Tuesday, April 8, 2008


On Thursday and Friday this past week I got to participate in a conference at UNC Chapel Hill that was dealing specifically with combating sexual slavery in North Carolina and internationally.

The first day left me feeling a bit remorseful and overwhelmed (this is my usual process for dealing with big things in life). Then the second day provided a ton of momentum, specific action steps, and hope for the future.

I am energized for several reasons:

*Daniele had a chance to bond and its awesome to work my sister on this project
*Our group is actually making a difference
*We have already made 4 more contacts since the conference with others who are working towards establishing church networks for care and support.
*Newspaper articles like this one.

I am still frustrated and understand the amount of work we have to do because:

*Newspaper articles like this one. Can you tell a difference between the tone and purpose of the articles?
*The lack of coherent ability to identify and support victims
*Our culture (that I am a part of) that perpetuates inaccurate and harmful perspectives on our sexuality.

The following video shows a bit of the problem. Its only 30 seconds and okay for anyone to watch.

There is another video that I may post in the future, but the first time I watched it, I couldn't make it through so, I chose to hold off, although you can watch as many as you would like on the video stream that goes below this one.


chewie said...

I have to admit, I didn't see the big difference in tone/purpose in the articles. The first one is a bit more "urgent" but they both seem to point to the problem of the "pimps" and behind the scenes stuff rather than putting the blame on the women, right?

OK, go ahead - educate me!

traci said...

You are correct in that both point to the 'problem' being the pimps, but there are several aspects of the first article that leave a little to be desired from my perspective

1) The photo is of Sharon Lawrence (actress) who had a very small part to play in the conference. I know its good for publicity to have celebrities be a part of things, but I got the sense that she somehow was able to identify with victims because she played the role of a prostitute on tv... which she admitted to that role as offering her intrigue into the issue, but not understanding.

2)Cudos to the article, but it pointed out that "hundreds of women and only dozens of men" attended. I know this is in part due to the fact that the "women's center" sponsored the event, but it speaks to the need for men to be aware and involved. In reality, a majority of the demand comes from males and it would be great to have more role models willing to take a stand.

3) The first description of Kika is 'a former prostitute'... I would rather have her identified as a 'former victim' or survivor of human trafficking... people have certain images when the word prostitute is thrown around and I thought the conference did a great job at uncovering those inaccurate perspectives and it just rubbed me the wrong way that that was the initial description... I admit that the article goes on to tell her story in more detail.

4)The article also points to the ingrained tensions between the prevalence of trafficking... it should be easy to spot, but the difficulty to prosecute traffickers and the lack of motivation and desire to do so.

5) It also pointed out the disconnect between even people who can be so outwardly against these types of acts, but behind closed doors be the very ones carrying them on.

So, maybe my comments were more about the issues being brought up than the actual article itself.

Thanks for asking me to explain myself.

Does that make any more sense?

traci said...

On the other article, I thought that it spoke more directly to the issues we talked about and the necessity to take action and understand the discrepancies as a real problem rather than something that we just have to deal with, which was the sense that I got from the N&O article.

Anonymous said...

subtle but important differences - i wouldn't have figured that out on my own. love, mom