Over the weekend, the FBI arrested 150 people and rescued 105 children in history's largest law enforcement effort focused on child prostitution. The children—who range from 13 to 17 years old (one of the youngest of whom was being pimped and videotaped by her own father)—came from all over the country, but the largest number of them were recovered in San Francisco. However, at least 230 separate law enforcement agencies were involved in the arrests and rescues.
"Child prostitution remains a persistent threat to children across America," said FBI Director Ron Hosko. "This operation serves as a reminder that these abhorrent crimes can happen anywhere and that the FBI remains committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and holding the criminals who profit from this exploitation accountable" ... Discuss
Nada is an 11-year-old girl from Yemen whose parents have tried to force into marriage multiple times. But all of their attempts have been foiled by Nada who, with some help from her devoted uncle Abdel Salam al-Ahdal, has managed to stay one step ahead of wedding bells her entire life. When all her other options depleted, Nada finally ran away from home and called the police on her parents (forced marriages are technically illegal in Yemen, although the practice remains common). She then recorded this powerful testimony about her own journey, and sheds some light into the plight many, many young girls face in the Middle East ... Discuss
According to the State Department’s most recent annual report on modern human trafficking, out of an estimated 27 million victims, in 2012, only 46,570 were identified. And though worldwide, 3,162 people were prosecuted for human trafficking crimes last year, only half of those cases led to convictions. The report also looks at what different countries are doing to prevent human trafficking and points to programs like the one in Taiwan that screens airports and offers shelter and support services to trafficking victims. The Trafficking In Persons Report also ranks every country in the world on a scale based on anti-trafficking laws and enforcement, as well as assistance programs for victims ... Discuss
Following a recent rash of gay bullying—at least one incident of which turned deadly—a band of eight self-styled superheroes calling themselves the New York Initiative have moved into Greenwich Village. They are members of a nationwide group known as The Initiative Collective—a volunteer crime prevention outfit that encourages people to fight back against violence using self-defense, armor and theatrics—in addition to doing general good deeds like fundraising, feeding the homeless and offering free martial arts training to anyone who wants it. Athame, Dark Guardian, Zero, Spyder and Spectre (all pictured, left to right) are trained in martial arts, armed in defensive tactical gear and bullet-proof vests, and are on a mission to protect the helpless. "Violence on its own is wrong, and it's even worse when a specific group is being targeted," Dark Guardian said. "We care about everyone, from every walk of life, and we want to keep everybody safe. Our focus now is the Village" ... Discuss
When Danielle Douglas was just 17 years old, she became the victim of sex-trafficking. For two years, she was subjected to horrible physical abuse, intimidation and manipulation by a man who called himself a pimp. Now 34 years old, the sex-trafficking survivor is on a mission to change the definition of the word "pimp" to raise awareness about the abuse that victims often suffer.
Her online petition to ask Merriam-Webster to officially change the definition of the word “pimp” has received more than 20,000 signatures. Currently, the word is defined as “a man who solicits clients for a prostitute.” Douglas told NJ.com, “This is not realistic at all. They are usually violent and abusive, and can use various tactics to keep the human beings under their control.” She wants the word to be redefined to more accurately describe how pimps “abduct human beings and sell their bodies for money.” Merriam-Webster has told her that they plan on issuing a new definition of the word in an upcoming edition of its dictionary … Discuss