Learn about human trafficking
Change Purse is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that is committed to the fight against sex trafficking by collecting new or like new purses and selling them online and at events. Monies raised from purse sales go towards providing hope and directly investing into the lives of victims and survivors of sex trafficking. Browse our website to learn more about who we support, how we are committed to ending sex trafficking, and how you can become involved.
What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is modern day slavery. There are actually more slaves on the earth today (estimated 27 million) than at any other time in human history (Kevin Bales-Free the Slaves). Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. It is both the fastest growing crime and the 2nd largest organized crime in the world, generating an annual 32 billion dollars (ILO).
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) defines sex trafficking as involving "the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion." It is estimated that 70% of female victims of human trafficking are trafficked into the commercial sex trade and one million children become victims of the sex trade each year (Polaris Project).
Why does human trafficking happen and how are people trafficked?
Human trafficking comes down to the issue of supply and demand. If there is a high demand for labor or sex, a supply to meet that demand unfortunately follows. In addition, while things like drugs can be sold only once, a human being can be sold multiple times-over and over and over again.
Individuals become victims of trafficking often due to a wide variety of vulnerabilities because they are seen as easier to manipulate. This may come in the form of emotional vulnerabilities or socioeconomic situations and poverty that forces them into a trafficking situation. Sometimes individuals are even sold into trafficking by their families because of the desperate need for money or because they are in debt bondage. In addition, people are often deceived through false promises of economic or job opportunities in other countries, later finding out that they are in a trafficking situation where their documents are taken, their families are threatened, and they now have a debt to repay.
Where does human trafficking happen?
Human trafficking happens everywhere, even in the United States! It is estimated that 600,000- 800,000 people are trafficked annually across borders. In the United States there are 14,500- 17,500 people trafficked into the U.S. each year and over 100,000 are victimized within the U.S each year (U.S. Department of State).
What does sex trafficking look like in the U.S.?
Sex trafficking has been found to be an issue in every state! It comes in the form of prostitution and other forms of commercial sex work like dancing in strip clubs, and participation in pornographic images and films. The average age of entry into prostitution in the United States is 13 years old (U.S. Department of Justice). Traffickers and pimps prey on girls with emotional vulnerabilities like low self esteem and other vulnerabilities like homelessness, and being a runaway or a throwaway. Victims typically suffer psychological trauma and physical injuries through emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, acquire STDs and AIDS, experience pregnancy and forced abortions, and become addicted to drugs. Most girls involved in prostitution have a history of sexual abuse in their childhood and those in the foster care system are two to four times more likely to be trafficked.
How can I be involved with Change Purse in the fight against sex trafficking?
Click here to visit our Engage page!