The staff at Beyond Honolulu is always looking for important topics and issues to speak about and help get the word out on. Not many things are more disgusting than the issue of underage sex slaves. The long awaited Sex + Money Documentary Film will have a special screening on the North Shore of Oahu in February.
This movie will give you a true glimpse inside the world-wide epidemic that is the sex industry, and how human trafficking is used to promote this even further behind the scenes. The movie gives a rare glimpse inside this gruesome world and also shows how many people simply turn away from the problem or actually don’t even know it exists, at least not in America.
About the Movie
Sex+Money: A National Search for Human Worth is a feature length documentary that follows a group of photojournalists as they travel in an RV on their second journey, this time across the United States, seeking to understand how the sexual exploitation of children has become the nation’s fastest growing form of organized crime and what can be done to stop it.
Is This Happening in Hawaii?
Sunny beaches, blue ocean, lush green valleys, are all pictures of Hawaii . . . a land of paradise. Hawaii’s economy is fueled by domestic and international tourism along with a heavy military population.
This makes Hawaii a prime target for sex traffickers who capitalize on the male travelers, transient business men, and military personnel. As the demand for sexual services increase in our islands so do the number of victims, specifically underage victims. Young girls in Hawaii are bought and sold, ordered online, purchased in massage parlors, and work the street to generate business for “pimps”.
It has been 146 years since the Thirteenth Amendment was passed which abolished slavery, and yet slavery is an alive and thriving enterprise today. Selling young girls for sexual purposes generates huge profits. Unlike drugs, which are bought, consumed and easily identifiable as illegal, a young girl can be sold over and over for repeat profit.
She can be forced, manipulated, and coerced into appearing as an accomplice rather than a victim. Girls–U.S. citizens as young as twelve years old–are having their childhoods stolen; they are being stripped of their human rights, and they are sold daily into what has appeared to be a covert criminal industry for years, right here in the Hawaiian Islands.
While it is currently not possible to know exactly how many children are being sold for sex in Hawaii, a University of Pennsylvania study on national child sexual exploitation estimated that nearly 300,000 youth in the United States alone were at risk of being sexually exploited for commercial uses. This is a conservative estimate.
Due to the hidden nature of the crime, the statistics do not reflect the magnitude of the domestic minor sex trafficking problem. As the general public becomes more aware of the issue, the hidden nature of this crime will be exposed.
The Justice Department’s National Incidence Study reported that 1.7 million children in the United States run away or are “thrown away” each year, with just 357,600 reported as missing to the police.
The discrepancy in the number of children reported as runaways to the actual number of children missing is often due to non-reporting by abusive families. Approximately 300-400 children are reported missing every month in the State of Hawaii.
Children on the street, lacking basic human necessities, are most vulnerable and susceptible to sex traffickers. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) estimates that at least 100,000 children are caught up in the insidious world of child prostitution each year in the United States-again, a conservative estimate. According to International Crisis Aid statistics, between 100,000 and 300,000 children-primarily girls-are victims of the sex trade in the U.S.
It is often believed that these children have “chosen” a life of exploitation. There can be nothing further from the truth. Once on the streets, sex-offenders and sexual predators exploit these childrens’ desire for love, encouragement, and shelter, deceiving, intimidating, or forcing them into prostitution. Prostitution is not a life for a child. It is a death sentence. Unless someone intervenes, unless someone believes in these children, they will remain lost and alone.
Why Should This Matter to You?
We have a responsibility to protect our Keiki from this growing abuse. Slavery knows no bounds. All of our children are targets for this crime. It could be anyone of our daughters, nieces, granddaughters, students, or friends.
As concerned community members, teachers, medical personnel, business owners, parents, and resposible individuals, we need to take a stand as a North Shore Community against this crime. Please come and learn more about this growing issue and the need for aftercare services for girls rescued out of this bondage.
It is extremely important that we as a community come out and support a film like this. People need to know what is going on with underage sex trafficking around the world, as well as under our noses right here in Hawaii.
- What: Sex + Money: A National Search for Human Worth (Ages 15 and older only please)
- When: February 25th, 2012
- Where: Historic Haleiwa Gym
- Time: 6:30 PM
Directions: 66-434 Kamehameha Hwy Haleiwa HI 96712(across from Pizza Hut)