Human trafficking, pedophile rings, and what you need to worry about

By Melanie Blow

Apr 2, 2017 | Feature | 0 comments

April is child abuse prevention and awareness month, and normally it’s business as usual for someone whose job revolves around the prevention and awareness of child abuse. January is Human Trafficking Awareness month, when celebrities with cool hashtags and instagram accounts raise awareness about human trafficking. Even though I’m not a celebrity last January I was invited to write an op-ed and a local magazine gave me carte blanche to write about human trafficking each month, indefinitely. Seemingly, we can’t possibly draw enough attention to human trafficking, but just in case that topic was becoming blase, I’m seeing the term “pedophile ring” more and more on social media and in my daily google alerts about child sexual abuse.

For starters, some definitions:

  • Human trafficking means using force, fraud, coercion or minority in exchange for labor or sex.
  • Child sex trafficking is when one person receives money, goods or services in exchange for sexual contact with a minor of any age.
  • A pedophile ring, if the term is being correctly used, would be an organized system of accepting money, goods or services in exchange for sexual contact with a prepubescent child.

Pimps who traffic teenagers generally have the teenagers live with them and form a strong emotional bond with them. That’s how they have them do miserable work, take their money and return to them, night after night. Kidnapping is rarely a point of entry. Victims usually enter “the life” because they run away, are kicked out of their home or foster home, or are “seduced” away from home. Prepubescent children don’t really run away, get kicked out or lend themselves to being “seduced”, making them harder to traffick than teenagers. This is why prepubescent children who are trafficked are almost always trafficked by a parent or foster parent.

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Melanie Blow

Melanie Blow

COO, Stop Abuse Campaign

A survivor of incest, psychological abuse and a host of other childhood trauma, Melanie now uses her talents to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences. Melanie has over a decade of legislative advocacy regarding children’s issues, and she has been published in newspapers, magazines and blogs all across the country.

Melanie has an ACE score of 6.

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