The average age of sex trafficking victims

Is the average age of entry into sex trafficking between 12 and 14 years old?

By Janie Har on Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.

Statistics about sex trafficking, especially about minors, are notoriously difficult to document. For example, this newspaper once tried to show whether Portland is the child sex trafficking hub thatelected officials and national media say it is, only to find that nobody really knew.

PolitiFact Oregon likes statistics and we like to know where they come from, especially when politicians use those statistics to shape public policy. Which is how we’ve come to Multnomah County Commissioner Diane McKeel, an east county resident who has made combating human trafficking, especially child sex trafficking,a priority.

McKeel told columnist Elizabeth Hovde, who writes for The Oregonian’s editorial page, that the average age of entry into the sex trade industry is 12 to 14. It’s not the first time McKeel has cited the statistic. In a 2010 guest column about at-risk girls, she also wrote that “studies show the average age of entry into prostitution is 12 to 14 years old.”

A statistical average between 12 and 14? Wouldn’t that mean a large number under 12? Also, was she talking about the average age of entry for all trafficked prostitutes, including adults? Or just juveniles?

She clarified in an interview that, “the issue for me is the commercial exploitation of children. The average age of entry is 12 to 14. This is about our children being bought and sold on the street.”

The analysis

The commissioner’s office provided us with numerous links. Many of the sources go back to a 2001 University of Pennsylvaniastudy.

It’s big and fat and the number in question is on page 92, under the section “ages of first  intercourse and entry into juvenile prostitution.” The age range of entry for boys “was somewhat younger than that of the girls, i.e. 11-13 years vs. 12-14 years, respectively.” We emailed Dr. Richard Estes, the lead author, to learn more about sample size and methodology.

His response was not illuminating. “Any numbers you come across, even mine, represent best estimates of the situation. Because of the secretive and hidden nature of the problem it simply is not possible to get an accurate ‘head count.’”

Another widely cited report comes from a Vancouver, Wash., based group called Shared Hope International. The2009 reportstates that “research has shown that the average age of entry into prostitution and pornography is 12 to 14 years old in the United States.”

There’s no research citation, but there is a pie chart breaking down age of entry into prostitution, based on a Clark County, Nevada, survey of girls arrested for prostitution-related offenses. The 96 girls were ages 11 to 17. We did the math, and the average we got was 14.96, almost 15 years old. That’s young, but not 12 or 13.

Our email requesting clarification got no response from Shared Hope. We were stumped.

We scoured the Internet for more sources, reading abstracts and tracking down anyone who might have a clue. A criminology professor we queried wrote back saying that “good estimates are hard to find, and good data are harder yet” and wished us luck. He directed us to yet another paper, which we read, diligently.

We queried the U.S. Department of Justice. McKeel’s office provided links to testimony and a report tied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which state the average ages as 11 to 14, or 12. But a spokeswoman at the Bureau of JusticeStatisticssaid those are not bureau numbers and that the bureau has no average age for entry into sex trafficking.

“The likelihood that it comes from a nationally representative study is very low,” wrote Kara McCarthy in an email.

Eventually, we spoke with David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, and a respected researcher in the area. He, too, had nothing concrete but offered skepticism. The average age is higher if adults are included. Older teens simply may escape survey. “There isn’t a lot of good research on this; they’re relatively small samples,” he said.

But he did suggest another academic article, which led us to Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, a professor at the School of Social Work at Arizona State University.

Is the average age of entry into prostitution and sex trafficking between 12 to 14 years old?

“That is statistically impossible,” the professor said. “If she were to say, minor trafficking often starts between the ages of 12 and 14 across the country, that is somewhat supported.”

Roe-Sepowitz said the statistic as it applies to girls is used by many, if not all, advocacy groups; the studies on which those statistics are based date back to the 1980s. Indeed, after we spoke with her, we found a 1985 study that reports the average age as 14.

Finally, we called Multnomah County Deputy Sheriff Keith Bickford. He manages the Human Trafficking Task Force. Was he aware of an average age? Short answer: No. “You’ll hear 12, you’ll hear 14. I have yet to nail down an actual average from the people I talk to,” he said, adding that he is reading more accounts involving younger children..

The ruling

We’ve galloped across the country and found that definitions are fuzzy, statistics are murky and nobody knows for sure. We’ve learned that many organizations continue to repeat the statistic that the average age of entry into juvenile prostitution is between 12 and 14 years, despite the research being old and limited.

We found a professor who said there is some research backs up the claim, and another expert who warned that sample sizes are inadequate and research limited. One of the most widely cited sources told us that any numbers, even his, are estimates.

http://www.politifact.com/oregon/statements/2013/mar/02/diane-mckeel/Is-average-age-entry-sex-trafficking-between-12-an/

The following is by Eminism.org:

Over the last several years, I have been trying to correct the inaccurate notion that the “average age of entry into prostitution is 13″ wherever I see it, but it is becoming increasingly overwhelming. This figure is in newspapers, official reports from City of Portland, and many websites and pamphlets claiming to confront sex trafficking (but often conflate prostitution with trafficking, and take anti-prostitution stances that are actually harmful to women). When I contact them to correct the errors, they either don’t understand what I am explaining or just plain don’t care. I’ve also been accused of being a pimp, pervert, pedophile, and other unpopular beings, simply because I challenge the falsehoods.

Here is the latest example, found on The Oregonian on July 3, 2010. Columnist Eliabeth Hovde writes:

Boys and girls are being lured or forced into what they call “the life” at younger and younger ages. […] The U.S. Justice Department believes that the average age of entry into prostitution is 13 and that 100,000 children are used for commercial sex each year in this land of the free.

Department of Justice does state this figure in its website:

Although comprehensive research to document the number of children engaged in prostitution in the United States is lacking, it is estimated that about 293,000 American youth are currently at risk of becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Richard J. Estes and Neil Alan Weiner, Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S, Canada and Mexico, University of Pennsylvania, Executive Summary at 11-12 (2001)

This led me to find the University of Pennsylvania study titled “The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children In the U. S., Canada and Mexico,” which in fact states:

The age range of entry into prostitution for the boys, including gay and transgender boys, was somewhat younger than that of the girls, i.e., 11-13 years vs. 12-14 years, respectively.

But as the title suggests, this study only surveys minors (“children”), which means it does not include anyone who entered into prostitution at age 18 or over, or those who entered as a minor but has since aged out. Imagine conducting a research on those who died as minors: the average age of death would be somewhere near 10-12, but it would be ridiculous to claim that the average life expectancy for the general population is 10-12. Similarly, the “average age of entry” among youth who were studied does not tell us anything about the actual average age of entry for everyone who is in or has been in prostitution.

That’s not all. For the sake of discussion, let’s pretend that in a small town, six minors enter into prostitution each year, one individual each for ages 12-17. That means that there is one 12 year old, one 13 year old, one 14 year old, and so on. The average age of entry in this hypothetical town is the average of these six individuals, which is (12+13+14+15+16+17)/6 = 14.5.

But when researchers arrive in this town, they don’t just survey these six minors: they will also survey others who have started prostitution in the years past. So for any given year when the research is conducted, there are one 12 year old (who entered at 12), two 13 year olds (entered at 12 and 13), three 14 year olds (entered at 12, 13, and 14), and so on. The average among all of these youth will be: (12+(12+13)+(12+13+14)+(12+13+14+15)+(12+13+14+15+16)+(12+13+14+15+16+17))/21 = 13.7–which is almost one year younger than the actual average age of entry.

This discrepancy is caused by limiting the research subject to minors. Those who entered into prostitution at age 12 has six years in which he or she might be surveyed (at ages 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, or 17), while those who entered at 17 has only one year, which artificially inflates the proportion of research participants who entered early. In short, we cannot know the actual “average age of entry” by simply averaging the age of entry reported by research participants.

Case in point. Below is a chart and table found in “The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking,” produced by Shared Hope International, an anti-trafficking group.

SHI Chart

This chart is based on Shared Hope International’s 10-city study on minor sex trafficking. In the same page where this chart appears, Shared Hope founder Linda Smith states “The average age that a pimp recruits a girl into prostitution is 12 to 14 years old.” But interestingly, the chart does not support this statement: the average of all responses represented in the chart/table is 14.97, which is much higher than Smith’s “12 to 14″ figure. Plus, simply averaging all the responses is not enough, for the reason I pointed out above. So when we adjust the numbers to compensate for the over-representation of those who entered early, the re-calculated “average of entry” turns out to be almost 16 (15.91).

This calculation is rudimentary and at best an approximation, since we don’t have access to the complete data or truly representative sample. But I suspect that it is much closer to reality than 13, which is what journalists, politicians, and many anti-trafficking activists claim.

There is also an element of common sense here. Assuming normal distribution (bell curve), the average of 13 implies that for every 20 year olds entering prostitution, there are equal number of 6 year olds doing the same. That, common sense should say, cannot possibly be true. The alternative is that the distribution isn’t normally distributed, but heavily clustered around 10-12 year olds to balance everyone who enters into prostitution 16 or older. This again is implausible, as we simply do not find that many 10-12 year olds in prostitution, at least in the United States. The only logical conclusion is that the average age is not anywhere near 13, but is much closer to 18.

That doesn’t diminish the fact that some very young children are victimized, and we should do something about it. But it is not trivial if the average age of entry is 13 or 16 or even 18, because it drastically changes what social policies we must enact to combat forced prostitution and trafficking. I feel that many journalists, politicians, and anti-trafficking activists use the lower figure merely for the shock value, to arouse strong emotional reaction toward the issue, but they are acting irresponsibly when they distort reality. We need to understand reality as they are and craft rational and sensible responses to the problem, rather than indulging ourselves in panicked frenzy.

http://www.confluere.com/store/pdf-zn/trafficking_web.pdf

http://eminism.org/blog/entry/62

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What happens if you are falsely accused of rape?

Imagine the following situation: You’re a 76-year-old man, happily married for nearly 30 years, with three children and two grandchildren. You’ve recently retired after 50 years of teaching at Harvard Law School. You have an unblemished personal record, though your legal and political views are controversial. You wake up on the day before New Year’s Eve to learn that two lawyers have filed a legal document that, in passing, asserts that 15 years ago you had sex on numerous occasions and in numerous locations with an underage female.

The accusation doesn’t mention the alleged victim’s name—she’s referred to as Jane Doe #3, and the court document includes no affidavit by her. But her name doesn’t really matter, because you have never had sex with anyone other than your wife during the relevant time period. The accusations against you are totally false, and you can prove it.

Well, that is my situation: I’m the one who has been falsely accused. But let’s continue to imagine it was you:

Your first instinct is to call your lawyer and have him file a denial to the court in which the accusation was made. But your lawyer informs you that you can’t do that because you’re not a party to the lawsuit (against the United States government seeking to vacate the plea bargain your client struck seven years earlier) and have no standing to file any papers.

Not to worry, you imagine, because the lawyers who accused you of these heinous crimes will certainly have to prove them in court, which they will be unable to do, because they’re not true.

No, your lawyer tells you. They didn’t ask for a hearing or any other opportunity to prove the truth of what they alleged. So the accusation will remain on the public record without anyone having to prove it or you having any opportunity to disprove it.

Well, at least you can sue for defamation the two lawyers and the woman who made the false charges. No, you can’t, your lawyer tells you. They leveled the accusation in a court document, which protects them against the defamation lawsuit as a result of the so-called litigation privilege.

How did the accusation get from a court filing in an obscure courthouse in Florida to the first page of many newspapers and the first item on many television broadcasts? Obviously, it was leaked; who is going to be checking court filings the day before New Year’s Eve. But the mere leak of a publicly filed court document cannot lead to a legal claim, your lawyer tells you.

You can’t just let the false story spread without responding. Moreover, you have documentary proof that you could not have been in the places and at the time Jane Doe #3 said she had sex with you. Can you at least respond in the media? Not without some risk of being sued for defamation, your lawyer tells you.

You have no choice but to take that risk, so you make your denials and counteraccusations on live television. You challenge the two lawyers who filed the court document to repeat the false charges in the media, so you can sue them. They remain silent. You challenge the woman, now 31-years-old, to bring rape charges against you and you offer to waive any statute of limitations, because the filing of a false rape charge is itself a serious crime—though it is rarely prosecuted. She doesn’t accept your challenge.

And then, sure enough, the lawyers who made the false accusation— Bradley Edwards and Paul Cassell —sue you for defaming them—though they claim you can’t sue them for falsely accusing you of a crime.

Welcome to the Kafkaesque world of American justice. But Kafka was writing fiction when he described the ordeal faced by Josef K in his famous novel, “The Trial.” What I have described is real. It is happening to me right now. And if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.

I now stand accused of crimes I did not commit, by an unnamed woman who I don’t know and never met. I am also being sued for defaming my accusers. I still have no opportunity to respond in court to the false charges, though I am now seeking to intervene in the lawsuit in which the accusation was filed. I have submitted a sworn statement denying the accusations with great specificity. The court has not yet decided whether to accept my motion.

I feel like a victim of a drive-by shooting or the object of scribbled graffiti on the wall of a bathroom stall. I may never have the opportunity to prove my innocence, or to have my accusers prove the false charges, in any court of law. But because I am relatively well known—a double-edge sword in these situations—I can at least fight back in the court of public opinion, though at the very high cost—in legal fees, loss of insurance coverage and the possibility of a large monetary judgment against me.

Imagine the same thing happening to a person who did not have the resources to fight back.

There is a gaping hole in our legal system that allows lawyers to bring irrelevant accusations against innocent nonparties in court papers that insulate them from any consequences, and to deny the falsely accused any opportunity to respond.

The law must be changed to shatter this hall of mirrors I face and others might. There must be consequences for those who file accusations with no offer to prove them and no legal responsibility if they are categorically—and disprovably—false.

I will not rest until this gaping hole is filled with reasonable safeguards, so that what is happening to me can never happen to another innocent person.

Article link: http://www.wsj.com/articles/alan-m-dershowitz-a-nightmare-of-false-accusation-that-could-happen-to-you-1421280860

Posted in Brothels, CALL GIRLS, domestic violence, FORCED PAID SEX, HOOKERS, Human Trafficking, JOHNS, Law, Nicholas Kristof, PIMPING, PIMPS, Prostitution, Rape, research, research paper, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, sex, SEX FOR MONEY, Sex Slavery, SEX SLAVES, Sex Tourism, Sex Trafficking, SEX WORK, Sex Workers, sexual assault, Somaly Mam, statistics, THE TRUTH ABOUT SEX TRAFFICKING, The truth in the Media, thesis, united states of America, victims | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Feds Sexual-Assault Policies are ‘Madness’

Harvard Law Professor: Feds’ Position on Sexual-Assault Policies Is ‘Madness’

 

On Tuesday, the Department of Education said Harvard Law School’s current and past harassment policies and procedures didn’t comply with Title IX requirements, which bar gender discrimination at schools receiving federal financial aid.

The announcement marked the resolution a probe by the department’s Office for Civil Rights, which is investigating campus sexual-assault issues at dozens of schools, including Harvard’s undergraduate college.

While Harvard pledged to make changes, Elizabeth Bartholet, a veteran law professor at Harvard Law who teaches civil rights and family law, called the federal government’s recent campaign against colleges “madness” and said history would prove it wrong on the law. (Prof. Bartholet has been an outspoken opponent of policies that she and other law professors say strip students accused of sexual assault of their due-process rights.)

In an email to Law Blog on Wednesday, she wrote:

The federal government’s decision that Harvard Law School violated Title IX represents nothing more than the government’s flawed view of Title IX law. The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, which issued the decision, is not the ultimate decision-maker on law. The courts are responsible for interpreting the law. And I trust that the courts will eventually reject the federal government’s current views. The courts’ decisions to date, including the U.S. Supreme Court, show a much more balanced approach to sexual harassment, one which recognizes the importance of vindicating the rights of those victimized by wrongful sexual misconduct, while at the same time protecting the rights of those wrongfully accused, and protecting the rights of individual autonomy in romantic relationships.

Prof. Bartholet said that Harvard University failed to challenge the government, and that other schools throughout the country need to show leadership by resisting the Department of Education’s position.

“I believe that history will demonstrate the federal government’s position to be wrong, that our society will look back on this time as a moment of madness, and that Harvard University will be deeply shamed at the role it played in simply caving to the government’s position,” she wrote.

A spokesman for the Department of Education declined to comment. Neither Harvard University nor Harvard Law School had an immediate comment.

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2014/12/31/harvard-law-professor-feds-position-on-sexual-assault-policies-is-madness/

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Yes means NO!

Yes means NO! – when it comes to men having sex with women – According to the politically correct believers of rape culture, all sex with men is rape.

There are many feminist women’s groups who lobby the government and make the government and Law enforcement believe that all men are evil and all women are angels that can do no wrong when it comes to sex.   They openly believe and promote that ALL men are rapists or future rapists. The prejudice and sexist hating of men is politically correct and encouraged in countries like America and Great Briton.  Which they then force other countries to make anti-male laws or face economic or military sanctions.  This creates a terrible environment for men since hating men because they are men is considered the right thing to do.

They believe that all women should be treated like children in regards to sex.  They feel that it is impossible for a woman to give consent to sex with a man.  Therefore all sex with a man is considered rape. Any women who tells them that they gave consent to sex with a man they feel must be mentally insane and needs mental help.  Because what women in their right mind would ever consent to having sex with a man?

Yes means NO!  The feminist  women’s groups on college campus, in law enforcement, government in America believe that when a woman says yes to sex –she really means no. No matter what the woman says or does the answer to sex is always –NO!  YES means NO!  No means NO, maybe means NO,  silence means NO.  If she gets sexy and physical with a man, and says she wants sex,  the man must realize the answer is still NO!  and walk away.  Yes means NO!

Posted in attorney general, charities, dissertation, domestic violence, essays, Human Trafficking, JOHNS, NGO, Nicholas Kristof, PIMPS, proposition35, Prostitution, Rape, research, research paper, Rolling Stone magazine, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, sex, Sex Slavery, SEX SLAVES, Sex Tourism, Sex Trafficking, SEX WORK, Sex Workers, Somaly Mam, statistics, THE TRUTH ABOUT SEX TRAFFICKING, THE TRUTH ABOUT SEX TRAFFICKING, SEX SLAVERY, PROSTITUTION, SEX WORKERS, HUMAN TRAFFICKING, FORCED PAID SEX, SEX SLAVES, HOOKERS, PIMPS, PIMPING, BROTHELS, JOHNS, SEX FOR MONEY, CALL GIRLS, SEX WORK,, thesis, united states of America, victims | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One in five women lie about Rape

One in five women lie about Rape

One in five Rolling Stone writers are morons

By: Ann Coulter

In response to the total implosion of Rolling Stone’s preposterous story about a fraternity gang-rape at the University of Virginia, the media have reverted to their Soviet-style reporting. They’re not even saying: We’re choosing not to talk about UVA because it’s a side show. It’s more like: UVA? That’s a school? Not only did the UVA gang rape turn out to be a hoax, but then President Obama’s own Department of Justice completed a six-year study on college rape, and it turns out that instead of 1-in-5 college coeds being raped, the figure is 0.03-in-5. Less than 1 percent of college students are the victim of a sexual assault — 0.6 percent to be exact — not to be confused with the 20 percent, or “one in five,” claimed by feminists and President Obama. But neither the DOJ report, nor the UVA rape hoax have dissuaded Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Claire McCaskill from pushing their idea that the nation is in the grip of a college rape epidemic. This week, Gillibrand dismissed the UVA outrage, saying, “Clearly, we don’t know the facts of what did or did not happen in this case.” Actually, we know quite well what happened in this case. A disturbed young woman invented a fake boyfriend and a fake gang-rape to get attention, and an incompetent journalist acted as her transcriber. It was a total hoax — just like the Duke lacrosse case, the Jamie Leigh Jones case, the Tawana Brawley case, and every other claim of white men committing gang-rape. Gillibrand and McCaskill: Perhaps the accusations against Dreyfus were overblown, but that doesn’t mean there’s not an epidemic of Jews selling secrets to the Germans! We are truly in the middle of a rape epidemic: an epidemic of women falsely claiming to have been raped. It’s said that “women never lie about rape!” But the evidence shows that women lie about rape all the time -– for attention, for revenge and for an alibi. All serious studies of the matter suggest that at least 40 percent of rape claims are false. The U.S. Air Force, for example, examined more than a thousand rape allegations on military bases over the course of four years and concluded that 46 percent were false. In 27 percent of the cases, the accuser recanted. A large study of rape allegations over nine years in a small Midwestern city, by Eugene J. Kanin of Purdue University, found that 41 percent of the rape claims were false. To put it in terms Kirsten Gillibrand would understand, two in five women claiming to have been raped are lying. So why are we always being hectored: Only 2 percent of rape allegations are false! That oft-cited number comes from Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 book, “Against Our Will” — which sourced the claim to a mimeograph of a speech by a state court judge, who made a passing remark about a New York police precinct with an all-female rape squad. Nothing more is known about whether this was an actual study, and if so, what was examined, how the information was collected or the actual results. Nor can any trace of the speech, the precinct or the data be found. In Women’s Studies classes, that figure is called a “home run.” That’s why the feminists are so anxious to move on from the UVA nonsense rape story. They want to move on now so they can come back to it later, when everyone’s forgotten, and start citing UVA as their No. 1 example of the fraternity gang-rape culture. It’s crucial that we get a letter in the file that says, “This was total B.S.” Otherwise, the UVA hoax will remain in an open file, marked “unresolved.” All we’re hearing now is, Enough! Enough! Don’t be a bad winner. All this coverage is putting Jackie in a precarious emotional state. If you were a gentleman, you would drop the subject. Then in three months, they’ll be bringing up the UVA gang rape as proof of a college rape epidemic. In six months, the case will show up in feminist textbooks. Wait a minute! That was a hoax! We didn’t agree it was a hoax. We conceded nothing. The Duke lacrosse case proves that. In an unusual move, after that gang-rape turned out to be yet another hoax, the players refused to accept the case being dismissed for “insufficient evidence,” which is how prosecutors usually drop charges. They insisted on being declared “innocent.” This, the attorney general did. He also denounced the prosecutor, Mike Nifong, and saw that he was disbarred. A few years went by, and then, this year, some douchebag wrote a book that claims “something happened” in the Duke case between the players and the stripper (who has since been convicted of murder). The book got a rave review from The New York Times. With feminists, either you lose or the game was rained out. So before anyone moves on from UVA, we need to get it in writing that this case was a hoax. Jackie’s got to apologize to the fraternity; UVA’s president has to not only apologize, but pay restitution to the Greek system for shutting it down for an entire semester; and Rolling Stone authoress Sabrina Rubin Erdely has got to swear that she will never, ever write again. She cannot be an “investigative journalist.” She cannot even write movie reviews. Remember, Sabrina: No means no. Ann Coulter is a syndicated columnist. Contact her through her website at http://www.anncoulter.com.

Posted in attorney general, dissertation, domestic violence, essays, FORCED PAID SEX, Human Trafficking, Jackie, Law, men, proposition35, Prostitution, Rape, research, research paper, Rolling Stone magazine, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, sex, Sex Slavery, SEX SLAVES, Sex Tourism, Sex Trafficking, SEX WORK, Sex Workers, Somaly Mam, statistics, thesis, victims | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How is Jackie, Somaly Mam, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, and Nicholas Kristof Rape Stories related?

Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times did the same thing with Somaly Mam (even worse) Than Rolling Stone writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely with the Rolling Stone article “A Rape on Campus” at the University of Virginia.

So it is a rape hoax but we are going to behave as if it was true?
“sentence first, verdict afterward.”
UVA should immediately apologize to the men and lift whatever sanctions were placed on them. Afterwards, bring “Jackie” up on whatever criminal charges are appropriate.

The University of Virginia administration, led by President Teresa Sullivan, doesn’t have clean hands in this matter either. They immediately and uncritically swallowed unsubstantiated allegations by an anonymous person in the Rolling Stone story as being true and suspended the activities of ALL fraternities and sororities, not just the fraternity mentioned in the bogus story, as though there was guilt by association. This overreaction resulted in the vandalizing of the Phi Kappa Psi house, threats and vilification of the members to the point they had to move out and find other lodging and trashing of their reputations. When the story was shown to be false, they doubled down and instead of apologizing to the Greek community and lifting the suspension, said that well, even though the story was untrue, in their view there is still a sexual assault problem on campus, and we are going to root it out. Where is the apology for their intemperate and illogical action? Frats and sororities have 3500 members out of a student body of some 20,000. Do they seriously believe that even if there is a “sexual assault problem” at UVA (unproved so far as I can tell) that it rests only in fraternities and not in the general student body or outsiders?  They believe that ALL men are evil and ALL women are innocent angels.

In academia, false claims of rape and harassment are now employed by activists as “tools of social change”

There is a rash of campus activists – most of them (if not all of them) Feminists – now brazenly making false claims of rape and harassment and using them for activism purposes. Most often, these false claims are made as a means to “raise awareness of the problem of rape on campus,” OR “sex trafficking” an interesting notion since if rape were such a big problem on campus there would be no need to make up fake rapes at all.
But sometimes these false claims of harassment/rape are employed as a means to directly leverage power against a man who advocates an idea which a particular Feminist disagrees with. On a similarly disturbing note, there is no evidence that our academic institutions have disciplined the vast majority of these false accusers, even though they have punished other students for far less.

This whole thing played out just months ago with the Somaly Mam scandal:

Somaly Mam and Nicholas Kristof should have lawsuits filed against them for committing fraud and stealing money from the public by providing the public with false sex trafficking horror stories that were lies to send money to the Somaly Mam and Afesip charities. These charities then committed human trafficking themselves by forcing women and girls to stay in their (rescue) centers against their will and to lie about being forced into sex trafficking to the western media and donors.

See this link about Nicholas Kristof and Somaly Mam
Sabrina Rubin Erdely with the Rolling Stone article “A Rape on Campus”

The common problem of male hatred on college campuses

False rape accusations are common

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Somaly Mam’s husband: “I received death threats from Somaly telling me not to speak the truth”

Somaly Mam’s ex-husband (Pierre Legros) and co-founder of AFESIP and the Somaly Mam Foundation: 

“I received death threats from Somaly telling me not to speak the truth”

“When you work in this world, you know fabricated stories are used by everyone to get funding.”

“There were mismanagement and sexual abuse allegations within a Somaly Mam shelter in 2006. To me, this would be the real issue to investigate”

“Nieng is Somaly’s niece. Not our daughter – she was not kidnapped”

-Pierre Legros

GlobalPost exclusive:

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia:

Not long ago, this elegant former prostitute was a global celebrity, a putative warrior against sex trafficking in her native Cambodia. She was feted by New York Times human rights columnist Nicholas Kristof and by A-list celebritieslike Oprah Winfrey, Queen Sofia of Spain and actress Susan Sarandon.

She was lionized as a rare beacon of light in a hopeless world.

Last May, an article by Simon Marks in Newsweek devastated her reputation, apparently confirming rumors that Mam used fabricated stories to raise funds for her cause. The article also raises questions about the consistency of her own story and points out confusion over whether she was forced into slavery as a child. In 2012, she admitted that she had made false claims in her speech to the UN General Assembly in which she stated that eight girls were killed after a raid in her Phnom Penh shelter in 2004. Following the Newsweek story, Mam resigned from her foundation in the United States, but did not admit to fabricating stories.

More recently, in a Marie Claire article by Abigail Pesta, Mam has sought to restore her reputation. The article, billed as “Somaly’s Story,” contradicts the Newsweek investigation. Mam insists she did not lie, and that the stories in question were true.

“When you work in this world, you know fabricated stories are used by everyone to get funding.”

~Pierre Legros

Now, in his first interview since the Newsweek article, Mam’s ex-husband Pierre Legros speaks with GlobalPost about the controversy and the alleged fabrications.

Legros co-founded with Mam and another colleague the anti-trafficking organization AFESIP (a French acronym for Agir pour les Femmes en Situation Précaire, loosely translated as Acting for Women in Distressing Situations). He left the organization in 2004, as his marriage was falling apart, and following a controversy after AFESIP and the police raided one of Phnom Penh’s most high-profile hotels.

In Southeast Asia since the late 1980s, Legros first worked as a laboratory manager with Médecins Sans Frontières in UN refugee camps. In 1990, he was a technical adviser in Phnom Penh for the National Malaria Center (CNM). A year after he arrived in the city, he met Mam at Samaky, a popular beer garden. She was one of 30 prostitutes there. They fell in love and created AFESIP in 1995.

The following interview was conducted in French and has been translated, edited and condensed by GlobalPost.

GlobalPost: What do you think of this war of facts between Newsweek and Marie-Claire?

Pierre Legros: It is just more proof of how the media is shaping its own versions of the story and how a communications strategy takes over facts and reality.

I gave some information to Simon Marks [the reporter behind the Newsweek article]. It was proven right and led him to other allegations. He did his job as a journalist and verified the facts.

I have not met Abigail Pesta who wrote the Marie-Claire story and I am a bit more doubtful when it comes to her version, especially related to the kidnapping of our daughter Nieng, which I do not believe to be true. [Editor’s update: Abigail Pesta points out in Marie Claire that Nieng told Pesta she was  kidnapped.]

Anyway, the media must stop this war over a reality they apparently cannot seize. It is going too far and affecting our private lives. These are not fictional people we are speaking about here.

Moreover, I believe Newsweek and Marie Claire are just arguing about a minor problem. I do not understand why journalists are sticking to the fact that Somaly lied about her origins. Who cares?

What we really need to know is, as the director of one of the most well-known NGOs fighting against sexual trafficking, how honestly, fairly and legally did Somaly act? When you are an icon and an NGO director, people expect you to act with utmost probity. From what was published in Spain last year, there were mismanagement and sexual abuse allegations within a shelter in 2006. To me, this would be the real issue to investigate.

According to Somaly Mam, your daughter Nieng was kidnapped in 2006 after school in retaliation for Somaly’s work. Nieng was found by the police in Battambang, about 300 kilometers (180 miles) from Phnom Penh. The Newsweek article disputes this version of the story. Can you tell us exactly what happened?

In reality, Nieng is Somaly’s niece. Not our daughter. I raised and love her as my daughter and she has the same place in my heart as my other kids. This is why I am speaking today. I cannot let her privacy be invaded by media appetite.

[At] that time, Somaly and I were already separated. Nieng called me while she was away and I asked her to call her mother to let her know where she was. She called me for two or three days to give me some news and suddenly stopped. I did not have any news from her after this for a week. I was very worried and I did not know where she was. Somaly called me to let me know that the police found her, intoxicated, with two young men in a bar in Battambang. I remember very well making my way from Siem Reap — where I was living at this time — to Phnom Penh on my motorbike at night, to be there when she came back with Somaly from Battambang.

It was 6:00 a.m. Nieng was at her grandparents’ with Somaly. She could not really understand where she was and she was obviously intoxicated. I wanted to know if there was a chemical substance in her urine to prove whether she had been the victim of a manipulation. I asked Somaly to get some urine samples to know what she took. She never did it and Nieng never had any medical exam after this story, even if AFESIP could provide her with such service. But as our relationship with Somaly was deteriorating and very difficult at that time, I don’t know if there was any investigation opened. I never went to see the police because Somaly was connected to the police and I asked her to take care of this.

The articles are arguing over aspects of Somaly Mam’s childhood, as described in her book. Do you know the truth about it?

Somaly has at least two different versions of her biography. The French version was published in 2005 and is very much biased and doesn’t reflect the reality. For example, [according to that version] she is the only founder of the organization we founded in Cambodia in 1995. We were three who did it. Somaly was going in the brothels to gather information, our friend was helping with administrative requirements and later became the director of our first center in Phnom Penh, and I was looking for funds. We were a team.

The US version of the book is supposedly a translation of the French one. Well, it is absolutely not and the story has been completely rewritten. I am named as a “social worker” in this version. I never was a social worker.

Now, I also have to tell you that I do not know a lot of Somaly’s childhood. I can tell you I know her parents — the ones who are legally named as her parents on her birth certificate. She first introduced me to her father saying he was her uncle. She did the same with Nieng. She told me she was her daughter, while she is the daughter of her older sister. I never took it as a lie. But you know, in Cambodia, the relation to family is different and I think you have to be here to understand it.

And you can see she speaks of her “daughters” when speaking about the girls who are now in the center. So, I am not surprised to see there are some inconsistencies in her story.

When you all co-founded AFESIP, what was your fundraising strategy?

There was no policy. We had the idea to start an organization because in the early 1990s, prostitution, trafficking, HIV and drugs were all linked. Somaly was touched by the girls she would see and interview in brothels. But she would not be happy knowing the girls would stay there in miserable conditions, often close to sex slavery. So she would bring them to our own house.

Nieng and Adana, our two little daughters, were at home at that time. Setting up an organization was a great solution to help us create a center for the victims and raise our children in a safer environment. In this context, none of us had ever headed an organization, and communications were not part of the problem yet.

I wanted to draw a lot of attention to get funds from international institutions. Somaly is beautiful, sexy, charismatic and determined. Every NGO dreams of having its Somaly, and every media wants her on camera. We soon became very much high profile and we welcomed a lot of journalists. They all wanted to make something sexy, to draw attention and mark everyone’s mind.

For example, CNN and CNBC have been very pushy and wanted to show extraordinary stories. At that time, as an international director for AFESIP, I did not have the time to manage the media. But media was bringing visibility, which means funding in the NGO world. Why are celebrities today fulfilling the role of “ambassadors” for NGOs and international organizations and institutions?

It is only in the early 2000s that we put together a strategy to select journalists — because we were harassed by the media and could not control Somaly’s and AFESIP’s images, and even more importantly, protect the victims. Once, I had CNN and BBC at the same time in my office!

Journalists were furious when they had to sign a paper saying I would review everything before it was published. None of them did send me anything of course, and a lot of false stories came out, based on misunderstandings or the will to report about something extraordinary. Faces were shown, testimonies were wrong. The media just betrayed us for sensationalism and efficiency of information.

We started to have complaints from UNICEF and other child protection [agencies] accusing us of going too far and not protecting the children. From there, I refused a lot of reports and accepted only “big media,” to have a massive audience.

But to me, a real testimony is done by the police. Not by a journalist.

Out of all the “lies” Somaly is accused of, can you tell us today if victims of trafficking were still helped or if the whole operation is a fraud?

When I was at AFESIP, there were different types of victims. Some of them were victims of trafficking, others were referred to us by other NGOs or the police as “prevention cases” — meaning that they could be susceptible to trafficking. We host them all in our centers in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Kompong Cham.

A lot of them were coming from Vietnam. I cannot count how many girls were helped but I brought [some of] them back home to Vietnam myself. This is also the reason why we created a whole AFESIP network in the region. Our goal was to rescue the victims, host them in AFESIP centers in Cambodia and then bring them back home to host them in our AFESIP centers in their country of origin to ensure they could learn a job and reinsert themselves in the society.

But this all changed when I was forced to resign in 2004, for the Cambodian organization took full power over the regional offices that led them to split with AFESIP.

Why were you forced to leave the organization?

First, our marriage was falling apart. I felt I could not work with Somaly anymore. Then, the Cambodian organization that Somaly was directing became very aggressive with the international offices and wanted to take over the power. There was some kind of a “revolution” that led Cambodian and foreign staff to split. In 2004, the organization actually had money and could sustain itself. I understood quickly that Somaly wanted to have this money and would show me my way out. She did not need us anymore. I felt it was some sort of a “decolonization” war within AFESIP. We were not welcome anymore and could not work together.

There was also a raid led by Somaly and the police on the Chai Hour 2 hotel, a very high-profile hotel, known to be a place of prostitution but not necessarily of sex trafficking. This raid was very much reported in the media — and first done for a French TV [station] to be able to film it and make the headlines.

But Somaly and I, as well as our children, were in danger after this intervention.

It actually became a diplomatic incident between the US and Cambodia, because the US State Department protected us and was therefore fighting against some of the high-ranking politicians threatening us. It had to, since we would be awarded a year after with its anti-trafficking award. When the US Embassy learned about the raid, they called me straight away to let me know the US would protect us. I was, however, warned that I had to stop or we would be killed despite the embassy’s protection. It went too far. This is also part of the reasons why I resigned.

Why are you speaking out?

I kept silent so far because I do not really think this debate over Somaly’s lies is of interest. When you work in this world, you know fabricated stories are used by everyone to get funding. But I received death threats from Somaly and her entourage, telling me not to speak. I do it for my children, for the truth to be restored and to denounce the logic of a failing system praising “development.”

Article Link: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/cambodia/140926/cambodia-somaly-mam-Pierre-legros

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