Human Traffic Watch

Cleveland’s Horror Is Nationwide Problem

In Awareness, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on May 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm

“We have to start by changing the vocabulary that defines the crime,” she told me. And for her, “It all begins with the pimp.” For Danielle, that was the man who conned her, imprisoned her in a home with other women, brought in streams of strange men and allowed her only a few supervised phone calls home to her worried family. He lived off her labor.

Recently, Danielle turned to a dictionary to look up the word “pimp” and was floored at the milquetoast, turn-of-the-century definition she found in her Merriam-Webster: “A man who solicits clients for a prostitute.”

“This is like a 1920s definition!” she said. “Anyone who works with the problem of human trafficking knows that isn’t even close to what a pimp is! … Nothing about the violence they perpetrate and what they actually do to people,” she said with anger in her voice. “I decided, I’ve got to start a petition about this. … We have to get real!”

Danielle’s online petition calls for Merriam-Webster to understand that “pimps use fear, force and coercion to abduct human beings. They are usually violent and abusive, and can use various tactics to keep the human beings under their control.” She asks the dictionary keepers, “How can we expect people to understand sex trafficking when the definition of one of the main aspects is incorrect?”

And while I’ve got your attention, why not sign Danielle’s petition Words matter, and true definitions enlighten.

Source: Rockland Times


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