It’s important to understand how exploitation doesn’t end when a human trafficking victim gets out of their circumstances. It doesn’t end when they stop having to give sex to 30 people a day, or when they don’t work for 20 hours a day with no pay. Exploitation can always continue, after they are free. But that begs the question of are they ever?
The past is in the past is an expression we like to use saying that when something is done, it’s done. There is nothing left to bring up or remind us of. However, can we say the same for human trafficking? When we discussed pornography we also discussed this. We talked about how often times pimps use the internet as a form of control over their victims, hanging the fear of everyone seeing them on the internet over their heads. They can never escape it, it never goes away. This is only one example of continued exploitation.
In social media we post pictures, articles, blogs, and more about human trafficking victims. Although we often have good intentions on bringing awareness to the issue using pictures and names makes it difficult on victims. With constant attention or accessibility to their information it’s hard for them to escape what was supposed to stay in the past. I shouldn’t be able to search someone’s name and see that they were trafficked unless they put that information out themselves, or allowed for someone else too.
In addition, in the case of pornography, like I mentioned before, many victims can’t escape this reality with their pictures all over the internet. Their pictures should be able to be deleted. It is their body and their right. This is one dangerous thing about pornography in general. Many watch it thinking that these people willing put their pictures/videos on the internet for their own reasons; however, as we have seen, that is not the case. For some it may be, but for too many it is not. By limiting the porn industries power over that you can prevent the re-exploitation of victims, but that requires not watching it, looking at it, or buying it.
At the end of the day, being trafficked causes a lot of emotional and mental obstacles. By keeping their faces, bodies, and names on the internet, you are taking away their ability to move on and to heal. On a small scale, it is like when you have a break up. You block that person because it hurts you and holds you back from healing. Although that is a gross simplification, it’s a relateable example that shows us that we should be mindful of these experiences, and keep their personal information off the public’s view.