As many across the country and globe gear up for the Super Bowl by making chili, buying beer, planning parties, and pledging their allegiance to a team, we at 3 Generations spend the week before thinking of new ways to talk about domestic sex trafficking. This has been our tradition for the past eight years. Sex trafficking happens every day, in every city, across the nation, but we know more children will be trafficked into the host city around the hoopla of Super Bowl than any other weekend throughout the year.
This year Donald Trump gifted (or was it nauseated?) us with prolonged drivel about “uman traffickers”. He took the whisper of truth and perverted the genuine human rights problem facing hundreds of thousands of women and children in this country. When I first heard his screed, I found it to be so preposterous that I laughed. It was a description of guerrilla pimping on steroids: kidnapped women with duct-taped mouths, unable to breathe, being trafficking across the wall-less border. But, as is inevitable with Trump, I had to listen to his words again and again until finally I got mad. What Trump has done, yet again, is taken a complex issue and bastardized it for political gain. He has taken a human rights abuse and attempted to use it in service of his wall. I would go so far as to say he doesn’t give a damn about human trafficking, neither sex nor labor trafficking. His sole interest is to fueling his unceasing, racist anti-immigration narrative. I am coming to believe that even Ivanka Trump, who made trafficking one of her “signature issues,” is disingenuous. It feels as though Stephen Miller has proffered a couple of hot button issues to spin into a hyperbolic narrative to further a different and unrelated agenda.
This is worse than ignoring an issue. It is cruel. It re-exploits the already exploited and vulnerable. And it has a pernicious regressive effect on the committed and sincere experts who work tirelessly to educate the public about the scourge that is domestic human trafficking.
We made our documentary, Tricked, to show that the sex trafficking of children is a serious domestic problem in the USA. We did so because it’s important to get to grips with the reality of the situation if we want to have any hope of combatting human trafficking. We need purchasers of commercial sex to understand that trafficking victims don’t have duct tape residue around their mouths; they look just like our children, our sisters, our brothers, us. The vast majority have never visited the southern border. They were born and raised here.
So we dedicate this short video to all the amazing people and not for profits who work hard to fight sex trafficking in this country. To name a few: My Life My Choice, Gems, The Polaris Project, S.O.A.P, ECPAT USA, Love 146, Shared Hope and Truckers Against Trafficking.
And may the best team win on Sunday.
-Jane Wells, Executive Director and Founder