Under the neon lights


Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

What is sex trafficking?

Sex trafficking, in exact words, is the forcing of prostitution in minors, especially females, through manipulation. This can be anything. It can be physical, like beatings or death threats; or mental, like threatening the person’s family and friends. It is sometimes referred to as a form of modern slavery, and I don’t know what could be more accurate.

Sex trafficking is a huge problem in Nevada, especially Las Vegas. Most people are unaware of severity of the problem because the city tries to keep it secret. But it’s all there- under the neon lights, fancy shops, and unique experiences. In fact, Nevada has some of the highest percentages of prostitution in the country, being in the top 10 in the US. 

Part of the reason this is such a huge problem here is because it is kept in the dark. It’s Las Vegas’s dirty little secret. Like our city motto says, What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. How fitting. We have a slogan like that and so many secrets to keep. We try our best, and even recently received more funding to try to stop this, but young people are still being tricked into selling their bodies for other people. And most of the time, it’s because they don’t know the warning signs.

We don’t do enough to help these people. We can keep trying, but until things change it isn’t enough. The numbers aren’t going down.

You might be asking, what can I do to help? First, you can go to purplewings.org to learn in detail of what’s going on and read up on some of the victim’s sad and inspiring stories. Next, you can donate to the organization to make sure they keep running and keep helping young girls move on from their pasts. Then, you can do what I did. With all your knowledge, go and spread the word. Write articles, speeches, organize rallies and events, speak to people you feel need the help. Warn others, and make sure everyone knows what is really going on behind the neon lights.