After making a short post on FB tonight, I found it generated some passionate discussion from some abolitionist friends of mine. Basically, people want to know all about the victims -- whether it's to help them, to count them in research, or to point the finger at them in accusation ("It was your choice, after all!"). Very few people are having open and honest and frank dialogue about the demand portion of the supply/demand cycle in the sex trade.
Here in Olongapo City, it is the rich white men from Canada... America... Europe... Australia... who come and take advantage of the girls. Olongapo City/Subic Bay, while not the US military hub it once was, still draws the resort crowd. Those who have, come and take from the have nots.
Because they can.
They have the money -- more than enough since sex for sale down here is not really that much; they have the power since foreigners are seen to be more educated, powerful and important than any bar girl; and they have the intention ("I want it, therefore I take it").
Some johns really do believe they are helping girls out of bad circumstances by supporting them financially in the sex trade. Trust me, after living with girls of courage who have heard that old line time and again, I am more convinced than ever that there are broken men out there who are craving wholeness in a partner. When that partner is poor and in need, the johns makes themselves feel better not only through sex but through the process of financially supporting the girl. It's all a way to ease their own guilt and pretend they have made a friend. Most times, once the sex drive is satiated, they suddenly don't feel the need to help anymore. Goodbye helpers.
Most are down here just to choose whichever girl they wish. Whether she has a false name or a number (never real names used in the trade), guys let loose and pick "That one!" or "That one!" or "That one AND that one!". Johns have money, they have perceived power, and they have a mind controlled by their lust.
Believers... those of us fighting to abolish slavery around the world all know the hard truth: we cannot stop the Hydra unless the demand side is dealt with permanently. Our fathers and uncles cannot be celebrating our boys' rites of passage through using porn and prostitution. Sex and power does not a man make. It makes a weakling... a coward... an abuser... a broken shell with sharp edges that cut into the flesh of the exploited.
Men need to stand up and speak truth: "We are not animals! We are not created to use cash to pay for humans to act like animals for us!"
The Bible is clear about standing up for injustice (see Isaiah 58... just for a small start). Canadians are guilty of using and abusing the girls down here in Olongapo City of the Philippines, as well as elsewhere. If our mandate from God is to care for the poor, the marginalized, the weak, and the orphaned, allowing our men and women to travel around our country and around the world to have sex with whomever they please is a slap in God's face and a destruction of His people! No excuses!
Men... I want your insights. How would you go about stopping the demand for sex around the world, knowing it is destroying the lives of men, women and children around the globe?