Legalizing prostitution in Vermont would increase demand for young prostitutes

Guy Page

Last week in a small town in southern New Hampshire, Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested after an extended investigation. Maxwell has been named in court filings as the alleged madam, facilitating the sex-trafficking of girls as young as 14 years of age, for Jeffrey Epstein.

The Epstein case has brought attention to the fact that the U.S. is the No.1 consumer of child exploitation in the world.

However, little known to most, but according to experts, the COVID-19 shutdowns have created a tsunami of child exploitation, and proposed Vermont legislation would progress the situation to a perfect storm.

Public domain

Pandemic isolation is already putting young girls at risk from predators.

According to Tim Ballard CEO of Operation Underground Railroad with the mission to eradicate child sex trafficking worldwide, the reason for the “tsunami” during the quarantine is the disappearance of the social network of sports, extracurricular activities, and schools creating a means for protecting children. Children are spending more time online, often unsupervised while families struggle to work and pay bills. Predators know how to access children through online activity, such as games, and as Ballard learned through monitoring communication on the dark net, COVID-19 responses have created what pedophiles call a “harvest time.”

Ballard has worked in the CIA and Homeland Security focusing on criminal investigation of child sex trafficking. In a video interview published June 20, Ballard related the following findings:

  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported that this March there were 2 million reports of crimes against children in the U.S., which is 2 times the number in April 2019.  The next month, in April 2020, 4 million crimes were reported, which is 4 times the harm reported in March of 2019.
  • 1 in 5 children in this country will be sexually solicited by the time they turn 18. A UN study found the United States is the most common destination for trafficking victims
  • Internationally, every 30 seconds, a child is stolen for sex, slave labor, or organ harvesting, and child exploitation is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world.

If the health management policies for COVID-19 have created a tsunami when separating children from the societal infrastructure and firewalls aiding their safety, children will suffer greater impacts by Vermont legislators considering prostitution legislation.

In February, H.568 was passed through a roll call vote to create a “Sex Work Study Committee” for the purpose of making recommendations to the General Assembly regarding modernization of Vermont’s prostitution laws. The stated powers and duties of the committee, in part, include examining “the advantages and disadvantages of criminalization, partial decriminalization, full decriminalization, and legalization and regulation.” The Senate bill S.217, also to form a “Sex Work Study Committee,” has not yet progressed for a vote.

While many common sense Vermonters may view legalizing “sex work” during a time of COVID-19 as nonsensical, promotors hope to regulate for the health and safety of adults choosing “sex work” as employment. Opponents doubt the concept of a free “choice” to sell one’s body to strangers for money.

The wording of the House bill states coercion of sex workers is prohibited. Yet, according to Sonia Ossorio, executive director of Women’s Justice Now, “Prostitution is a system of oppression where racism and misogyny collide.” The system creating prostitution is inherently coercive of children, women, transgender women, and migrants.

Legalizing prostitution increases illegal prostitution and exploitation of children. For example, the European Parliament commissioned an investigation of countries, such as Austria, with legal prostitution. (National Legislation on Prostitution and the Trafficking in Women and Children: pp. 132) and found “the effect of regulation can be a massive increase in migrant prostitution and an indirect support to the spreading of the illegal market in the sex industry.”

Tom Perez, executive CEO and founder of The EPIK Project, which works with buyers to decrease the demand for prostitution, explains the situation as follows:  “One in 5 men who have never purchased sex report they would consider it if the situation were favorable, such as legalization. Legalization would basically open up the market from a supply and demand standpoint.  There aren’t enough people to willingly step up to fill the supply.  Those looking to meet the demand will fill it by looking to the most vulnerable and the youngest, young girls and children are the easiest.”

When contacted for this article, Policy Counsel of Shared Hope International, Sarah Bendtsen, J.D., stated “homeless, runaway, and youth ‘aging out’ of foster care during the pandemic are the most vulnerable to resorting to trading sex in order to live. When users of child exploitation imagery are alone in homes with no pressure to adhere to social norms and… with unfettered access to exploitation imagery, the result is the ‘perfect storm’ for minors to be groomed, recruited, and exploited, and for existing predators and new offenders (e.g. consumers of child sexual abuse imagery) to target and exploit children.”

The month Jeffrey Epstein was arrested, Demand Abolition’s Founder and Chair Swanee Hunt published a July 2019 op-ed, in The Boston Globe. It is titled, “Don’t call victims of sex trafficking ‘young women.’”

During 22 trips Hunt took to Eastern and Central Europe while serving as US Ambassador to Austria, she learned about the impact of sex trafficking and its profitability over drugs, which can be sold only once.  “An officer of Interpol (the International Police) told me that organized crime sees that a trafficked girl can be sold over and over – she is a ‘reusable commodity.’”

As a Vermont “Sex Work Study Committee” may seek future testimony about modernizing laws and possibly legalizing prostitution, in part or in full, for those 18 and over, Vermonters should consider Hunt’s following evidence from a group “survivor” discussion in her home:

“Around my dinner table, a “survivor” (she calls herself) who was prostituted for years insisted that not once did a buyer ask her age. The other dozen women nodded a “Hell, yeah.’’

“And who is this girl who is prostituted? As a composite, she’s bought by 10 men a day, starting at age 14. Let’s give her one day off and a week’s vacation (none of which she actually receives). On her 18th birthday, she has been sexually assaulted over 12,000 times. She blows out the candles and suddenly she’s an adult? Ask any trauma psychologist about the life-long struggle this girl is facing.

“Drug addicted, intimidated, seeing no future, and up against an aggressive legal team, she makes a terrible witness.”

When considering the response to COVID-19 and to “modernizing” Vermont laws, the Legislature must consider the welfare of vulnerable children as its paramount priority.

Read more of Guy Page’s reports. Vermont Daily is sponsored by True North Media.

Image courtesy of Public domain

10 thoughts on “Legalizing prostitution in Vermont would increase demand for young prostitutes

  1. So-called legal prostitution serves as proxy for exploitation of young boys and girls period. There will undoubtedly be those who choose this life and operate responsibly under the rosiest of circumstances – it will be a tiny percentage as shown by what it has turned into in places where it is legal or decriminilized. The real magnet will be what operates under the radar brokering the youngest offerings.
    – Welcome to the child sex capital of Europe
    Fri, Nov 30, 2001, 00:00

    Tho it sounds so inocuous and made to appear as legitimate honest work, areas that use this method of sex trade have not stamped out the negative or criminal downsides.

    Fact: There is more – not less criminality and exploitation of sex trafficking operating side by side the legitimate which is what this is all about – mainstreaming the worldwide exploitation and victimization of children and the most vulnerable of society.
    Prostitution is legal in countries across Europe, but it’s nothing like what you think
    Mar 13, 2019, 21:28 IST
    Arguments for and against legalising prostitution

    Tho it sounds so inocuous and made to appear as legitimate good honest work, areas that use this method of sex trade have not stamped out the negative or criminal downsides. There is more – not less criminality and exploitation of sex trafficking operating side by side the legitimate which is what this is all about – mainstreaming the worldwide exploitation and victimization of children and the most vulnerable of society.
    Prostitution is legal in countries across Europe, but it’s nothing like what you think
    Mar 13, 2019, 21:28 IST

    Arguments for and against legalising prostitution

  2. “Legalizing prostitution increases illegal prostitution.”

    Um, what?

    Prostitution is one of the oldest, if not the oldest business in America. In my opinion legalizing prostitution would make sex work for the workers safer. 1. They can be their own boss if they want; 2. If they still wanted to work for someone else, they can take their pimp to court for abusing them; 3. They set their own rates and get the full amount (until these same politicians tax all of this, that is).

    Pimps keep their people in line via all kinds of abuse as well as drugs. Prostitution being legalized cuts those bonds for many workers. And I’ll grant you that this won’t shut down the underage segment of this, however I don’t see it increasing greatly like the article implies.

  3. The loons probably would have passed this bill by now, but they are having trouble working out the
    social distancing requirements. (sorry, guys, couldn’t pass that one up!!)

  4. Just occurred to me, the underlying thinking behind H. 568 isn’t the the idea of having a thoughtful discussion about prostitution, it’s all about salivating over the possibility of establishing another source of TAX revenue. Wouldn’t put it past them. Problem will be which party to tax, the madam, the john or the servicer. When in doubt, tax them ALL!!!

    • they don’t like the private pimps horning in on their turf, they are already in charge of drugs, alcohol, gambling, nobody moves in on the Montpelier mafia’s turf…..

      The mob would be better to deal with, honestly you have a chance of winning in Vegas and a the very least you get a good meal. On top of that they know business has to work, their protection payments are much more reasonable than Vermont’s tax plan.

  5. H.568????? They can’t be serious. Unfortunately, after seeing same sex marriage, the legalization of marijuana, mail-in voting, these idiots are capable of anything stupid. If there were ever an example of why the legislature’s session should be reduced to two weeks this is IT!!! They talk about how the down time caused by Covid-19 has created all kinds of bad behavior, look no further than Montpelier. And these morons get elected year after year???? Only in Vermont. Sad and pathetic!!!!

  6. This should be a really easy win for conservatives, what are we doing? This is a direct assaualt on women, the family and peoples soul. It is a tool used in the bill of subversion to tear things down, a person at a time.

    If you disagree, then, there should be no difference between sexual assault and assault, because there is no significant difference between a sexual act and making a burger at McDonalds, they are both just work.

    We could be taxing porn, why don’t we? Who wants this to flourish unfettered? You’ll be surprised to where these questions lead you.

  7. Well if the state is pushing for legalization, I hope the young prostitutes are eighteen
    years of age, as I don’t think an eighty-year-old would generate much revenue !!

    This just goes to show how low the liberal mindset is, Vermont is not a major hub
    for prostitution, except those in Montpelier’s Golden Dome !!

    Wake up people, this is the kind of useless legislation our leaders are worried
    about with all the issues within the state …………..Vote these fools out !!

  8. Get them off the street and into any bedroom.
    They have to make a decent living in the virus economy.
    The state should have nothing to do with sex, or healthcare, or education, or energy.
    The list is long

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