult to get records, even with a subpoena, since they are not based out of the USA. As well, many children and teenagers use Kik. Pimps main goals with online websites and apps are not just to sell their victims to johns, but also to lure new victims into their web as well.
Vaulty, Snapchat, Burn Note, Line. Kids are using Reddit and other forums to place classified for sex by giving out their KiK usernames.
KiK does not offer any parental controls and there is no way of authenticating users, this making it easy for sexual predators to use the app to interact with minors. Pimps love to recruit new victims.
Sex trafficked prostitutes are not always from other countries. In fact, statistics show most are American and many are children under the age of Most are female, but males are also trafficked by pimps. They are not always from broken homes either. It could be any child who is susceptible to a situation where they are easily coerced.
Many are runaways.
They are the broken children of our society, those shunned by the adults who should care for them the most. I edited out not-safe-for-work words and phone s provided in the. They are slaves, in every sense of the word.
Forced to perform sex acts to more than willing johns. They have to meet quotas they must give to their pimps.
They are beaten if they disobey. They are branded with tattoos so their pimps can find them. According to Schlabach, other pimps will turn the victims back over to the original pimp if they see the victim has a particular brand on them.
To their pimps, they are property. They blackmail them into prostitution by stating they will show videos of them having sex to their families.
In essence, they are broken down so horribly and violently, they are numb. Many victims of sex trafficking are forced to take drugs like heroin.
They are shuffled around towns and cities and never stay in one place for too long. The stereotype of the pimp is not the same as the reality. Pimps can be anyone.
There are pimps who sell their own children into sex acts. Fathers, mothers, grandparents.
It could be a co-worker, or a neighbor, or just a normal person you see walking down the street. In Maryland, a charter school teacher was prosecuted for trafficking one of his students.
But there are three things they do: Coerce, control and force. The victims of Human Sex Trafficking suffer from trauma most people cannot relate to. They are physically, mentally, and sexually abused, for years on end. As the first picture in this article shows, the average life expectancy is seven years for many of these victims.
Anyone reading this blog over the past three years knows this is predominantly an education blog. But it is called Exceptional Delaware. ZIP: 43015