Fighting Slavery

According to the BBC that West Midlands police have had a fine result in arresting five people for sex trafficking. However I think the report raises some interesting questions.

“Det Supt Tim Bacon said: “It’s hard to believe that modern day slavery is happening in the West Midlands, but sadly it’s on the increase and we’re determined to put a stop to it.”

Excellent.

There can be few more heinous crimes than forcing vulnerable young women to have sex against their will.

“Tonight’s action, first and foremost, is about protecting people who more often than not don’t even realise that they are victims.”

Sorry?

How did the people involved not know they were victims?

They had been transported, against their will or by deception, across a continent then threatened or compelled to have sex with strangers.

“The five rescued women were all offered counselling, help and support which they declined.”

What? They declined counselling?

But surely they must need it.

“The problem is that these people don’t see themselves as victims, they see the traffickers as people who are trying to help them, and they often don’t want to talk to us.”

Just a minute!!!

The people arrested were seen by the slaves as people who helped them?

How can someone who forces you to do something you don’t want to be perceived as helping you?

“It’s often an unseen, unreported crime.” said Det Insp Darren Haynes.

Could that possibly be because it wasn’t a crime at all?

 

 

 
Editor’s note:

The video makes interesting viewing, it’s almost as if the officer is on the defensive:

(excuse the pre-roll advert)

http://belfasttelegraph.bbvms.com/p/twocol_article/c/2238874.js

3 Comments

  1. You are expecting people who have been abused to make their decisions using simple logic as if they have no emotional issues. By the same logic that you say it could “possibly be because it wasn’t a crime at all”, you could say that wives and children that are beaten aren’t really victims if they don’t prosecute their husband or father. Some girls are trafficked for sex as early as 3 years of age by their own parents. They might not even understand that their lives aren’t normal. If they leave their tormenters, who else do they have in the world?

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    1. I understood Ken was asking whether the women involved willingly entered into the arrangements and ended up where they expected to end up. Your comment makes the same assumptions that Ken is questioning, to get to the bottom of this we would need to speak to the women involved, not repeat the same assumptions.

      Women in the UK decide to work in the UK sex industry for economic reasons, is it so hard to believe that women from outside the UK would willingly do the same? Or that they would make an arrangement with a pimp who promised to get them there? It is certainly a question worth asking, even if we cannot easily determine the answer.

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    2. You are expecting people who have been abused to make their decisions using simple logic as if they have no emotional issues.

      No.

      But I would expect people who had been abused, held captive, and forced to have sex against their will to be at least a little grateful to their rescuers when they were released.

      That they were so ungrateful suggests, to me, that they were not, in fact, being abused and there is no doubt that the overwhelming majority of foreign prostitutes working in the UK are here entirely voluntarily. They don’t need to be either trafficked or rescued.

      Of course there is a school of thought which says that any woman working in the sex industry is being abused because of the very nature of her work and that all “fallen women” need to be rescued- from themselves if not from others.

      It’s just not a view I agree with.

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