Thank you for caring about the issue of local human trafficking, Dan. It would be great if you could also hear from the women of Organization for Prostitution Survivors
. They are founded and led by survivors of prostitution and trafficking in our city. They work every day with women right here in Seattle who are trying to leave the life or move on after the trauma they've been through. They were there helping to lead the Men's March on Saturday.
Seattle Against Slavery is an anti-trafficking organization, so listening to the views of trafficking survivors like these is what we do. They believe men buying sex is a driving force behind trafficking and the violence they have personally experienced. You should hear their voices, too, if you want to know what commercial sex really looks like in Seattle.
Even in places like The Netherlands
where prostitution is legal, there is rampant trafficking and violence against prostituted women. The people at the march on Saturday think that cost is just not worth it for men buying sex. We are clearly not in favor of police further victimizing women in prostitution, and the police working on trafficking cases are instead focused on holding the buyers and traffickers
accountable for the violence and harm they cause.
We are partnering with local and national organizations to raise awareness about the massive and hidden violence of commercial sex. We believe that even age-old norms should be changed when they harm and oppress others, and that saying racism, domestic violence, homophobia, or slavery have always been around isn't a good argument for not fighting those, either.
If you don't believe trafficking is big part of prostitution in Seattle, you should take a look at "Who Pays The Price
," a study where Dr. Debra Boyer identified hundreds of cases of underage girls being sold for sex right here in King County. Each case was a real human being who was trafficked. Our coalition of women and men, volunteers, survivors, advocates and counselors work to prevent the horrors of local sex trafficking for people like the ones in that study. We also work just as hard to address issues of local labor trafficking, another violent and brutal crime.
We hope others care enough to hear from the survivors who experience the violence and harm of prostitution
and trafficking, not just the few who are lucky enough to avoid it.