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

76 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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?

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. 

WaxilDavidson
WaxilDavidson

"crazy sickos who need to be put away for life"

No, you have to kill these people. Anyone who can do this is too broken to be rehabilitated, they need to be taken out of the gene pool.