Commentary: A Phila. Haven For Women When Evils Of Trafficking Hit Close To Home

The woman’s twin daughters were 8 months old when her pimp took them away. “Kidnapped them,” she told me.

Human trafficking is all about control, according to Sister Terry Shields, one of the cofounders of Dawn’s Place, a Philadelphia-based safe haven where those prostituted can reclaim their lives and voices.

The woman told me she came from a dysfunctional home where no one ever listened to her. “I was always screaming but never heard,” she said.

That’s what it means to have no voice. That’s the vulnerability that makes women and girls prey for savvy predators running the second-most lucrative criminal enterprise in the world, officially named commercial sexual exploitation, and known as CSE.

The engine of CSE, the pimps, they listen. They stake out malls and streets where the prospects – often girls who have recently run away from home – hang out. Sister Kathleen Coll, executive director of Dawn’s Place, described the grooming process.

The pimp, in a pleasant and kindly manner, approaches the girl, compliments her on her lovely hair or jeans. It may take a few encounters, but the pimp is patient. Eventually, he wins her confidence.

For him, it’s worth the effort. After all, one prostituted child can eventually turn a number of tricks in one day and do it day after day. You acquire a kilo of cocaine, says Sister Kathleen, and you can sell it only once. Our daughters (and sons, too) can be sold over and over.

To read the full story by Orlando R. Barone at Philly.com: Click Here