Sunday, May 16, 2010
Imagine living in a home where all you see is violence. All you know is pain, torture, tears, sadness, and depression. All you hear is screaming and curse words, and all you want to do is escape. This situation is not uncommon in our backyard, Atlanta. What’s worse is that it’s a large factor of why young women run away from home and turn to a life that they think is ultimately better for them. This new life I’m referring to is sex trafficking. I cannot personally empathize with the poor young women who are forced into this life, but I want to be able to help.
Why is it that young women in Atlanta don’t think they have any other option? What is going so wrong at home that they feel life would be better selling themselves? It drives me crazy to imagine how these girls must feel. I’m referring, of course, to a niche demographic- young teens that flee their homes out of necessity. Taking refuge in a hope house is where a lot of it can begin. Apparently, there is a hope house close to where I live. I have learned in the past couple of months that young girls come here because it’s a pseudo orphanage. They think they are going to escape, when in reality, they are going to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Uncles, who were formerly known as pimps, choose the women they want and start them instantly in their new ‘jobs’.
The girls are flattered. When they enter these homes, their confidence levels are so low, they are practically invisible. The girls have nothing else going for them, or so they think. They have never been taught how to have self-esteem or how to be successful. They have not been given the same opportunities that some people take for granted. With nothing holding them back, the teens can earn so much money. Money is power to the girls, and it’s addicting and easy to earn. Why should they ever want to stop?
I need some questions answered. Why is the government not addressing the issue? Why is Atlanta climbing the charts for highest ranked sex trafficking city? Why are these government-provided hope houses a shopping experience for pimps? I just keep learning about these flawed systems Atlanta uses and wondering if we are alone in these practices.
Do other cities have the same problems?
I certainly hate the thought of any 12-year old selling herself for a couple hundred dollars to a creepy old man. His wrinkly and festering body is using a tiny, undeveloped girls body.
Heaven forbid any girl chooses to leave willingly. Her life would be a life of fear if she ever escaped. Her uncle would find her. He would have his way with her and force her back. It’s a dead end situation for some girls, and some women never have the chance to escape.
This specific situation is one among many in the sex trafficking world. There’s no way I could say it’s the worst possible scenario, because any form of human trafficking is offensive, ludicrous, sick, perverted, and malicious. There is no good way; there is no right way. It’s all wrong.
I’m embarrassed for the city of Atlanta for becoming a huge factor in this dirty industry. I’m embarrassed to call this beautiful city my home sometimes.