Criminal Victimization, Welfare and Policy: Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation

Published: 2022-05-25
Criminal Victimization, Welfare and Policy: Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation
Type of paper:  Argumentative essay
Categories:  Sexual abuse Human trafficking
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1778 words
15 min read

The story of Sophie Hayes, a Briton trafficked into a sex racket, allows the visualization of the challenges faced by women across the world. Her case may be argued to be an indicator of the challenges faced by women in their daily routines. However, there exists an impression of the respective challenges going unnoticed. Reflecting on the foundations of radical feminism, the rise of such challenges feature among the inequalities and the discrimination faced by women through exploitative practices by their male counterparts. In the case of Hayes, the perpetrators of her ordeal were people she had considered close friends. Thus, the impression of exploitation seem pivotal in the characterization of her experience. Exploring the magnitude of crimes such as human traffic and sexual exploitation allows the visualization of the depths that needed to be pursued by the respective feminist agendas.

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Feminism agendas are driven by the desire to suggest ideas of liberation to the society. Apparently, such ideas may be themed along aspects such as liberation, equal opportunities, and empowerment among others. Reflecting on the case of Hayes, the concept of liberation and empowerment seem to manifests in the quest to manage her challenges. A number of human trafficking victims are uninformed of the possible dangers lurking in the promises made by various individuals in their lives (Tomes, 2013). Thus, their luck of knowledge regarding the various indicators of danger lead to their exploitation and eventual participation in the respective acts of crime. Social feminism allows the visualization of the impact of elements such as women empowerment in the management of such challenges. However, the efforts of active feminism needs to explore beyond the categorization of the respective crimes to include strategies for women to manage their occurrence.

Background on Criminal Victimization

Human traffic has mutated into mirroring the ancient slavery practices when examined from the number of annual victims. About 20.9 people were involved into various cases of human trafficking in the last five years (Kara, 2017). Their recruitment was guided by a number of agendas, including subjection to exploitative practices such as forced labor and sexual practices. In the case of sexual exploitation, the victims tend to be subjected to models such as prostitution and related trade models. Also, they are recruited into criminal gangs and encouraged to participate into heinous criminal activities. Across the Middle East, the existence of such practices tend to involve forceful participation into the labor market (Tomes, 2013). Most of the victims of human trafficking in the region are subjected to inhuman condition under employment models such as domestic workers.

The success of the contemporary human trafficking models may be argued to involve elements such as communication difficulties. Traffickers ensure their victims are shipped into destinations that barely promote similar language background. Ideally, the Middle East is considered among the rich destination for such prospects (Meyers, 2014). Also, states from Asia and Eastern Europe are considered as plausible destinations. Women tend to comprise of the majority of the victims associated with the acts of trafficking. Their choice is anchored on impressions such as the vulnerability of their physic as well as the naivety of their assumption. Integrating modern feminism into crafting possible solutions to the challenges may involve the inclusion of empowerment models to enable the victims have better alternatives over the promises made by the respective traffickers.

Sex trafficking seem to have a definite position in the characterization of the vice. Both women and children feature among the lead victims in such models. Apparently, the act of trafficking humans for purposes such as sex may be tracked to the periods of early civilization. The observation is attributed to the need to work as a premise for generating income and sustaining a livelihood. Opportunities tend to be limited in most commercialized systems. As a result, the involved parties are anticipated to rely on links established people for the securing of the scarce opportunities. Arguably, such setting exposed the involved persons into possible networks of exploitations. Years of progressive exploitation has led to the need for liberations agendas (Meyers, 2014). Women have been on the beneficial side of such liberation movements with the need for equal opportunities, as promoted by liberal feminism, featuring extensively in the characterization of the agenda.

The liberalization of vices such as sex trafficking across the United States has been steered by the efforts of the various activist organization. Both human right associations and seminars of progressive ideologies have voiced their opinions on the need to criminalize activities that tend to link sexual exploitation with forceful or deceitful movement of people. Numerous acts have been introduced to the congress in anticipation of laws aimed at curbing the vice. Among them include the Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TVPA) that was introduced in 2000 (Huiquan Zhou, 2015). Also, by 2003, most states across the United States had strict legislations seeking to introduce stricter regulations regarding the vice (Tomes, 2013). Reflecting on the concept of regulations, the effectiveness of the respective laws seem defined by the subsequent need to have the involved players manifest commitment to their implementation. Activists involved in the advocating for stiffer laws are anticipated to observe similar commitment in the calling for their implementation. Ideally, such concerns may not be considered pronounced across the United States. However, little may be suggested of other regions across the world.

The Hayes case

The case of Hayes offers insight on the world of sex offenders and human traffickers. Her delivery seem to be void of the details associated with the experience. However, she observes the desired efforts in offering assistive information regarding the parties and the dialogues involved in her ordeal. Arguably, her narrations offer some incidents of inconsistency with regards to the items that were to feature in the characterization of the respective plots. In most cases, her audience is anticipated to piece together the narrations in order to develop the desired conclusions (Gould, 2014). However, her tales may only be considered a mirror of the experiences shared by most victims. Their experience deprives them the opportunity to grasp the

Hayes' story comprises of short chapters containing specific events which occurred before, during and after her abduction. Each chapter reveals a new incident letting the reader know something significant happened which would eventually lead up to her being trafficked. The choice of vocabulary is simple, creating imagery in one's mind as each incident unfolds. Through her words, pictures of scenarios are created in your mind assisting in those events coming to life. Most stories contain information about her customers at night, how much she was paid and what she wore on the streets (Tomes, 2013). While reading how her everyday life was spent initially in Britain, it can be surprising for anybody to see how she could possibly have been trafficked. She did have problems at home, however that only affected her emotional state. People often forget these young girls are not in it because they like it, but instead, are forced in some form or the other and think powerless situations usually occur in poor, third world countries (Hardy, Compton & McPhatter, 2013). The author is correct when stating sometimes a girl might refuse help to overcome what has happened once she is rescued. In Hayes' case, that is exactly what happened: she refused receiving help of any kind until she was mentally drained and starting seeing a therapist. One can only imagine the profound effect this type of crime can have on a person.

Theories on human traffic and sexual exploitation

The need consider the possible risk factors that expose victims to human trafficking and sexual exploitations is enforced by the increased number of victims across the globe. There are numerous risk factors involved in the characterization of the possible victims of sexual offenders. In the case of children victims, their characterization explores possibilities along impression such as naivety and exploitation by seniors. Among the ideal risks include "poverty-stricken socioeconomic status; a history of physical and/or sexual abuse; deficiencies in social skills; deviant behavior; involvement in gangs; low educational performance (Twill, Green, & Traylor, 2010); ineffective city systems; public policy that places blame on victims (Lloyd, 2011); familial dysfunction, such as domestic violence or substance abuse; and the mental illness of caregivers. A runaway or throwaway status places children at an increased risk; Estes and Weiner (2001) reported that approximately 75% of girls with runaway status and who are sexually exploited are under the control of pimps" (Hardy, et al. 2013, p.10)

Theories explaining the respective conditions include the Dual Perspective and Feminist-Empowerment. The Dual Perspective Theory is used as a macro level theory because Hayes has a clear-cut line where her nurturing system and her sustaining system intersected. Arguably, the the theory fits well with Hayes's case and offers insight into her struggles with identity and fitting in. Hayes was born into poverty and lived alone with her young mother in a metropolitan area until age seven when she was taken into state custody. During this time Hayes was exposed to a nurturing system that differs greatly from the one she experienced in her sustaining system of her adoptive parents and predominantly white community.

Feminist-Empowerment Theory made sense to use as my micro theory because not only does it address Hayes's low self-esteem and feelings of helplessness; but also offers information that could help Hayes to overcome some of her feelings of helplessness and give her an opportunity to take control of her life. This theory explains the systemic oppression of all women, but particularly women of color and helps to reframe feelings of oppression into sources of power. This theory also addresses the covert racism Hayes experienced during her school years, and some of the deep seeded feelings of invisibility and exclusion that have contributed to her increased isolation, anxiety, and depression.

Dual perspective theory examines the effect on inconsistency between the nurturing system and the sustaining system, and the effects thereof (Robbins, 2012). This theory can be applied to Hayes's case by taking into consideration her environment as a small child juxtaposed to her environment as an adolescent and young adult. Hayes's experiences with cultural dissonance are typical of minority groups, and is exacerbated by the all-together loss of her nurturing system when she was placed in foster care and then later adopted into a white family and community. Dual perspective theory attempts to explain the dissonance and resulting conflict between majority and minority groups by examining the different experiences in the sustaining system based on the level of congruence it has with the individual's original nurturing system. Similar observations can be applied across diverse populations and takes into consideration aspects of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, language, ethnicity, and how they relate to societal expectations and norms (Kanani, 2014).

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Criminal Victimization, Welfare and Policy: Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation. (2022, May 25). Retrieved from

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