The United States Sex Trade

“Did you know there are over three thousand animal shelters in the United States? An astounding number. And don’t just take my word for it. Google what I just said and you’ll find out for yourself. The world is a funny place.”

Those are the words Teacher – the antagonist (?) of my newest novel, Possession, says to Detective Montano, the man tasked with stopping him.

In the book, Teacher has taken over a high school for children of the ultra-rich and powerful. As the book goes on, he shows Montano a bit at a time that what at first seemed like a crime designed to exact money or power by holding kids hostage is in fact something much deeper.

A spoiler follows, so if you haven’t read all of Possession, I’d recommend you skip it.

Spoiler in 3…



Okay, you’ve been warned.

As the book develops, it turns out to be tied into the porn industry and some of the effects that industry has – some well-known and highly visible, others not so much – on the world at large.

Sex trafficking affects 4.5 million people worldwide.1 3287 people are kidnapped and forced into trafficking every day – 136 per hour.2

That number is astounding. And yet… is it? After all, the global sex slavery market generates $32 billion in profits yearly – meaning that the only crime that outpaces it on a sheer monetary scale is the drug trade.3 In fact, the FBI has described sex trafficking the fastest-growing global criminal activity.4 Think on that.

Sex sells – it’s an adage that the media has used for… well, forever. But it isn’t a victimless crime. 300,000 American children are at risk of sexual exploitation, and over 50% of the girls living on the street are engaged in or party to sexual slavery.5

And it’s not just girls, either. Indeed, boys who are roped into the sex trade typically start younger – around 11 to 13 years old.6

I hope that sounds horrifying. Because that’s what it is. Each year over 14,000 people are brought into the US and held against their will as victims of trafficking – most of whom will be used in the sex trade.7 And that doesn’t even include the number of victims taken from the US to feed this monster abroad.

I don’t think everyone involved in the porn industry is an evil person. I don’t think everyone who consumes porn is an evil person. But I do think that pornography itself is evil, and hurts the world. And anyone who says, “Well, I consume this but it doesn’t hurt anything…” Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

The internet is the playground of choice for the bad guys – 76% of transactions for sex with underage girls are transacted via the internet.8 Statistically, if you are a regular porn consumer, you are part of that – because statistically, at least some of the people you have seen on those sites are underage girls (and/or boys) who are not doing it because they like it, or want to, or choose to.

That’s a terrible thing.

But the good thing is this: we can do something about it.


Take a look at some of these pages if you want to find out more:

Click here for a guide/info download on child trafficking

Together Freedom is a site devoted to freeing people from this hideous life

Human Trafficking Search has a great set of resources – both to find out more, and to find out how to help

References and citations:

  1. “Forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking” at–en/index.htm
  2. “Human Trafficking Facts & Stats: Are You Aware?” at (hereinafter “Facts & Stats(
  3. Id.
  4. “15 Things We All Need To Know About America’s Appalling Child Sex Trade” at
  5. Facts & Stats
  6. 15 Things
  7. “Human Trafficking” at
  8. Facts & Stats