In Dallas, Texas, two females under the age of eighteen were victims of sex trafficking by sex trafficker, Victoria Bautista. The victims of the sex trafficking were relatives to Bautista. Victoria Bautista would force the minors to engage in sexual acts for money and Bautista would keep the money. The two young girls were abused by the men participating in the sex trafficking on multiple occassions. Bautista has been charged with “theft, continuously trafficking a person under the age of 18 and compelling a child under the age 18 into prostitution” (Miller, Joshua Rhett). Bautista coerced her own family members into sex traffickers. The two youth were manipulated into sex trafficking, because they more than likely trusted Bautista and listen to everything she told them and asked of them to do. Importantly, this story highlights that sex stafficking is still pertinent and that the sex traffickers are capable of recruiting their own family members to engage.

The sex trafficking epidemic still occurs today as a result from sex traffickers generating “a lot of money with minimal fear of punishment or legal consequence” (UNICEF USA). Much of sex trafficking is underground, therefore it may go unnoticed or unseen to others which puts the traffickers at an advantage. The majority of the victims that are sex trafficked are usually victims with a low to poor socioeconomic status and low educational backgrounds. Moreover, minority racial groups are most likely to engage in sex trafficking. Sex trafficking can happen to anybody; anybody meaning women, children, men, transgender men, and transgender women. Sex traffickers target “victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, war and social discrimination,” because they feel they can manipulate those who are in jeopardy due to “their prior abuses” (UNICEF USA). These events that the victims face prior cause trauma and sex traffickers feed off of that. However, any cases of sex trafficking happen to victims who are too young to the point where they feel as though they do not have a voice for someone to care enough to intervene.

For the most part, sex traffickers are selfish, manipulators that prey on individuals that are most likely minors that have no permanent home or run away from home who become easy targets. Minors that are homeless or deemed as runaways “lack a strong supportive network” (The Victims). Those with a weak support system are more likely to explore support, guidance, and love from sex traffickers that show that through manipulation, but the victims may not see the manipulation. Therefore, the victims feel as though the sex traffickers will love them more if they do what the trafficker says since no one else in their life may not have provided them with the proper attention. The normalization of inhumanity and mistreatment “lead to future susceptibility …[of sex] trafficking” (The Victims).

The sex traffickers are individuals who have been likely abused and abandoned due to childhood trauma. Childhood trauma more than likely impacts individuals when they enter into adulthood. These people seek out others who are at a vulnerable state and use that to their advantage. While victims are vulnerable, they are more likely to develop trust faster from traffickers. Sex traffickers traffick their victims for the money along with gaining the feeling of power and control. A significant amount of traffickers come from “ Asia, followed by Central and Southeastern Europe, and Western Europe” (Fight the New Drug). The majority of sex traffickers are from low socioeconomic regions, therefore sex trafficking may be the only way for them to receive income that they know of. Also, sex traffickers can come from various occupational backgrounds. Sex traffickers are not all unemployed. However, some have regular jobs, some are employed at big corporations, and some are gang affiliates and pimps. 

All in all, sex trafficking is illegal and morally wrong. Individuals that are trafficked are forced into sexual encounters. The myth of only women and girls get trafficked is invalid, because people of all ages can fall victim to sex trafficking. Exploitation through sex trafficking can occur at any place any time and it can operate on a small scale or large. As a society, we must be mindful of the dangers that still exist today that is why rules such as never walk alone or location sharing are in place for safety. However, with those things in action some individuals still fall victim to trafficking that’s why we must take more preventive measures and increase our safety as a society.

References

Miller, Joshua Rhett. “Dallas Woman Forced Underage Relatives into Sex Trade: Cops.” New York Post, New York Post, 4 Nov. 2019, nypost.com/2019/11/04/dallas-woman-forced-underage-relatives-into-sex-trade-cops/.

“The Victims.” National Human Trafficking Hotline, 23 Apr. 2018, humantraffickinghotline.org/what-human-trafficking/human-trafficking/victims.

UNICEF USA. “How Trafficking Exists Today.” , 6 Jan. 2016, www.unicefusa.org/stories/how-trafficking-exists-today/29715.

“Who Are Sex Traffickers, and Why Do They Exploit Other Humans?” Fight the New Drug, 11 Sept. 2019, fightthenewdrug.org/who-are-sex-traffickers/.


CLAUDE STUNTIN’ is a 21 year old college senior and was born and raised in Norfolk, VA. Claude is a feminist and an advocate for young black men pursuing higher education. Claude is a songwriter and records music as well.