Human Trafficking Exists Everyday

The Cupcake Girls serves individuals across all realms of sex work, and while many adult entertainers choose their profession, we’ve seen an alarming increase over the past few years in the number of our clients who are victims of sex trafficking. Based on self-reporting (i.e. the real numbers are likely even higher), as of the end of 2015, approximately 20% of our clients were actively being sex trafficked, or had been at one time.
According to the U.S. Department of State, human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry behind illegal drugs and arms trade, and the figures are alarming:
20-30 million people are currently being trafficked worldwide600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and 50% are children14,500-17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each yearRoughly 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitationGlobally, the average cost of a trafficked slave is $90
In our line of work, we often find people confused about the difference between sex work and sex trafficking, a distinction that is crucial to make in order to help those who are truly victims. Here are a few key differentiators:
Sex work involves people making a voluntary choice to offer consensual sexual services in exchange for money. This can include (but is not limited to) dancing in clubs, webcamming, legal work in brothels, and illegal prostitution.
Sex trafficking is defined by an absence of choice. These victims are compelled to work in one or more realms of the sex industry through fear, force, fraud, and/or coercion. The trafficking of persons into sexual slavery is an undeniable abuse of human rights.
If you or someone you know may be in a trafficking situation, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s website, where you can find a list of red flags that may indicate trafficking, as well as several resources that can provide assistance (in the case of immediate danger, please call 911 first). If you are currently a sex worker and unsure whether or not you are being trafficked, or are seeking guidance on how to assist a colleague who is, The Cupcake Girls provide advocacy and legal referrals amongst other support offerings, and we’re glad to help however we can. Please fill out our support request form or contact us to learn more.
Sources:
http://www.state.gov/j/tip/id/index.htm
http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/245365.pdf