The newest documentary on sex trafficking in the US, Sex+Money, investigates and verifies the unbelievable depth of the human sex slavery in our country. Executive producer, Morgan Perry, has coordinated the filming, along with the interviews of over 75 convicted pimps, victims, law enforcement officials and human services representatives to create a compelling look inside the fastest growing criminal enterprise on the planet.
In an interview with Miss Perry, her passion for the cause of stopping all sex slavery, including the heinous crime of children forced into prostitution, came across very strongly. She attended the University of the Nations and majored in Communications in Mass Media with a special emphasis on addressing social injustice issues. In 2007, she was part of an educational program that toured 20 countries in nine months, closely examining the social justice issues in each nation. The heartbreaking thread that was common to all regions was the immense issue of children being sold as objects of rape by strangers numerous times each night. In most places, the child prostitution was blatant and easily accessed.
Perry and four other students were galvanized into action. They published a book, Sex+Money: A Global Search for Human Worth, then went on to uncover the lesser known problem of sex trafficking in the US. The result is the Sex+Money: A National Search for Human Worth documentary, which was released on DVD in August 2011. The film team is currently on tour to all 50 states to screen the video, help raise awareness of the sex trafficking issue, and raise funds for StreetLight USASM , a residential aftercare program for girls recovered from the ravages of the sex trade industry.
Perry’s findings of the current status of US sex slavery:
- Recruitment of girls into forced child prostitution happens in very public places such as malls and bus stops. Often underage girls are listed on Backpage.com and Craig’s List.
- Most common venues for the girls to be working: Street prostitution, massage parlors, escort services, truck stops and airports
- Pimps call local high schools “buffets” due to the high number of available vulnerable girls
- Pimps send teen boys and girls into the local high schools to “befriend” the lonely and disenfranchised students and invite them to an event (pimp party) where they will be “valued and included”–often meaning given drugs or alcohol and raped and then enslaved.
Factors contributing to the mushrooming sex trafficking pandemic
- Five primary elements of DEMAND are pornography, prostitution, poverty, commercialization of sex in mainstream media, and the breakdown of the family
- Internet pornography is a $15 billion industry with incredible ease of access
- Prostitution is becoming a high-tech operation with many of the contacts made via internet.
- False assumptions: Young girls on the streets, in porn pictures, or in sex ads are over 18, choose to be in the sex trades, or they are not worthy of intervention because they are “prostitutes”.
- The breakdown of the family. Over 90% of children who end up with a pimp have already been abused or neglected. Many have been sexually abused in foster care, by family members, or close acquaintances. These victims become runaways to escape the pain, but are picked up by pimps within 48 hours on the street.
- Because of the prior abuse and the beatings and threats from the pimps, the girls often feel helpless to leave or contact authorities.
- State laws and law enforcement agencies often vilify and punish the children who are sex slaves and let the pimps and johns get off with minor consequences.
Determined to make a difference in the staggering sex trafficking statistics in this country, Morgan Perry is one of numerous twenty-something young people who are sounding the alarm. She has networked with lawmakers, social service agencies, FBI, churches, juvenile corrections facilities, and major national organizations that are fighting sex slavery to catalyze citizens to take action. Her nationwide crusade via the film, Sex+Money, is a practical, compelling picture of her own passion for the cause.
Additionally, Perry is part of PhotogenX, a non-profit organization that developed a Discipleship Training program to use photography to compel cultural change and create abolitionists who are equipped to challenge the social injustices of our day.
Readers are encouraged to purchase the Sex+Money DVD or attend a local screening of the film to show their support for Morgan and her team, and to make their own statement that sex slavery will no longer be tolerated.