In 1994, I used to watch talk shows (when my mom was not in the room). I remember watching a few shows where a woman had become an exotic dancer after being a nerd all through school who wanted to confront a bully. I saw another show where a stripper was being asked to choose between her boyfriend and her $2k/night “career”. While some people shook their heads in disapproval and disgust, others seemed to be calculating how much money they think they can make becoming a stripper themselves. I was 12 years old and my eyebrows were raised and my mind was calculating too.
As an Atlanta native, I have watched my city go from being known for peaches and peanuts to becoming a forerunner in the music and movie industry in less than 20 years. When you drive through downtown Atlanta, you will see propaganda for the music and film industry plastered everywhere. Atlanta has been known for the vast variety of adult entertainment as well. I became an exotic dancer AS SOON AS I TURNED 18 AND GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL. I started working in a very famous strip club and immediately saw the fast money (not $2k/night, though) and was glad I was finally in the mix.
In a city where music, movies and the sex industry are promoted on billboards, its only natural for things to evolve. Marketing to tourists in the “Hollywood of the South” have become a priority the last couple a years. In the midst of all the hoopla, a new hashtag has emerged, bringing awareness to one of Atlanta’s other lucrative industries: #SexTrafficking. Although it is advertised as “awareness“, to me, it sometimes comes off as “marketing” or “promotion“. Its like telling all the people who want to buy sex but don’t have the time or money to go to Thailand to simply visit Atlanta for all your sex slave needs.
When I go to speak at anti-sex trafficking events and tell my transition story from being an exotic dancer for 14 years off and on, there is always atleast one person who pulls me to the side afterward to tell me they would have become an exotic dancer too, only if they had a better body. Or they ask me if I think they “have what it takes” to make money.
No lie. 😐😐😐
Everytime I go to an anti- sex trafficking event and the presenter starts to discuss the amount of money the “industry” is worth, I have made it a point to watch the crowd. 👀 Some attendees of these sex trafficking events seem to be gathering data for a business plan and researching 🧐 how to get their foot in the door so they can profit from a “new, trending business venture”. Speakers at these anti-sex trafficking events are passionate about presenting information to inspire and infuriate the audience into action to help survivors.
As advocates tell their stories of horror and trauma and organizations educate the masses on the MARKET and VALUE of the sex trafficking industry, some folks in the audience seem to be in investigation mode, scribbling notes as if they were at a multi-level marketing presentation and picturing themselves as successful as the “mogul guru” decribes his or her own astronomical residual income.
While presenters are pouring out their hearts on behalf of sex trafficking victims, some folks have that same mentally calculating look on their faces I had while I imagined bringing home $2000/night as I envisioned myself as a successful stripper. They ask nonchalant questions about recruitment tactics and feign interest in the welfare of the vulnerable populations traffickers usually target.
This is why it is important to me to support SEX TRAFFICKING organizations WHO HELP THE SURVIVORS TRANSITION FROM THE TRAUMA AND ISOLATION OR FUND THE IMMEDIATE NEEDS OF VICTIMS IN THEIR ESCAPE PLANS! Paying for UBER, BUS TICKETS AND PLANE RIDES ARE EXPENSIVE! AND the last thing this organizations on the frontlines to help these people needs is money for more “AWARENESS”. I am totally convinced that many of the people who dress up and attend anti-sex trafficking events are only there to discover how to obtain “products” to supply the high demand for this billion dollar industry.
Why? You ask?🤔
Because now SUDDENLY, the people who sat with pens and pads, taking voracious notes and raising their hands ONLY to ask about the laws and penalties for pimps and traffickers have evaluated the “risks” and seem to have started a secret lobbying campaign to change some things to make it easier to get supply…
And voilà! Suddenly, women are penalized with stiff penalties and sentences for having abortions. Why? Because these unwanted, unborn goldmines will be the supply to answer this highly taboo but even higher demand. More unwanted babies born will SUPPLY the horribly negligent CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES AGENCIES with the commodities to sell and join in the lucrative market of selling children for sex. * insert someone maniacally rubbing their hands together.*👹😈
This is an observation I have made and not a stance on whether abortion is right or wrong. It is not about it being Biblical or demonic. This is not about prolife or prochoice. This, like most government regulations and endeavors, is just business. If you don’t believe me, think about how much marijuana had been criminalized in the past until they figured out a way to profit from the industry. ONLY AFTER the government has found a way to corner the market and produce this forbidden plant (with its newfound foothold in THAT industry) it has SUDDENLY been legalized and now being sold to the public in some places…as a legitimate STOREFRONT business while others languish in prison for selling less weed than they offer…
Watch 👀👀👀and see who is getting caught in child porn and exploitation rings and watch the penalties for traffickers and watch how the “laws” for victims who escape with half their mind still intact are penalized with harsher consequences for “ESCAPING” in the judicial system for attempting to advocate for themselves.*insert side eye*.😒😒😑😒😒
If you truly have a desire to help with sex trafficking, support organizations who have a heart ❤ for the survivors of this industry. 4Sarah is a survivor-led non-profit organization dedicated to help women transition from the sex industry. This is the only organization who provides scholarships to women in order to help them build confidence and marketable skills to re-enter the world as independent contributors to society. In December 2018, 4Sarah, Inc. opened an Assessment House for pregnant women and women with children who have escaped from sex trafficking.
As the Care Team Coordinator for this organization, I know the needs these women have when they call to get physical, emotional, spiritual and financial support to help them successfully transition. Donating money about awareness is nice its not the best use when so many women need money to get their identification, birth certificates, pay for groceries and other basic essentials we all take for granted. When these women leave a trafficker, they usually have nothing and have to start over and yes, their children do too.
If you would like to contribute to helping victims become survivors and thrivers, donate today http://www.4Sarah.net.