The face of trafficking in our local area can take many forms. Many people believe that human trafficking takes the form of sexual exploitation alone, but in fact there have been recent cases involving people being kept as domestic slaves, and even children who have been kept as cannabis farmers.
However, the majority of cases still involve victims kept in brothels or as sex slaves. If there wasn’t a demand for sexual exploitation in our communities, there wouldn’t be victims trafficked into brothels in our areas. The law states that sex with a trafficked victim is rape. If you are someone that uses brothels, you could be convicted of rape and spend time in prison. But aside from that, try to think about the human being you are paying to exploit. You may have chosen them, but they definitely didn’t choose you. Anyone who is trafficked is being kept against their will as an object to be exploited.
It’s a fact that most of those visiting these establishments are men. However, men paying for sex are not often ‘dead-beats’. They are usually in their 30s, married, with a mortgage. (It’s equally important to note that men are vulnerable today and can be victims who are sexually exploited as well. Similarly, women can be those running such establishments, or winning the confidence of their victims).
So what can we do?
We can speak out on behalf of those who are enslaved right here in our community. We can tell those we know who may use brothels or sex shops about the dangers to trafficked victims in those establishments – and of the place of the law. We can know what signs to look for that may be suspicious or indicate trafficking (see our Spot the Signs feature). We can become members of CCAT and keep in touch with trafficking trends and awareness-raising events in our local area.
You should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you see anything suspicious or if you know of any incident or location where a victim of trafficking may be exploited.