Resolving the Contradiction in Our View of Sex Trafficking

William Frank Diedrich is the author of The Secret Life of an Ordinary Man, a novel about human trafficking. The Secret Life is William’s sixth published book and second novel. Find his books at and at Amazon.

We are a contradictory society. Any man who molests a child is generally thought of as low-life.
Most people want to see him punished, severely. Yet, estimates tell us there are tens of thousands of teenage girls who are trafficked in the United States. This estimate would lead us to guess that there are a few million men who are using them. It is this contradiction that helps sex trafficking to continue to grow.

Sex trafficking is not the same as ordinary prostitution. In trafficking, the person being trafficked is either unwilling or underaged—or both. There is a difference between a woman who willingly offers herself for money, and one who is coerced, tricked, or drugged into providing sexual pleasure to others. Imagine a life where you are forced to submit to sexual molestation several times a day, nearly every day. If you can imagine what that would be like, then you have some idea of the pain many teenage girls in this country suffer.

The problem must be the traffickers, right? They are the ones who gather by force or by manipulation the girls they use to make money. They are the ones mistreating girls. Maybe the problem is the customers. Without customers there would be no sex trade. How could a man rationalize using a young girl like that. The average age of trafficked girls is fourteen. How do you rationalize having sex with a fourteen-year-old for money? Most men would not want to see their own daughters involved in sex trafficking. Every girl is somebody’s daughter.

What is the answer? There are several answers. One answer is to not participate in trafficking. Another is to keep watch over your daughter. Don’t allow her to go to the mall by herself. Be aware at all times of her location. Set curfews and enforce them. Do not allow her on Snapchat or Kik, both sites that have girls sexting and sending pictures to whomever. If you see a girl being coerced in an airport, bus station or train station, call the police. Truck stops and rest stops are known places where traffickers offer their girls to truckers. Report suspicious behavior. There is a group called Truckers Against Trafficking which does exactly that.

As men, we can pay attention to how we see women and girls. Can we appreciate their feminine beauty without staring, harassing, or being rude? Can we move beyond seeing females as sex objects and see the whole person? As for women, don’t allow the men in your life to make you into an object. Hold them accountable. If women were respected AND admired, we would wouldn’t put up with trafficking in our country.

Humans are quick to condemn others for bad behaviors, and often slow to reflect on our own. The questions for you and for me are: “Am I living in a way that promotes respect and appreciation for females?” Secondly: “Am I doing what i can to protect our daughters from predators?” You don’t have to become Brian Mills in the movie “Taken” to make a difference. Just pay attention and act when needed.

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