Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Film on Human Trafficking: Sex+Money

When you mention the words "human trafficking," many people immediately think of underdeveloped countries on the other side of the world. What most people do not realize is the extent to which trafficking happens right here in the United States. Last month Nomi Network had the opportunity to attend the screening of Sex+Money at Hunter College. Sex+Money is a documentary chronicling the cross-country journey of a group of young adults seeking to discover the face of human trafficking in the U.S. Through interviews with government officials, journalists, heads of organizations, former trafficked girls, and even pimps and buyers themselves, the filmmakers discovered the shocking reality of sex trafficking in our country: an estimated 100,000 children are trafficked into the commercial sex trade in the U.S.

However, even if a victim is rescued, their pain does not end there. These young girls have been forced to endure violence and abuse from the pimps who sell them and the johns who buy them. The extent of their physical and psychological trauma is unimaginable. Intensive treatment is needed to provide these survivors with healing and hope for a brighter future. Sadly, there are few facilities in the U.S. equipped to provide the kind of therapy these girls need. All the shelters in the U.S. that specifically serve victims of child trafficking have less than 100 beds combined available to treat these survivors. The Sex+Money filmmakers highlighted one of the few facilities available: Streetlight in Arizona. The filmmakers are dedicated to raising money for this shelter so that more survivors of trafficking in the United States can receive aftercare services. If you want to learn more about Streetlight, you can visit their website at www.streetlightphx.org.

- Amanda Champman

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