There are a few things that can create an outrage among the public, more than sex trafficking. However, once the term, "prostitution," is spoken, many people turn their heads without realizing the correlation between the two. There are many controversies regarding prostitution and sex trafficking. A number of recent editorials in, "The New York Times," "SFGate," and, "Dallas Morning News," have addressed prostitution related offenses. One side argues for prostitutes to be treated as criminals, while the other thinks prostitutes should be seen more as victims. I don't think the correlations between sex trafficking and prostitution is addressed enough, and many people have misunderstandings about the underground sex industry.
The issue of sex trafficking is very unknown compared to a lot of other global issues currently. Many people don't know the gravity of the issue, or that there are approximately 30 million slaves in the world today; each slave on average is sold at $90 globally and $1,895 within the United States (Tan). According to the U.S. State Department, of the 800,000 people who are trafficked across international borders every year, 94% are women and 60% are children (Neubauer), and an average of 23,250 of these people are trafficked into the United States. Human trafficking is also the second largest international crime industry, behind only the illegal drug trade and very similar to arms trafficking (Post). Sex trafficking generates a profit of approximately $32 billion every year; of that number, $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries. .
Many victims are kidnapped at a young age and are essentially brainwashed into thinking that selling their bodies is the only way of life. Because they have been taken away from the shelter of their home, they are unable to remember what it feels like to be secure and to be in charge of their own body. Many sex traffickers not only threaten these young, underage girls with death and violence, but also their families.