This week has been a big week for the anti-human trafficking movement. I am thrilled with the media attention related to the sting operation. I am also excited that so many of my friends have been interested in the story. I love it when people are talking about this issue because it increases awareness. And awareness means prevention. It is that simple.
That being said, there is something about the extra attention that concerns me. The more people and media outlets discussing an issue, the more potential for misperceptions of the problem. I have read several articles this week discussing how trafficking is not sex trafficking, and sex trafficking is not just about children. This is so true. The media will focus on what brings the most readers, and labor trafficking of adult men doesn’t create the interest. Also, the public is more willing to accept that a girl or boy can be coerced in to sex trafficking. They are less likely to believe that adult women and men could be controlled in that manner. Most people believe that adult women and men are willing participants, which is far from the truth.