Preventing Sex Trafficking in America

Monday, March 24, 2014

Drawing on her own experience surviving having been sex-trafficked at age 14, Holly Austin Smith, advocate for human trafficking victims, talks about the cultural forces that make young men and women susceptible to exploitation in her book, Walking Prey: How America's Youth Are Vulnerable to Sex Slavery (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).


Holly Austin Smith

Comments [12]

Janet from Florida

Holly is absolutely correct - the sexual objectification of women and young girls on television is a HUGE problem. Why doesn't the television industry clean up their act! There's so many factors to this problem but the media needs to take Responsibility for creating such irresponsible messages!

Mar. 24 2014 04:50 PM
oscar from ny

That's nothing my friend who's raised in India went to visit and told me ppl after their lunch brake from work can drive their little motor scooter in the streets and pick out a child that their parents
Were selling for sex like prostitution ..he said it looked like when someone sells fruits or vegetables or street food..

Mar. 24 2014 12:00 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Elizabeth, I never said that it would. Trafficking, especially of minors, is a different argument altogether. However, as alcohol or marijuana showed us - when government makes something illegal, an under-ground economy will always make things worse.

Mar. 24 2014 11:48 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I definitely support legalization of both male and female prostitution. Nothing wrong or even anti-biblical about it.

Mar. 24 2014 11:44 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I want to know how to stop sex traffickers BEFORE they go into this business. You have to think that in every school where there is a girl who may be targeted, there is also a boy who will grow up to target little girls. Scary prospect, so maybe we should nip that in the bud.

Mar. 24 2014 11:43 AM
Thinking back from Westchester

I had ducked into the Sheraton or Hilton Hotel in midtown, back in the 1970s, to use a pay phone (no cell phones, remember). That's when this guy (predator) approached me and suggested that I could be a model and actress.

Mar. 24 2014 11:43 AM

Media Storm has a film out by Tim Matsui, funded by the The Alexia Foundation, called the Long Night about this same topic ... highly recommended!

Mar. 24 2014 11:43 AM

Please ask her how she feels about her parental supervision (phone in her room, lack of oversight, etc.) and advice??

Mar. 24 2014 11:38 AM
elizabeth from manhattan

I think it's absurd to say legalization is the answer. Legalization of sex work would not end the exploitation of women, including teens, inherent in sex work.

Mar. 24 2014 11:38 AM
curtis from Bronx

She really just gave a very cursory answer regarding what she and the "man at the mall" spoke about and how the conversation started. She really needs to give more detail. Listeners need to know what was actually said. Her answer is not helpful nor insightful enough to allow such activity to be curtailed.

Mar. 24 2014 11:38 AM
Thinking back from Westchester

omg. She hasn't even finished the first sentence of her story, and I remember a man trying to do the same with me when I was in high school. I would be a model, actress, he said. And while I am reasonably smart, he actually drew me into a conversation for a while. I am getting shivers.

Mar. 24 2014 11:33 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Sex trafficking - unfortunately, will never totally go away. However, if sex work was legalized regulated, and taxed, trafficking would be reduced.

Mar. 24 2014 11:00 AM

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