Opinion

Letter to the Editor: Sex trafficking demands more outrage

Sex trafficking and rape are disgusting crimes against humanity — predominantly against women and young girls. Yes, the majority of men aren’t participating in these sex crimes against women. But the conspicuous absence of politicians and community group leaders rushing to swiftly denounce the recent heinous crime ring in Lynn (Daily Item, Aug. 2) has this feminist woman scratching her head and feeling responsively angry.  

Normalizing rape and kidnapping to suit an agenda is never OK even if it causes negative public relations or fear of backlash to the group represented by the perpetrators. Excuses and silence are just not OK. 

While some people seem overly concerned about the level of participation involved with the victims, I ask: what is sexy or alluring about a human being stuck in a life of hellish exploitation?  

Most prostitutes — even “voluntary” ones — were first child victims. In the case of the Aug. 2 arrests, our female attorney general made it clear that the women involved were being held against their will.

Recently, I watched a deeply moving documentary on PBS about Nobel prize winner Nadia Murad, who was held captive and sold in her country and now speaks out on behalf of other victims of sex trafficking around the world. She earned global recognition in spite of her difficulties discussing the abuse she suffered and even though it is not a popular issue for politicians. 

As a woman, I feel a special responsibility to make sure that this vile hatred and disrespect of women is not allowed to just pop up and go away unnoticed in my own city. The seeds of injustice begin small. Women live in a much more dangerous world than men. When women take a walk at night, or send kids off to school — we think about things that probably don’t cross the minds of most men — because we have to.

I’d like to hope being dragged off in a car, drugged, and sold in a sex trafficking ring would not have to be higher on that list of things to fear alongside how to escape from a car trunk in a parking garage.

What a sad step backwards for women this all is: so much for more pay. We now actually need to work on pulling women out of physical binds. Lynn is less than 14 square miles. We are mostly a suburb with a small city center. Though we are technically a city but that status does not excuse sex trafficking in what is actually a rather small (and otherwise pretty nice) backyard. 

Human trafficking should not be happening anywhere. Women should feel comfortable to travel freely and go to work or school at night and especially be able to take a city bus or subway which our taxes pay for too — without fear.    

Especially because sex trafficking seems to be proliferating, incurring large profits, and rape in general in Lynn is on the rise — it appears to me that more than a few people — including the unreported number of males seeking sex for sale — do need to be told by those who hold positions of power and leadership (and hopefully their male peers) how wrong it is.

We must say we will not tolerate nor allow these heinous crimes to be normalized or proliferate unnoticed.

For the survivors just starting on a long road to healing from this horrid victimization, may you find peace, stability, and hope.

Erin Frazier

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