A new iPhone/iPad app came on the market earlier this month.  Created by Amin Haq of Leadership Eastside, this easy-to-use app helps members of the public recognize the telltale signs of sex trafficking and gives them an easy and safe way to report what they’ve see.

You may be wondering why you should pay attention.  After all, isn’t the sex trade something that happens in far-away, exotic lands?  To other people?

No.  Unless Northgate Mall is counted as far away and exotic.

Yes, slavery is alive and well and in our backyards.

I’ve begun hearing from some of my students about witnessing attempts to lure young girls into cars.  Wondering what was happening, and if they should intervene.  Fortunately, the targeted girls did not go for the bait. 

Those targeted are in their tweens and teens.  Eleven years old is apparently not too young to be forced into prostitution.

Take a look at this article from The Seattle Times for more info.

While it is supposed to also be available on the Android market, as of November 25 I have not seen it in the Google Play store.

Last March I blogged about University of Washington basketball “star” Venoy Overton’s near-miss with felony charges. Earlier this year he was slapped on the wrist for providing alcohol to two 16 year old girls and pressuring them into sexual acts. No rape charges were brought against Overton because the girl who reported apparently did not clearly communicate a lack of consent at the time, as she had bowed to the situational pressure. He pled to providing alcohol, and was let free providing he stay out of trouble.

Overton did not stay out of trouble. He is now charged with pimping a girlfriend. According to the article:

Prosecutors said Overton admitted to the charge during a police interview after his arrest.
“I’m not gonna turn down money from a girl,” he said, according to the police affidavit.
He told detectives that when he first met the woman, he told her she had to pay to be in a relationship with him.

A real class act.

UW basketball coach Lorenzo Romar, in a press statement, expressed extreme disappointment. “My staff and I spent an extraordinary amount of time and energy attempting to mentor Venoy prior to his recent graduation, so this news is especially troubling.” I’m not clear if Romar is disappointed in Overton, or in his own misjudgment of Overton’s character. I’d guess both. Must be tough realizing he helped empower a sex criminal.

Listening to the radio, hearing yet another story from a war-ravaged country. Another woman, widowed with small children, has turned to prostitution to feed her family.

In all these stories about the costs of war, there’s one question that’s ignored.

Why is there always money for prostitution, but rarely for food?

If you want to see who holds more power, follow the money. Rather, follow who chooses how to spend their money.