This article takes a brief look at how these actions and results impact the greater world of massage therapy, including some unfortunate and unintended consequences. One view sees these illegal services as an affront to true massage professionals that damages it by causing people to lump them together, and also raises prejudicial suspicion of those therapists who would never think of doing anything sexual.
On the same side are those who simply view it as an illicit or immoral activity and simply dislike it for one of these reasons. In either case this view would argue that these kinds of sex services should be eradicated if at all possible. These are more or less ideological arguments. Many have argued for as long as I can remember that prostitution is a victimless crime. Actually, by making it a crime, we are probably causing there to be more victims of sex trafficking using a supposedly legitimate licensed massage business as a bit of a shield from scrutiny.
That means for companies like mine, we do occasionally have to field some questions from people who are obviously testing the waters to see what we might reveal or hint to them about what may or may not happen for them of a sexual nature. We have to act out this charade with people who are barking up the wrong tree. We are already seeing more of these types of calls as those who used to use those classifieds websites are now trying to find alternatives in all the wrong places.
To me this is not helpful at all. It only further blurs the lines between the professionals on the non-professionals. Or what could be worse for some of these providers or sex workers is forcing them out onto the streets or into less organized and potentially more dangerous situations in order for them to continue to try to earn their living doing what they do.
As I alluded to earlier, some legitimate massage therapists now have fewer places to advertise their services, because they are being lumped together with bad actors. This is hardly the first time massage therapists have paid a price for others engaging in illegal activities. Daniel Morgalo, head of the street crimes unit, who acknowledged detectives will have to find new ways to combat trafficking. We just have to adapt to the trends.
The company was based in Dallas, although its bank accounts and computer servers are in Arizona, authorities say. The website offered free or low-cost classified ads for people renting rooms, selling cars or peddling used furniture.
But it quickly became known as the most popular place for buying sex, with prostitutes buying cheap, frequent ads in cities across the world. For some sex workers, the advent of sites such as Backpage and Craiglist cut out the dangerous pimps who took their money and forced them to work on dangerous streets, and allowed them to better screen clients.
Traffick Jam is a marketing program by Mercer University students aimed at teaching Macon, Georgia to drive out sex trafficking. One year-old woman from Tennessee began posting Backpage ads for erotic massages nine years ago, a move necessitated by a faltering economy. She was earning a couple thousand dollars a month. By no means am I rich. For Bella, a year-old sex worker from northern Florida, the business was lucrative.
She also used another website that screened clients. Both sites have now stopped taking ads from the United States. I am college educated. I have a family. I have a husband. Not all women, however, are independent, willing participants in a state that draws visitors from across the globe. In Miami-Dade, posts on Backpage have resulted in many high-profile human trafficking cases.
In recent years, those charged include a local Spanish-language singer , a man who forced a runaway teen to tattoo his street name on her eyelids and a businessman who lured girls from Kazakhstan with the false promise of working at a yoga studio. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that 74 percent of all its child-trafficking report last year was generated from Backpage. Just over half of adult victims in recent Miami-Dade cases, and 40 percent of minor victims, were advertised on Backpage.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has been outspoken against Backpage; her office filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit filed last year by trafficking victims against the website. The state later filed new charges against the men, this time charging them with money laundering.
The trial is still pending. Efforts against Backpage mounted in January , when a U. Senate report blasted the site for facilitating criminal activity. Miami Beach has shut down four massage parlors where police believe women may have been forced into sex work.
The pressure ramped up last month when Congress passed the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, which amends federal law to make it easier for state prosecutors and sex-trafficking victims to go after website operators who knowingly allow third-parties to post ads that facilitate prostitution.
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