Child Sex Trafficking, Failing to Make the Connections

It’s interesting to see how the media pendulum has swung back from 2009’s ‘sex trafficking is a myth’ theme (spearheaded by Nick Davies, who received an award from the sex industry for his efforts), to the current focus on the internal trafficking of children for sex.

It’s not hard to think that this is only being given attention now because of the putative ‘racial’ element, when the perpetrators can be labelled as ‘other’, but as Anne Marie Carrie of Banardo’s puts it here:

“I am not going to say that ethnicity is not an issue in some geographical areas, it clearly is. But to think of it as the only determining factor is misleading and dangerous.”


The charity dealt with white, black and Asian victims, she said – whose voices were being lost. “Profiling and stereotyping is dangerous – we are scared that victims will say: ‘I don’t fit into that pattern, so I’m not being abused’.”

But what I find really interesting about the clutch of reports in today’s Guardian, is what’s not being said, why are the words ‘pornography’ and ‘prostitution’ not being used at all, when a lot of the abusers are clearly doing this for a profit?:

Mobile phones and the internet are increasing used as tools to control children. Tim was given a pay-as-you-go mobile to keep track of him and organise his abuse. At the height of his trafficking his photograph and profile, controlled by his abusers, was posted online to attract new “customers”.

Other teens are being co-erced into sending, or posing for, sexually explicit photos, which are then used to blackmail and control, said Carrie.

“The abuser then sells the images, and threaten to send the pictures to the girl’s parents or school if she does not do x, y and z.”

In one chilling example, the report cited a ten-year-old girl referred to the project for posting graphic, sexualised images of herself on the internet.

These men are clearly not only child abusers, they are also pimps and pornographers.

Why is male privilege and entitlement not being talked about? There is no neat and convenient divide between child prostitution and adult prostitution, child pornography and adult pornography, except that once a child turns 16, they stop being victims and are suddenly making a ‘free and empowering’ choice, or are just dumb sluts who choose to be abused and deserve it.

Suzanne Moore, writing in the Guardian on Saturday, does comment on this very well:

An argument about gangs of men who “groom” young women for sex becomes an argument about ethnicity and faith. Of course, these are issues to be discussed, but the central issue, surely, is the abuse of children. Turning vulnerable young girls into drug-addicted prostitutes is disgusting in any culture. But it wouldn’t be a viable proposition if men did not want sex with these children. As with all arguments about prostitution, the one group we rarely hear from are the men who buy sex. The “punters”.

But otherwise, nothing. Jim Gamble, former chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop), in an otherwise very good article, is keen to play down the ‘business’ aspects, saying “Would you rather be considered an organised criminal or a child abuser?” , when of course the perpetrators can be both.

It’s obvious why this is the case. Apart from a die-hard handful of so-called ‘sex radicals’, nobody is going to speak up in favour of sex with ten year olds; however, seeing child abuse in context, the context of a misogynist rape culture where the vast majority of ‘mainstream’ pornography offers depictions of paedophilia, and where challenging men’s ‘right’ to unfettered sexual access to women’s bodies gets you labelled a man-hating, sex-hating prude, looking at the bigger picture is going to make too many men very uncomfortable.

As there is no neat and convenient divide between child prostitution and adult prostitution, the men who chose to pay to rape under 16’s are not neatly and conveniently divided from the ‘normal’ men who consume pornography and engage in prostitution as ‘punters’.

6 responses

  1. But of course there must be no ‘joining up of the dots’ wherein the reason why so many men engage in female child rape as well as adult female rape is because of widespread belief in men’s sex right to any female, including boy children.

    Attempting to focus on ‘racism’/paedophilia are all deliberate attempts by male supremacists determined to keep the central issue of pseudo male sex right to females and/or boy children invisible.

    Naming the issue as challenging/eliminating male sex right to women and children is what radical feminists have been focusing on for over a century now and because this goes right to the heart of male supremacy it must not be raised.

    This is why the latest case concerning sexually predatory males had to be re-framed as one concerning racism, because only certain groups are believed to commit sexual violence against women and girls. The spotlight must never be focused on normal white powerful men who continue to adhere to lie men have the innate right of sexual access to any female and/or boychild.

    Ask the question who benefits when the issue of pornography and its brother prostitution continues to be re-framed/re-written as ‘child abuse’ which neatly invisibilises how male supremacist system operates. Note too the fact this latest case of male sexual predators deliberately ignored the fact black and Asian girls’ were also subjected to rape and sadistic male sexual violence.

    Only when the issue concerns white females who are of course, the property of white men does our white male supremacist society engage in yet another ‘moral panic.’ Again who benefits? Not women and girls but certainly those self-righteous hypocritical white males who believe it is their inalienable right to have sexual access to any female irrespective of her ethnicity etc.

    The male supremacist system is complex and made even more so given the issue as always is about men seeking to retain control over their ‘females’ whilst continuing to sexually exploit and rape females owned (sic) by other male groups. Women’s human rights are invisible because we are all pawns and only men benefit from having their accountability invisibilised.

  2. Thanks so much for this article.

    I was inside the sex trade from aged 14 to I was 27, and like a great many I was internally trafficked.
    This I did not know until I had exited, and with a great deal of distance from that life.

    This is because most women and girls inside the sex trade are brainwashed to believe that are “real” prostitutes or really inside “real” porn – that is just the nasty stuff.

    I was told I could not be a real prostitute because I am white and middle-class.
    Told it was not trafficking for a friend had taken to my first sex club, and to my first night of multiple rapes, gang-rapes and sexual torturing and be paid for it.
    Told that it was sad what happen to when I was considered to a child – but as an adult the fact I did not run away, meant that more than likely I enjoyed it.
    I was told when I filmed during violent prostitution, not to worry for it was just private consumption, not real porn.

    I lived in a world where I learnt very fast that no-one cared what was happening.
    If the police raided the clubs or private parties – they were looking for drugs, and ignore that there were under-aged prostitutes there, or there was extreme sexual violence going on.
    That most people considered that women inside the sex trade are mainly sex-craze and therefore only get what they deserved.
    A society that does mind the sex trade as long as the violence and degradation is behind closed doors, and outsiders decide it must be mutual.

  3. […] important thing to notice yet again is that these children are not being abused in shadowy child prostitution rings, they are being […]

  4. Reblogged this on oogenhand and commented:
    “The male supremacist system is complex and made even more so given the issue as always is about men seeking to retain control over their ‘females’ whilst continuing to sexually exploit and rape females owned (sic) by other male groups.” Oooh, how effing true!!! Kafa’a….

  5. God, how the fuck do we rip the head off this beast?

  6. […] I first blogged about this back in 2011, and, still, no one in the mainstream wants to talk about the influence of mainstream pornography, or about male entitlement which is reinforced by the increasing expansion and normalisation of the sex industry. […]

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