A study released Wednesday by the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center analyzes the size and structure of the underground commercial sex economies in eight major cities: San Diego, Seattle, Dallas, Denver, Washington, D.C., Miami, Atlanta and Kansas City, Missouri.
In Atlanta there was a profit of $290 million a year, which was the largest compared to Denver with $40 million.
According to the research, pimps and prostitutes typically get involved in the business because of a family member or friend who also worked in the business and encouraged them to get involved. Often times with sex trafficking, individuals are given empty promises which lead them into these types of situation.
The three biggest influences were neighborhood, poor job opportunities, and childhood trauma.
Many people wonder about the reason that people stay in abusive situations, and they don’t realize that is not a matter of choice. Sex workers are often physically forced to stay in these situations, but researchers also found that psychological manipulation also plays a significant role in it too. Pimps often beat their prostitutes as a way to control them, or give them empty promises of love, affection, money and stability. This psychological and physical manipulation plays a large role in the control pimps have over their sex workers.
In poor neighborhoods with high crime and drug rates, it is often found that gang involvement has a large part of the prostitution and sex trafficking as well. “Gang raping” is often customary for gang initiation and potential members are forced to have sex with numerous men and women at one given time. Gangs give people a sense of protection and family, and in impoverished neighborhoods, this is a beneficial factor, even if it comes with negative consequences.
Pimps use social media websites such as Craig’s List, Facebook and dating sites to coerce individuals into the prostitution and sex trafficking world. They use social media to recruit underage sex workers as well. Many underage sex workers have a history of sexual abuse in their own families and foster homes as well.
According the study, the pimps explained that,
the internet makes for a safer place to find clients, because it is less detectable by law enforcement.
The study also made a point to mention that it is not just the pimps that are guilty of facilitating human trafficking, but it is the friends, family and many employees of businesses who are responsible as well. Often times pimps will assign family members and friends to transport their prostitutes from client to client.
Original: [CNN Money]