There are Sex Slaves All Over the U.S. Right Now.

Why is locking up a woman for one's own pleasure more newsworthy than locking up a woman in order to pimp her out?

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DAVID MAXWELL / EPA

Well wishers gather at Gina DeJesus' home in Cleveland, Ohio, in anticipation of her homecoming, May 7, 2013.

People who deprive young girls of their freedom for years and years are obviously crazy sickos who need to be put away for life. Nobody’s going to argue about that. Except that for most of history, treating women like they’re ownable was the normal thing to do. In many places in the world, it’s still the normal thing to do. And although they don’t always get the coverage that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight are receiving, women are being held against their will all the time in the U.S.

(MORE: The Mind of the Kidnap Victim: How They Endure and Recover)

About a month before the voluble Charles Ramsey (who turns out to have been a repeat domestic abuser) was helping to kick down the door to free Berry and her daughter, Julio Cesar Revolorio Ramos of Adelphi, Md., was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison for sex trafficking a 15-year-old girl. He was part of a multi-state kidnapping and prostitution ring that has victimized hundreds of women and girls since at least 2008.

And then in New York on April 30, just a week before the Ohio case, seven women were freed when another prostitution ring was broken up and 13 people arrested. Most of the women had been trafficked through Mexico, typically by men whom they believed at the time to be their boyfriends. The U.S. attorneys prosecuting the case allege that the women were beaten, threatened with physical harm to them and their family, sexually assaulted, and verbally abused if they declined to have sex with strangers for money. Or sometimes even if they didn’t. This doesn’t sound all that different from what we know about what happened in Ohio, or in Austria (twice!), or in Utah, or in California or in any of the high profile cases where girls have been kidnapped and held captive for long periods. But unless you’ve been looking, you may not have heard about the rescued prostitutes, even though their story is arguably a bigger one.

According to the complaint filed in court against the New York traffickers, in a typical day a Mexican sex trafficking victim in New York has to service 20 to 30 customers. Since these women are not willing participants, that’s 20 to 30 rapes. A day. The victims may not have been held for 10 years, but they were treated worse. Eventually, Ramos let the 15 year old girl go (her name has not been released), not out of the kindness of his heart but because each girl only has a certain sexual shelf-life. Once discarded, she had very few options. Luckily she found her way to the police.

(MORE: Captive in Cleveland: 5 New Things We Know and 5 We Still Don’t Know)

Jimmy Lee, executive director of RestoreNYC, which provides shelter for trafficked women, has some theories on why locking a woman up for one’s own pleasure is more newsworthy than locking a woman up in order to pimp her out. “I think it is because of the stigma of being prostituted,” he says. “We too easily lessen our compassion for a “prostitute” even if it comes out that she was clearly not being prostituted by choice.’

Another factor may be what is known in academic circles as “missing white women syndrome.” Lee thinks race could be a a factor along with the victimized women’s questionable legal status. “I wonder if there is something about these seven women being brown women primarily from Mexico or El Salvador,” he says. “It’s easy to put them in the category of an illegal immigrant and a criminal.”

But it cannot be that these girls’ families in Mexico and El Salvador care any less about their daughters, or yearn any less for their return than did the families of the girls who were set free on May 6. It may be that they’re more used to hardship, hopelessness and fear than were the families in Ohio, but grief and loss are equal-opportunity burdens. Apparently, so is sexual abuse.

MORE: What the Rest of the World is Like for Women

56 comments
micheleliz321
micheleliz321

Where are most of these missing children and teens?  Some are dead I'm sure, but ALOT are being held against their will and being used as personal sex slaves or being sold to the public as sex slaves.

Instead of WASTING money (75 % of the "war on drugs" is against marijuana, which imo isn't as harmful a drug as cocaine or heroin)  spend money trying to find these missing women and children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MuricanBob
MuricanBob

I love the bluntness of the title. Very professional.

andy.coaton
andy.coaton

Sex trafficking would disappear immediately if prostitution was legalized and regulated

JackKennedy1
JackKennedy1

Look, if people are being forced to do things against their will, they need to go to the police, period. No ifs and or buts. And if you don't take it to the police and were able to, don't come cryin to me later. We have a police force to deal with these things. The filthy Muslim and Asian nations don't even have that and they hate women the most. I am Asian, I know.

2013yourwelcome
2013yourwelcome

Why does the sex trade exist, well because the most profitable way to make money is through the animalistic intentions of the male and female interactions. If we want to abolish we can't be redundant in other lighter forms like how cigarette undermines the offense of marijuana is symmetrical to the effect of strip clubs, dates, and typical flirting towards the more serious offense sexual crimes. We as human being embody such behaviors by the presence of such institutes; therefore, we must acknowledge that it is a crime in our neighborhoods and not ignore it as if it is some foreign entity.

V2163
V2163

Why do you have to mention that Charles Ramsey was a domestic abuser ? is that the issue in question here? He saved them and that's all that matters. I don't see the relation between having a domestic quarrel and a kidnapping/sex slavery case. Why not let the man enjoy his 15 minutes of fame for doing something heroic? is this going to help in any way to stop sexual slavery ? .. This is exactly why people don't do nice things anymore because society will praise you for one minute and bash you for the rest of your life. Sucky article. 

gopetca
gopetca

Whats the point of this article? That the strong take advantage of the weak? That physically stronger men take advantage of physically weaker women? How does the author fell about stronger nations bullying weaker ones? Life is not fair get over it. I wish that bad things did not happen to people. But they do. Has been happening since time immemorial. Did the passage of domestic violence laws eliminate domestic violence or did it just cast a wider net to generate more arrest records against men for phone calls? Can a judge's restraining order prevent a deranged man from killing his ex-wife? Stuff happens

duval.mp
duval.mp

Maybe part of the problem is the lack of FATHERS. There are no fathers to look after their daughters, to put a rightful  fear into their daughters boyfriends and nobody to come to the rescue when things go bad. Need more fathers like Mel Gibson in Ransom or Liam Nesson in Taken. As it is now, young women are left on their own and are free to be snatched by anyone who has the inkling. 

lazarus00000
lazarus00000

part 1

This issue is , in my opinion, the most important problem that needs to be addressed by the formation of new laws that will literally remove the sexual predators from the planet. does this sound too harsh? I advocate the mandatory castration of all that are proven to prey on children.

The ultimate punishment would be provided for the persons who use death, torture, and terror to prey on the women, and children (male and female).

All I need to do is to remember all of the news stories in my lifetime that have shocked me with the total lack of empathy for the victims. The liberal courts seem to have revolving doors on the jails and prisons. Just the other day, a man shot his wife and three teenaged girls in Nashville, TN. He has a convicted murderer that had been released back into society. These stories make me envious of china where viscous predators never get a chance to harm others again. I am speaking of absolute proof of guilt. with the modern sciences we have the ability to proved absolutely if someone is guilty. The Colorado shooter, says he is insane??? So what, if a rabid dog threatened your children would you put it down?

lazarus00000
lazarus00000

part 2

He randomly murdered multiple people and might not get to experience the terror he inflicted outo the victims? That is insanity and that is why the Sex slavery industry is allowed to exist in america. anyone with an ounce of empathy, can imagine the terror these brutal beast inflict onto the victims, and that, in my opinion allows them to remove and claim to humanity. They give it up by their actions.

They are not human any longer, just brutal beast to be removed like taking out the trash.

Sorry if this is too strong for some, but the poor victims of these monsters would agree with me, if they had a chance.

Lazarus

JoeHargrave
JoeHargrave

Interesting that the link for this appears right next to a link to an article highlighting the alleged benefits of porn in the same publication. I'm sure there's NO link at all between porn everywhere and growing incidences of sex slavery in the United States. None whatsoever. Day in, day out viewing of sexual dehumanization on the computer screen couldn't have the least bit to do with increasing demand for the  dehumanization of an actual person. 

DrorBenAmi
DrorBenAmi

who exactly  is having sex with all these sex slaves in the USA, Japanese tourists ???

MobileCasinoBoy
MobileCasinoBoy

Trick whitey up to his ole tricks again. I am talking about progressive liberal trick whitey trying to paint caucasians as the devil wherever they can. 

lazarus00000
lazarus00000

This terrible crime goes to the base of human brutality. There is only one way to eradicate it and the answer is NOT religion, but through real morals. The 1500 years of the terror applied to humanity in the name of God is proof that religion has a perverted sense of "Right and Wrong". People everywhere should be accountable for predatory acts against other humans. As a social worker, I witnessed many pedophiles and rapist that were free to hide in society under a liberal law system. Psychiatry thinks they deserve the compassion and acceptance that we would give a person afflicted with a sore throat. They are very wrong in my opinion. I would say the people who prey on the weak have lost ALL of their right to be considered human and deserve the harshest punishment imaginable. But that is just an opinion.

Lazarus

vapozilla@yahoo.com
vapozilla@yahoo.com

my wife keeps me chained in the basement.  she abuses me everyday.  i love it

CamiloErazo
CamiloErazo

several more cases of sex slavery and prostitution get throw our eyes without an inch of interest. the ohio and austria case are hideous, sinester, like taken from our  worst nightmares, and theres a reason why people gets so deep into them, its what the people want, stronger and unscapable breaking news showing how horrible society can be. this kind of behaviours deserve death penalty,.

vermont.hermit
vermont.hermit

I am a male, age 60. During the 1970s thru the end of the 1980's I worked first as a desk clerk for a major "massage parlor" in Connecticut and then as the manager of a bar with female strippers. There may be sex slaves in Connecticut, but I NEVER met any girls that were working those jobs because another person forced them to.

The only thing that comes close to sexual slavery in my personal experience is unhappy women married to sexually aggressive men. As I said, I'm 60 years old now and things may be slowly changing for the better.... although news reports about sexual abuse and rapes in our military makes you wonder.

GreggEshelman
GreggEshelman

You forgot to mention those people at that ACORN office who offered to get some girls in from south of the border.

mary.waterton
mary.waterton

It all originates from this "tolerance" that Americans have for lifestyles and "orientations". 

thewholetruth
thewholetruth

Many of the missing children today are being sacrificed in demonic rituals, it is critical to watch your children closely today 

agps44
agps44

Being former cave people, some primitive trait just won't go away, in this case, male domination and female submission.. Sad thing is it has become an industry of its own. 

BubbleBurster
BubbleBurster

@micheleliz321 

WHY GIVE UP so easily on ILLEGAL drugs?

hasn't it occurred to you that we CAN mutiprocess and the TWO often go together?

You are not very informed on marijuana.  It DUMBS YOU DOWN.  Do we really need MORE DUMB people in this country?

hyperspacez
hyperspacez

@JackKennedy1  And when the police sit on their laurels, claim they don't have enough evidence, and look the other way, then where do you suggest they go? You are Asian, you claim Asian nations hate women the most, and I would have to say that you did a good job proving that point through the tone in your post.

micheleliz321
micheleliz321

@gopetca WHAT??????????

WHEN INNOCENT CHILDREN ARE TAKEN FROM A LOVING FAMILY, HELD AGAINST THEIR WILL AND USED FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND CHILD PROSTITUTION WE DON'T SAY "STUFF HAPPENS"

you must have been raised in a glass bubble to have that opinion.

Cip is Right on.....silence will NOT make this world a better place just because bad things have been happening since the beginning of time doesn't make it right

cip
cip

@gopetca The point is that you are an ass. When a deranged ex-husband kills his ex-wife it is NOT okay to say: Stuff happens. When women are being sold, beaten and raped it is not okay to say: Stuff happens. When the strong bully the week it is not okay to say: Stuff Happens. It is important to point it out, to write about it, to scream about it! Silence and apathy will not make this world a better place. 

I will assume you have never known a woman who has been affected by domestic violence, you should be grateful. 

But we should never silently watch injustice happen and say: stuff happens.

studying_nomad
studying_nomad

@duval.mp Huh? How about you raise your sons to treat women with respect and you won't have to go worrying about the fathers of daughters. Your comment is incredibly disrespectful to every father that has lost a young woman. But I'm sure you have no skin in the game and just like to throw blame around to make yourself feel important. 

gopetca
gopetca

@lazarus00000 And I advocate mandatory castration of all accusers who are proven wrong. remember the Mc Martin pre-school trial? All of those people who were accused, and subject to lynch mobs of self righteous people [like you] had their lives destroyed with nary an apology. If you weren't there you don't know what happened. Its just that simple.

LuisRamónZerpa
LuisRamónZerpa

@lazarus00000 I´m sorry you are so misguided and have come up with a wrong conclusion about religion. You see, Religion is not the problem. religion speaks of love and respect, of treating others how you would like to be treated. These principles are beautiful. Religion speaks of LOVE. 

The real problem are certain human beings who manipulate these loving words and twist them. In the name of religion many man have committed the worst crimes... but these man have not really adhered to the moral principles, but violated them. 

Further more, evil exists. The work of evil, bad people, is to destroy our society. They want chaos. They want hell on earth. Not as in a fantasy tale... real hell... wars, crime, treason, robbery, adultery, etc. 

Evil has penetrated all areas of society. You will find evil in Doctors, Lawyers, regular house wives, and priests. It´s everywhere. Evil works in a very intelligent manner, trying to make the good ones look like the guilty ones. In other words, framing those sectors of society that actually are good in order to destroy it from within.

Religion is NOT the problem! Evil people are! And evil people are everywhere.

"All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" -W.C.


Now, next time, stop and think before attacking the real moral fibers of our society. There is a lot of good, well meant, loving, kind, generous, humble people within the religious sectors. Do not judge the whole by the errant, perverted acts of the few. 


"Peace, like war, must be waged." - G.C.




Jetstar99999
Jetstar99999

@vermont.hermit  you're wasting your breath, as the entire "trafficked"  and "slavery" movement is a witch hunt and  the NGOs and Pols can make up any stats they want with full MSM support. Like most hysterias, it will  have a cycle time of  at least 20 to 30 years, so best just to go along with the fake stats and other massive exaggerations. "Yup, 60,000 trafficking females will show up at the next Superbowl, as they always do"

chillaxfactor55
chillaxfactor55

@mary.waterton 

Uhh.. No.. I'm pretty sure it has everything to do with the globalization of the illegal sex trade.  

Ending discrimination against gays didn't give rise to 500K women and children being trafficked out of Russia and into worldwide brothels where they were raped by heterosexual men.  


shatil
shatil

@mary.watertonSince when is abusive rapist a lifestyle or an "orientation"? I don't know anyone that "tolerates" that.

HMThomasNguyen
HMThomasNguyen

@mary.waterton Please, it has nothing to do with sexual orientation. I noted that you put orientation in quotes and I know what you mean by that. Don't be a bigot.

micheleliz321
micheleliz321

@hyperspacez @JackKennedy1 

hey JACK, what if the ones being forced against their will are also being HELD against their will, it would be pretty hard to go to the police and what if the police are corrupt like some are and don't even care.  And if you say muslim and asian countries hate women, you say your're Asian you know, does that mean you also hate women

gopetca
gopetca

@cip @gopetca Au contraire, I know of several men who have been wrongfully incarcerated on the basis of false domestic violence charges. Under mandatory arrest laws if a neighbour calls because [s]he hears an argument, the police must generate an arrest. It is usually against the man and its recorded as a domestic violence incident--even if the woman (the alleged victim) said it was not. I know men serving life sentences because their wives came up missing and [s]he was never found. No body was found, no circumstantial evidence of any kind. Other than at one time in the past he was accused of domestic violence. Lets talk about violence by the state against the innocent. Innocent people sitting on death row, and who have been executed. Do you give a damn about them? Of course its harder to wax poetic against the government. So I repeat, bad things happen to good people. S*** happens. Innocent people are incarcerated, and killed everyday. Of course we should not be apathetic about it. But we should also realize that realistically the best we can hope for is to save a life here or there. Abuse of women [and men] would never end. We are animals. And animals do fight each other as well as other animals.

JoeHargrave
JoeHargrave

@studying_nomad @JoeHargrave 

What, you mean chivalry and courtly romance? The treatment of women a thousand years ago varied, as it varies today. 

What accounts for the relative rarity of sex slavery 50 or 100 years ago in the United States? 


Use_the_name
Use_the_name

Well said. I don't consider myself entirely religious, but I do know that religion can be an awesome, peace loving concept.

The problem is ourselves. We are flawed and many people have manipulated religion to suit their own selfish agendas. The media just highlights the negative, when everyday positive things are happening in church's, synagogues, mosques, etc. but that ain't ever gonna get reported as its boring to the media.

Bingo_Dingo
Bingo_Dingo

It's a real tragedy that you're making up stories as you go along to support your wholly misinformed opinion. To say that someone is serving a life sentence and that no body or circumstantial evidence was found is a total load of S, you know it, and you're entirely mistaken. I suggest you do a number of things, chiefly among them -- get an education, know your facts and laws, have some compassion (as it could be your mother, daughter, sister or wife abducted and raped), and do the world a favor and save your misogynistic opinion for yourself.  

duval.mp
duval.mp

@buffalo.barnes102 @EzeeMarkatuer @agps44 Actually, Neanderthals were a different lineage than the humanoid line though early humans did breed with neanderthals.  Just saying it is possible that somebody has no neanderthal ancestors.