The Natashas: The New Global Sex Trade
By Victor Malarek
This book was perhaps the most disturbing treatise I have read to date in regards to modern day slavery. Malarek does an amazing job of explaining the core issues that create, support and protect the world wide sex industry. This wanton disregard for the most basic of human rights – the right to our own sexual integrity – is without question the most lucrative and fastest growing money maker for organized crime around the world. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most invisible for a number of reasons.
Numerous factors contribute to the profitability, escalating demand and invisibility of this issue. For one, the large majority of slaves – mostly women and children – are also the most powerless in any culture. Factors such as economic desperation, sexual discrimination, physical vulnerability and racism form an unholy alliance maintaining the status quo. For two, governmental and social indifference create cultures that are unwilling to enact and enforce legislation that would address this issue from local to international levels. The very nature of the business – requiring that it be visible enough to gain clientele – almost requires complicity of local officials and law enforcement to continue. For three, the sexual revolution, coupled with the internet, have created an almost insatiable demand. Organized crime, nimbly responsive to market pressures, has been only too willing to provide fodder for the depraved exercise of sexual entitlement that fuels the trade.
Speaking personally, what was so disturbing about the book is that I came away feeling helpless. Changing both governmental attitudes and cultural norms are way beyond my personal, individual effectiveness. HOWEVER! I believe that William Wilberforce and others in the abolitionist movement in the 1800’s faced the very same situation – and yet legal slavery, in fact, ended in the 1800’s due to their collective efforts! So that gives me hope that it CAN be done! My personal efforts, raising awareness, praying and reaching out to survivors all make a difference in changing the cultural and eventually governmental tide – and so can yours!! In fact there is a group, Exodus Cry, that started as a prayer movement to end modern day slavery. Check out their website and learn more about how you can get involved!