Access: New York Times
Summary: In this Op-Ed Video, Pulitzer-prize winning columnist Nicholas Kristof interviews a survivor of childhood sex trafficking in Manhattan (see accompanying article). The woman was forced into prostitution at age 16, and at age 19, she was able to escape her pimp and gain her freedom. In the video, the woman describes how, as an emotionally and economically vulnerable teenager, she was tricked by an older man into a relationship and then forced into prostitution. Her pimp threatened her with violence, and she was sold from one pimp to another, and forced to have sex for money in New York and other cities along the East Coast. The video discusses how pimps recruit their girls and the role of websites like backpage.com in facilitating sex trafficking. Backpage (owned by Village Voice Media) features girls as young as 14 (although they are advertised as being at least 18) years old, makes $22 million/yr from its adult ads, and is now the "premier website for human trafficking in the United States." Many viewers may assume that victims sex trafficked in the US come from other countries, but in fact, the majority of sex trafficking victims in the US are domestic victims. Viewers may reflect on the role of the pimp in this process, and why pimps are often glorified in American popular culture.
Submitted By: Paul Dean