Human Traffic Watch

Sex trafficking in Michigan: One woman’s journey

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on May 4, 2013 at 12:40 pm

A Michigan woman is now dedicating her life to helping other victims of sex trafficking. She spent most of her life being sold for sex – the first time when she was just a child.

Leslie King says she fell in love with an older man when she was only 15 years old. She knew him from her old neighborhood in Grand Rapids. He promised to take care of her. At the time, she says she thought he loved her too.

“He told me I was beautiful, he told me he loved me, he wined me and dined me, he took me out he bought me clothes,” said King.

King says that older man tricked her into working as a sex slave. Looking back, she realizes now that he never really loved her at all.

King says she was forced to live with several other women who were also being treated as sex slaves. Sex trafficking is different from prostitution. When women are trafficked, it’s against their will, and in many cases they are forced to live with their oppressor.

In King’s case, she says it wasn’t the life she wanted. She says she could’ve tried to run but she says he threatened to kill her and members of her family if she did.

Source: WNEM

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  1. Prostitution means exchanging sex for money, goods, or services. The word “prostitution” does not imply that it’s voluntary. The abolitionist movement tends to define ALL prostitution as trafficking, because the reasons most people prostitute themselves is not because they love sex and want to put themselves up for sale.

    The term “trafficking” is mostly used to describe someone who is coerced or kidnapped, then taken somewhere else geographically and sold for sex, whether domestically or internationally.

    As we learn more about the realities of prostitution, whether it happens on street corners, strip clubs, the porn industry, brothels, escort agencies, massage parlors, etc., etc., we are finding that the lines between what we once called “voluntary prostitution” and what we now call “sex trafficking” are very blurred, the more we look at them. Thank you for writing this series.

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