Nefarious: Merchant of Souls | Human Trafficking Documentary – Full Movie

♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ (male narrator) I was first introduced to the issue of human trafficking hearing the story of a 15-year-old girl, who was violently abducted from in front of her house and forced into sex slavery I soon found that this wasn’t an isolated incident, but rather a growing trend As I learned more, I became deeply burdened over those trapped in this nightmarish existence Determined to fight this great injustice, I set out with a couple friends on a journey across four continents to discover the reality of modern-day slavery Our mission: to unveil the global sex industry, to expose the injustice hidden in the shadows, and to bring back the redemptive stories that inspire hope for true emancipation My name is Benjamin Nolot and this is “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls.” [ambulance siren] [Stefa screaming] [screaming] [screaming continues] [loud knocking] [frantic chattering] [frantic chattering] [grunts] Go, go! ♪♪♪ [speaking foreign language] [yelling in foreign language] [yelling in foreign language] [whimpering and crying] [girls screaming] ♪♪♪

♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ (Benjamin Nolot) We went to Moldova first, because we heard it was at the epicenter of the trafficking crisis ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ This is a country where 10% of the population has been trafficked After the fall of communism in 1991, a severe economic collapse led to half of the entire adult working population leaving the country in search of work We found that as people were abandoning the country, the children were just being left behind ♪♪♪ This created a massive social orphan crisis Many of these desperate children were winding up in orphanages where corruption runs rampant We talked to investigative journalist, Victor Malarek, about this He spent years in Eastern Europe documenting this crisis The serious problem here is that so many directors of orphanages and assistant directors of orphanages know that these girls are going to age out, and they tell traffickers, who are waiting at the gates But no one cares about the orphan, because no one knows We actually had a chance to meet up with a girl named Anca from a safe house for victims of human trafficking and she explained what was happening from the inside (Victor Malarek) The sad reality, particularly for young women, or these young girls in orphanages, is they have no one They existed in the institution, but once they leave the institution, they go into some kind of vortex and no one knows what happens to them She’s gone She’s disappeared, and you never see them again (Benjamin Nolot) What we saw was that traffickers were setting up employment agencies to target these girls with false promises of legitimate work (Victor Malarek) They tell them that they have modeling jobs for them They have dancing jobs for them, or they have jobs for them in hotels and restaurants as waitresses or maids And these women want to believe this They need to believe this, because they’re desperate (Victor Malarek) Everybody wants a better life for themselves

So they sell you a better life Often times they come pouring in, unaware of the hell that they’re going to be entering Other times, they’ll just look at a young woman and say, “We want her We know she’s not going to come of her own free will,” so they’ll abduct her If a girl would try to scream and shout, or something like that, I know that I would do my upmost to shut her up You just think of how much money this girl can make me, and you don’t care what she needs to go through in order to get it Organized crime is just anarchy They don’t recognize any authority whatsoever, any enforcement of authority They are a law unto themselves (Ohad) Since it’s mafia, they know before you walk into that room, and start seeing with your eyes, how it is operated They know where you live They know where your parents work They know if you have children They know about your sisters, your brothers They know everything about you They don’t leave nothing to chance They’re stone-cold people No emotions You have to be like that if you want to do something in this world (Calev Myers) If they don’t like you, they don’t just kill you They’ll kill your wife, your children, your brothers, your sisters, and sometimes they’ll let you live And that’s the way they work around the world It’s all an issue of fear and intimidation (Victor Malarek) These young women were abducted or tricked and brought to what they call “breaking ground” houses The breaking grounds are apartments and houses out of sight, where the women and girls are brought to be what they call “seasoned” for the profession of prostitution They are brought into these rooms and they are broken Their bodies are broken Their spirits are broken Their souls are broken (Ohad) Sometimes at 3 o’clock at night you get a phone call

There will be a car waiting for you in 10 minutes You never know the location where they keep them You walk into a room that is set up just like a fashion show: with a stage You sit You take your seat Lights go off Lights on the stage turn on The girls walk on the stage, take their clothes off, and start moving around, just like a fashion show And knowing that when this girl is on stage, that guy already has the next 2 years of her life planned Sometimes the guy that buys them demands to test the merchandise Nobody cares about these girls They turned into an object Just like you go into the market and you buy yourself a pair of underwear, you go into a different kind of market and you buy yourself a woman It’s hard for the first time or the second time, but you just get to a point where you just say, “It’s good money.” (Benjamin Nolot) The girls explained to us how they were transported through these highly sophisticated networks that involved: document forgers, smugglers, border officials, taxi cab drivers, all the way down to new owners awaiting them at their destination (Ohad) These guys, they take her passport And these guys, they lock them in a room, where they eat, sleep, have sex, everything in the same room They get treated like dogs– worse than dogs, because they take their dogs out three times a day (Benjamin Nolot) What happens if one of these girls wants to escape? (Ohad) If she gets caught by the pimp, most probably, she’ll get a good beat up Stay in bed for about a week, and continue to work prostitution (Victor Malarek) How do you run away? How does a woman who is from a small, little farming village in Moldova, finally finds herself in Berlin, doesn’t speak German, but has known that in the entire time that she has been trafficked there were immigration officials, there were border guards, there were customs officials, and police officers all getting their hands greased with payoffs (Benjamin Nolot) We couldn’t fathom what a girl must go through that endures being trafficked, but we met up with a psychologist and long-time anti-trafficking advocate, Dan Allender, to get insight (Dan Allender) You must understand that exploited women are part of systems Mafias, pimps, control Again, manipulation And the core of that is to break down further any sense of human dignity It is a form, not only of dehumanization, but it literally is bestial in making a woman into an animal (Victor Malarek) So when you see these young women on the side streets of big capitol cities like Paris and Milan and London and New York, what you see is a woman in total, total submission

She’s going to listen to her master; she will never cross him And what we see when we look at these women is the gaudy clothes, the cheap makeup, the stiletto heals, the come-hither smiles, and we just write them off as whores, prostitutes, that are not worth a moment of our pity or a moment of any thought (Benjamin Nolot) One of the things that really amazed us over the course of our travels is that we saw Eastern European girls everywhere we went, from Israel to Turkey, Dubai, Southeast Asia, back in the U.S We saw that they were being exported all over the planet to be used in prostitution ♪♪♪ (Benjamin Nolot) To understand the connection between prostitution and human trafficking, we met with Melissa Farley She’s a Clinical and Research Psychologist, who’s studied prostitution for the past 2 decades (Melissa Farley) Yes, there’s some trafficking into agricultural and domestic labor Most trafficking, however, is for the purpose of prostitution and so you always have to look at prostitution And it’s a mystery to me why people don’t look for trafficking victims at all of the places where we know prostitution is happening In strip clubs, in massage parlors, in escort prostitution; that’s where they are (Benjamin Nolot) We wanted to follow the path of a girl who was sold into prostitution So we traveled to Amsterdam, which is the most famous legal market for prostitution anywhere in the world ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ When we arrived in Amsterdam, our contact took us on a boat tour through the canals of the red-light district Just to see hundreds of these girls, for sale, in windows was a totally bizarre phenomenon (Benjamin Nolot) We were able to track down a prostitution window owner named Slim He’d been working in the red-light district for a couple decades, and we were able to talk to him about what was going on there (Slim) The first time when I walked in here, I was also walking with my mouth open, but after a couple of years, it’s…normal Yeah, usual business You call company and then you ask– the favorite type, what you like If you want dark or brown or– you ask it and the girl comes to you It’s like you order a pizza Something like that you can compare it (Benjamin Nolot) What type of girls are there that work here? (Slim) They’re different At the moment we have a lot of girls from East Europe, and especially from Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, but we are allowed to rent rooms to 27 countries ♪♪♪ (Benjamin Nolot) Most of the girls we had seen in the windows were from Eastern Europe We couldn’t help wondering how many of them had actually been trafficked here When we tried talking with them the only words they knew in English were how to give a price for sexual services But we talked with Denise, who was formerly sold behind the windows for 9 years (Denise) “She’s selling her body She gets her money for it “That’s what she wants “So if she will have a problem, it’s her own fault.” That’s what most people believe “She’s prostituting It’s her own choice.”

(Benjamin Nolot) Is it really a choice? No There’s not even one girl who really wants to sell her body All the time they have to put on this act and have to watch out at the same time for people who are watching them, to give their money away, because most of them have pimps, and they all have a story Every girl who was working here has her own story ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ (Benjamin Nolot) Denise was lured into prostitution by a guy who was pretending to be romantically interested in her and we found that this was something that was common, not just in Amsterdam, but everywhere prostitution happens (Denise) I promised myself, if I ever meet a loverboy, I make sure that he will never catch me, because I’m not that stupid But I fell in love with him, and started to live together with him But only because of the fact that he told me, “You’re so special You’re so beautiful I love you so much.” Until the moment that he’s telling you that he has some financial difficulties and that it’s maybe possible by prostituting your body, to make these little problems go away (Benjamin Nolot) Why do you think the girls want to work here, in the red-light district? A lot of them do that for economic way They need the money Because in the–at the moment they cannot find work, not normal work At the moment, it’s also difficult to find a job at the moment The girls who are forced to work in prostitution, they don’t earn any money, none at all So all the money that’s earned in this business is profit for the criminals behind it (Denise) From one day to another day, waking up, go to my window He made sure that there were people around me, who were watching after me, having between 20 or 30 customers every day from morning to evening late Getting beat up by him at the moment that I had not enough money Thinking about getting away from him, escaping Thinking at the same time, if I will jump out this window I will break my leg Yes, I care very much about the girls They have alarm in the room They have my private number– they have my number So they can call me if there is something strange or before there is something, or before there are problems they can always call me So in the legal brothels, where they do have protections, they are told, “Whatever you do, keep your hand very close to hitting the panic button.” Really? I thought this was a safe brothel Why do you need a panic button? Here, especially in the windows, it’s safe There was a girl, I think, stabbed a couple doors down here recently What happened there? The police is still– [speaking Dutch] They’re still investigating this case (Benjamin Nolot) Is there organized crime here in Amsterdam? I don’t want say that everybody who work here is clean I cannot say that (Melissa Farley) The mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, has recently closed down half of the red-light area in Amsterdam The reason for this, he said, “We can’t control organized crime.” Now this is a system of legal prostitution that cannot control organized crime He’s right You cannot control organized crime In fact, legal prostitution is like setting out

a welcome mat for pimps and “johns” There is no difference between legal and illegal prostitution Pimps and traffickers are in both locations, and these are not guys who are interested in the normal social values These are thugs and criminals, whether they’re called legal pimps or illegal pimps, they’re the same people (Piet Keesman) Don’t make the mistake to think that you see a legal business, because the lights and the circumstances make it have the effect that it looks as a legal business, and the girls are nice to see, but when you look in their eyes, and make contact with them, then you can find out that lots of girls want to stop this business and want to go back to the family and back to normal life (Benjamin Nolot) Why haven’t the institutions of government been able to effectively stem the tide of this injustice in our world today? Money, money, and more money Mafias run human trafficking Many of the traffickers are prior drug dealers When you sell, as one trafficker told me, “If I sell a key of cocaine, I sell it one time “If I sell a woman, I get 7 years worth of work, minimum I sell her time again, and again, and again.” So in that sense it is a business, monetary matter Well, no mafia anywhere in the world can exist without fundamental government support So where you’re looking at the interplay of corruption of governments, whether it is high officials, whether it’s police, law enforcement, again, this is an issue that we just can’t be naïve about (Benjamin Nolot) Seeing how girls were brought into the sex trade in Europe was a major wake-up call But we also wanted to know how girls were winding up in prostitution in other parts of the world And so we headed to Southeast Asia, which we knew was a hotspot for prostitution ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ (Benjamin Nolot) The first thing that strikes you when you get to Thailand is the beauty of the country ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ But the next thing that you notice is that prostitution is a major part of their society In fact, there was one government-sponsored ad that read, “The one fruit of Thailand more delicious than durian, is its young women.” We travelled all across the nation from Chang Mai to Bangkok to Pattaya, down to Phuket, and we talked with scores of girls in prostitution, who all shared a similar story Most of them had come from the rural regions of Thailand, and pressured to provide for their parents, they went into the big cities in search of work The problem is that the Thai government doesn’t give these girls citizenship, making it nearly impossible to get a legitimate job And so they get recruited to work in massage parlors, karaoke clubs, girly bars; no citizenship necessary (male) I totally knew that a lot of them weren’t there, because they wanted to be Okay, there were a very, very, very small percentage that were, but then, usually, because of their financial situations, they were there I went to bed with over 500 girls in 2 years, because they were there And you know, they said, “I’m helping my family I’m helping my family.” Their family doesn’t respect them no more They’re ashamed of them, but they still want the money (Benjamin Nolot) For those indulging in the illicit pleasures,

Thailand is like this sexual utopia, ♪♪♪ but for those who are trapped in the industry; nothing could be further from the truth (Benjamin Nolot) I think initially we had a very narrow conception of what constitutes human trafficking, but being in Thailand, we began to see a broader injustice occurring in the sex industry These girls hadn’t been abducted or physically forced into prostitution, yet their social conditions had virtually removed personal choice from the equation We met up with Lauran Bethell to talk about this She’s a known expert in the field, and worked with girls in the sex trade in Thailand for 14 years (Lauran Bethell) I’ve defined trafficking as the exploitation of vulnerability in any situation It’s the exploitation of vulnerability of economic dysfunction It’s the exploitation of vulnerability of sexual abuse It’s the exploitation of the vulnerability of girls with low self-esteem, or boys with low self-esteem Trafficking is simply an exploitation of vulnerability (Melissa Farley) More often than not, you don’t need a gun You don’t need to physically drag someone from point A to point B to control, exploit, and use them in prostitution You simply need to take advantage of the factors that already compel women into prostitution (Benjamin Nolot) This was really a defining moment for us, where we realized that victims of the sex industry extended beyond those who had just been trafficked in the classic sense, to all girls whose vulnerabilities had destined them for prostitution (Benjamin Nolot) The way Devaj so casually consulted us on how to buy a child from their parents, made us wonder if anyone could just buy a child for sex To investigate this, we went to a small village in the neighboring country of Cambodia, where we heard child prostitution was happening When we drove in to the city today, we were coming down the street, and we actually saw a pedophile– Hey buddy! –older, probably in his 50s and we were able to track him down, to chase him down and to warn him not to come back to this city Alright, alright (Benjamin Nolot) Standing face to face with this man, we were struck by the reality of the situation, that there were literally people flying from across the world to come buy children for sex [children singing]

We met with Don Brewster, the Director of Agape International Missions, and he’s been on the front lines of the battle against child prostitution in Cambodia since 2005 (Don Brewster) We did some work, some undercover work for IJM in a karaoke bar in Siem Reap We went in, 200-300 girls waiting for us when we get in there, big numbers on their chests You just pick whatever girl you want, and it’s a weird feeling It’s almost like the girls don’t know how to feel, like, “Please, oh God, don’t pick me.” Versus, “If you don’t pick me, “how am I going to have any money, how am I going to take care of my family?” You know, I mean, it must be hell that they have to go through But you walk into the place and the manager comes up to you and he says, “I want you to know, in the karaoke room, “you can do anything you want to the girl “I mean, you can touch her, you can kiss her, whatever you wanna do, but you can’t have sex before you negotiate a price.” Now, you get into this karaoke room, gigantic flat screen T.V., a high-tech karaoke system with over 2,000 songs in English, 6 cordless mics, beautifully appointed private bath, 80 rooms like that in this place This guy owns eight places like this Thats 1,600 to 2,400 girls, and we estimated– and we’re conservative– that at least a third of them were underage So you choose your girl You go to the room and a woman comes in to police the room But people would think she comes to protect the girls She comes to make sure the girls are going after the men, that they’re cuddling up to the men, that they’re getting the guys to want to have sex, to pay the big bucks for sex So we get ready to leave, and I can pay with my credit card, okay? So you pay with your credit card and here’s your receipt that you get: Tiger beer: $4.00 Bunch of grapes: $5.00 Karaoke girl for 1 hour, do whatever you want to her: $3.00 (Don Brewster) Well, we’re getting ready to leave, right? And one of the girls with one of the other guys doesn’t want to go And so she starts running away– now we’ve already paid She starts to run away The manager goes gets her I mean, literally, as close as you get without beating her, screaming at her, that she needs to go with us and do whatever we say and smile all the time My wife and the counselors talk with them and say, “We have a place; you can get out of this “We have a place where you can come, “and we can make sure you get healthy, “and you’ll get good food, you’ll get an education We can help you to have a brand-new life.” And the three girls that we had just wept to think that there was that opportunity There was only one thing we needed to do to be able to take them They needed their mothers to say it was okay We called all three moms All three moms said, “No.” All three mothers said, “No, we’re not gonna– They can’t do it We need the money.” We told them, “We’ll give you money “We’ll actually give you a loan to start your own business “We’ll provide all the things you need with it “We’ll provide you training “and everything you need to start your own business, “and your daughter can go get a great education “When she’s done she can earn way more money and she’d be in a way better situation.” Even after all that, all three mothers said, “No.” So we had to drive those girls back to the karaoke bar (Benjamin Nolot) I just can’t imagine what that must have been like Could you speak into that, or explain that; what that was like? I don’t think so You know, I mean, I– You know, I have three daughters and five granddaughters, and my granddaughters are almost the age of the girls that we took back You know, I can’t explain it I can tell you this: that I can’t get the pictures of those girls’ faces out of my mind, still today, and I don’t imagine that I ever will (Benjamin Nolot) We could see that poverty had been an underlying factor driving girls into the sex industry, but what we didn’t understand is how a parent could sell their own child into sex slavery So we talked to Helen Sworn She’s been investigating and combating trafficking in Cambodia since 1999 (Helen Sworn) So we carried out a research and many people said,

you know, “The reason that those communities “are selling their daughters is because they’re the poorest It’s about poverty It’s about poverty.” So we said, “Well, let’s go in there and really see what’s happening in those communities.” But we saw in some of these communities, it wasn’t actually the poorest families that were selling their daughters It could be some of the families that wanted to sell them for more luxury items like mobile phones, televisions, that kind of thing (Don Brewster) But across the way there’s six men that sit there everyday smoke cigarettes, gamble and drink beer all day long From 10 o’clock in the morning to 10 o’clock at night, that’s all they do And so how could they afford to do that? Because they all traffic their daughters They’ll sit there They could work, but they don’t work And they traffic their daughters every single day (Helen Sworn) You know what the reality is? The reality is about 80% to 90% of families are selling their daughters Not 40% to 50% So we were seeing that what was emerging was a culture of complicity in selling, which was the most frightening phenomenon that we uncovered (Helen Sworn) What began to happen in communities if a woman was expecting a baby, If she had a baby girl, they would say to her, “Ah, you’ve scored the jackpot It’s okay, because you’ve had a girl “And now if you have financial challenges in your life, you’ve got this security asset, and if you need to, you can sell her.” And people would say, “Well, they can’t love their children then “How would any mother, you know, “be complicit in the selling of her child? “She must hate her child She must not think anything of her child.” (Don Brewster) We had a girl in our center, aftercare center this family lived here And so we’d bring them back for family visits, a supervised family visit And when I would come with her, she and her mom would– You would swear her mother loves her deeply I mean, she would weep when she saw her, she’d hug her and kiss her, but she trafficked her everyday before she was rescued You know, and I talked to these six pastors, individually, these six Vietnamese pastors and I said, “I just don’t understand how can that be? How can you tell if the mom really loves the daughter?” And all six of them, individually, said to me, “Well, was she trafficked locally or away? “If she was trafficked away, “that means they don’t really love her, “but if they traffic her locally, where they get to see her, that means they love her.” I mean, how can you understand that? (Helen Sworn) We knew that the mothers, as much as the fathers, were responsible for selling their daughters We also knew that those daughters, for them, it was about an honor relationship with their parents So because their parents had brought them into the world, they then had a debt honor to pay back to their parents for bringing them into the world So we were seeing that some of these girls that were approaching adolescence, were actually grooming themselves, knowing that they were going to be sold They’d seen it happen to families that were around them So they knew what was happening So they would groom themselves, because they wanted to honor their parents For them, if their parents could get more money for them, wouldn’t that be a greater sense of honor for them as a daughter? (Don Brewster) If we walked around and I pointed to the girls, I don’t know if I could point to ten girls that aren’t being trafficked The truth is, it’s not– you know, again, look at that little girl out there If she was your little girl, would you sell her? If you didn’t have enough food, would you say, “Oh, I can afford to get rid of her so I can have food”?

You know, you wouldn’t do it for food You wouldn’t do it for medicine, right? So I mean, that whole idea that poverty is an issue really, really takes a big leap How could that really be an issue, that you choose your daughter? You choose to sacrifice your daughter (Benjamin Nolot) Before we left Svay Pak, we gathered children from the village together to teach them some songs and dances ♪ Father Abraham had many sons ♪♪ (Benjamin Nolot) And right as we’re doing this, a pimp pulls up on a moped, and he’s angry, because he needs to get one of these children out for a client who had come into town And our host explained to us that most of the very same children that we were singing and dancing with, were currently being trafficked [singing continues] ♪♪♪ [children cheering and clapping] ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ (Benjamin Nolot) In our travels, we met girls who were exploited through their orphan status, through poverty, through statelessness, and even by their very own parents And while most see karaoke clubs, or girly bars, or massage parlors, or even brothels, for these girls, they were nothing more than prison cells But back in the U.S., we saw an entirely new face of this issue; and that is girls drawn into the sex industry by the allure of glamour and prosperity ♪♪♪ (female) I got off the plane, and I looked at the strip, and I was like, “Oh my gosh, there’s famous people in those casinos! “I’m gonna meet somebody that’s a millionaire, and I’m gonna get married to him, and I’m gonna take all their money.” (female #2) I watched the movie “Pretty Woman,” and I was like, “Well, gosh, look at her “You know, she’s beautiful, and she’s making money, “and, you know, she’s meeting guys and she fell in love with this guy, “and she’s living in this nice hotel suite, “and has everything she wants, and she’s fallen in love– Man, I need to become a ho.” That’s what I thought So that’s what I did (Benjamin Nolot) To understand the draw of glamorized prostitution, we met with Annie Lobert Annie spent 16 years as a high-class call-girl in Las Vegas (Annie Lobert) I sold my body to a Japanese man And it was real easy to do, by the way People ask me “What did you feel like?” Empowered I felt like, “Wow. If I can do this with every guy I meet, I’m gonna be a millionaire pretty soon!” And it was like, “Woo! Pandora’s box.” Like, “Lord of the Rings,” putting on that ring, and just going “Oooh! Power! Money!” I thought all my dreams could come true I could go to college I always wanted to college, but couldn’t afford it (Dietra King) So I chased that lifestyle I wanted the glamour, I wanted everything that came along with it And I thought that it was the cool thing to do, ’cause everybody else was doing it My mom was a prostitute My grandma was actually a prostitute So I just thought, you know, “This is what I’m destined to do This is what my life is supposed to be.” (Stephanie Glass) You go out there and you walk around the casinos You look for single guys, or a group of guys, kinda just walking by themselves looking lonely, and you do anything to start up a conversation “Hey do you know what time it is?” You know, anything, and you eventually get into the subject of, “Hey, you want some sex?” A lot of ladies like to fornicate, like to have sex, just like us guys And so, you know, just to make a little humor here, I mean, if a woman wanted to pay me, and I was attracted to her, off the record, I wouldn’t mind doing that, too (Annie Lobert) When you first start doing it, it’s exciting; it’s glamorous

It’s like, “Wow, I’ve got power!” And you get stung eventually, whether it be 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years Once you get beat up a couple times, and threatened with your life, and you almost lose your life I experienced nothing like “Pretty Woman.” It’s totally, totally different The real world, it’s totally different It’s all an act In the course of my nearly 30 years as a prostitute, I got to know hundreds of prostitutes, and I can honestly say, I don’t know one person who enjoyed it (Benjamin Nolot) We talked with Helena Evans, who gave us a sobering glimpse behind the veneer of prostitution She was on the streets at 14, and wound up in prostitution for the next 26 years One particular night, I was in a car, and we was going out into the– Well, we were supposed to be going to my house, and then he took a detour I said, “Where are you going?” And he wouldn’t answer me And I thought, “Oh, this is pretty weird.” I said, “Listen, stop the car ’cause I’m going to get out.” And he said, “You’re not going anywhere There’s only one place you’re going tonight, and that’s hell.” And I could tell the way he said it, that he was really serious And I tried to open the door and I couldn’t open the door So I started kicking him, you know, ’cause he was driving So I started kicking him, and I was trying to get my foot over to press the lock to open my door In the end, I ended up opening my door, and we were in the middle of nowhere He was a big guy, I’m a woman, and we started this wrestling And honestly, it’s awful when you know that somebody really wants to kill you I could feel my strength leaving me because first of all, I was punching him Then he put his hands around my neck, and I began to get all dizzy I thought that I was going to die, and I really cried out to God, and thank goodness this car came along And this was an absolutely deserted road Normally a car would not come along, and this guy just drove off He was later sent to prison, but that–most of us have stories like that I’ve been held hostage at gunpoint, raped, robbed, strangled, beaten up, everything, by customers So they’re not all good (Benjamin Nolot) Did you ever feel an element of fear from any of these girls? (Former “John”) Like they were afraid? Yeah, several times I would feel that they were definitely afraid of what they were involved in But they just had to do it It’s like a job You know, most people don’t like their job, but they have to go do it to pay their bills So it became like a job to them Something they had to do (Melissa Farley) Even the people who promote prostitution will put out helpful fact sheets on how to avoid getting killed They don’t say it exactly that way, but they put out a fact sheet that says, “Well, when you go into a hotel room, when you’re servicing a ‘john,’ “drop something on the floor, and kick it under the bed “so you can look under the bed “and see if there’s a gun or handcuffs there “Don’t wear a scarf, “because that can be used to strangle you “Don’t wear super high heels to an escort-out call, because you can’t run fast enough.” Now this is information coming from people that are promoting prostitution as a good job (Benjamin Nolot) One of the stats we dug up from “Prostitution Research and Education,” was that women in prostitution had a mortality rate that was 40 times higher than the national average One predominant fact began to stand out to us; peril is a basic fact of prostitution But we wondered why anyone would endure the same abuses day after day, when they could simply choose to leave prostitution at any time (Dietra King) Because of their pimps It’s so difficult for girls to get out of it, because they’re brainwashed And it’s all that they’ve ever known They feel like there’s no help, ’cause there really is no help out there (Dan Allender) A woman generally doesn’t get onto the streets without an ally, often called a pimp And that person is controlling her, shaping, often providing her with drugs, but also with violence Every time that I got out of pocket, I’d get beat down for it

We’re talking, like, brutally beat, where I couldn’t work I woke up to a gun being cocked in my mouth, You know, and it just scared me so bad He had me call my family, and say goodbye to them And then, you know, I went back to him after a while, ’cause I felt like, you know, that’s just who I’m supposed to be with That’s supposed to be, you know, this is what my life is (Dan Allender) No woman is on the streets, because she just likes sex, and/or wants money This is a system of utter manipulation It’s a system of exploitation, manipulation, threat, violence, but all fundamentally under the fear and deep sense of shame that “I have no value.” He knew I was leaving a couple different times and he’d come home and do this, I call it: psychopath warfare to get me to think that he was gonna kill me Put guns in my mouth, put gun to my head and said, “I’m going to do it I’m in love with you.” He would say, “I’m so in love with you! If you leave me, I’ll kill myself!” And he’d put the gun on my head And it’s like, “No, don’t kill yourself I love you! Please don’t do it to me!” And, you know, just the games, the psychological games were just incredible And, you know, when you’re in love with someone, you fall for that And some people will say, “Well, you’re stupid!” No, really. When you’re in it at the time it makes sense You have what is called the Stockholm Syndrome, which implies that a victim can eventually come to identify with her captor, when you’ve been taken captive, and, your very survival depends on, in one sense, the care–loosely used, that word– the care of your captor, then, in some ways, you bond to that captor Even if they at times literally torture you, violate you, demean your dignity, they’re your only source of life (Melissa Farley) She had a pimp who would say to her, unpredictably, “Down,” and she would have to lay down in a certain spot in the room just like a dog, until he told her she could get up There’s no reason for that, except to demonstrate to the girl that he has absolute control over her So that if he knows he can tell her, “Down,” he certainly can tell her, “Get out there Do not come back until you’ve got $1,000 cash in your hand.” I mean, the goal of the trafficker is to break you down so that you are under his control That kind of power over a person leads you to a point where your only basis of survival feels like dissociation And dissociation really is a flight from reality It’s a disconnection from engagement with the world around you For the person who’s been traumatized to levels of almost concentration-camp cruelty, there is no way but to go more, more, more to the interior and to leave the exterior world for other people to control It’s almost as if the soul dwindles and literally gets more, more, more invisible (Melissa Farley) Other techniques of mind control, include the creation of a part of the personality that prostitutes So that there might be Jeanie, who’s the young woman, who has a kid at home, and girlfriends in high school And then Veronica is the prostituting part And because you can’t prostitute without splitting part of the self psychologically, that Veronica is deliberately created by pimps Pimps will say, “I’m not talking to Jeanie right now I want Veronica. Come on Get out here, Veronica.” And so Veronica has a different look on the face, different clothes, different behaviors, and the child splits off that part of the self that has to prostitute for 6 or 8 or 10 hours And as a consequence, it’s usually a 6-year to 8-year period of time before she has AIDS, another sexually-transmitted disease, or is literally killed So it’s not a long life these young girls have, but by the time they become 20, 21, 22, they are jaded beyond all comprehension (Annie Lobert) I’ve got friends right now that don’t even want to continue, that are working in the sex industry that are so sad right now, that are so hooked on drugs, that are so devastated with why they’ve done what they’ve done And all their tricks think they’re having a great time I would call it the greatest acting job in the world (Annie Lobert) The last stage of prostitution is absolute despair, depression, depravity, loss

You’re at this tunnel with no vision, dead end, and you’re like, “Where do I go from here? I’ve wrecked my whole life.” And you realize everything that you thought that you could make from prostitution was just all like a mirage It’s like, you were chasing it, and chasing it, and chasing it, but you never came to it (Benjamin Nolot) Advocates of prostitution often employ the term “choice” to imply that those who are working in the industry are free and empowered And on the surface, we saw girls, who appeared to have chosen this lifestyle, but the more that we listened to their stories, the more we began to see a pattern that preceded this so-called “choice” Why do you think so many of ’em are winding up in that situation? I think it’s because a lot of ’em have my type of background I’ve spoken, I suppose– it must be nearly 100 girls, probably more– about their past and everything, and nearly all of them have been sexually abused In fact, I can’t think of one that hasn’t Sexual abuse is probably one of the core factors for how a woman gets onto the streets in a position of being exploited And that’s across the world Abuse is a phenomena, where in the U.S., we’re looking at 1 out of every 3 women, 1 out of every 4 men But in terms of prostitution, you’re looking at 95% of the people, who are in those exploited positions, have a prior history of being violated (Melissa Farley) One pimp actually said, “You know, I have to thank those dads “They’re the ones that started her out in her training “and I just picked up where the dad or the step-dad or the neighbor left off.” There’s a lot of truth in that; a great deal of truth in that The sexual abuse of children in the United States and in every other country is a horror that most of us fail to acknowledge and address And it’s not a stranger in a trench coat on the playground It’s a family member or a friend who’s doing the sexual abusing (Dietra King) This guy was actually living with us, and I got raped when I was 10 in my own house, in my bed I felt like, you know, if somebody’s gonna take it, might as well just give it up It changed my whole life when that happened You know, like, it’s crazy how one event can make your whole life just crumble (Melissa Farley) That’s where the child is taught what she’s worth, which is not much And that’s where she’s taught, this is what she has to do in order to get the things all children want in life, which is love and affection (Dan Allender) When a young woman is abused in the context of her own family, and that could be in Nigeria, that could be in the United States, there is a sense of hopelessness and despair and shame that eventually brings a person to a point where they ultimately have no value for themselves and/or for their body As a consequence, they are so susceptible to the manipulation of others When I was about 5 years old, I was regularly abused by a family member, who used to come home drunk, and often black out, he would get in bed with me thinking that I was my mother When I was 14, a man offered me money and I couldn’t believe that somebody would actually pay for it, when they could just take it from me, because I didn’t think I owned my sexuality I thought I was there for the taking, and for anybody to steal this from me was perfectly okay And when somebody offered me money, I was like blown away I mean, it wasn’t a small amount of money Not to a 14 year old, you know? (Melissa Farley) And that’s how many, many children start in prostitution The average age of entry into prostitution is 13 to 14 years in the U.S (Benjamin Nolot) We came to the conclusion that there’s really no way you can qualify a person’s choice to enter prostitution when most have a background of sexual abuse and have entered prostitution under age In most the cases, from what we had seen, it wasn’t so much an issue of girls choosing prostitution, as it was prostitution choosing them (Benjamin Nolot) Our attention really turned at this point to:

How do we put an end to this? In Amsterdam, the legal model of prostitution was promoted as ensuring healthier and safer working conditions for the girls But that was hardly our experience in going there However, in Sweden we heard about a progressive form of legislation that was making great strides at eradicating sex trafficking there ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ (Benjamin Nolot) Once we got to Sweden, we met up with Kajsa Wahlberg, the nation’s head detective combating trafficking (Kajsa Wahlberg) Since 1999, the purchasing of sexual services is criminalized in Sweden So this was a protection from acts of violence against women, actually, and also the thought that you will never reach equality between men and women, truly, as long as you have a sub-group of women that are being exploited sexually (Melissa Farley) Swedish law on prostitution is aimed at stopping prostitution, because they understand it to be a form of violence against women And they are an abolitionist law How does that law work, that controls organized crime so incredibly well? They arrest men for buying sex, and the penalty is a serious one It would be a U.S felony-level offense, or it would be an offense that warrants jail time We usually say that it’s a human right not to be in prostitution, and not to exploit and buy and sell people for sexual exploitation Men must start to learn how to fulfill their sexual desires instead of exploiting another person, because prostitution is about men masturbating in women’s bodies Nothing else (Melissa Farley) Women in prostitution are not arrested They’re offered services for escape And, of course, pimps and traffickers are arrested But they essentially create a very, very bad business environment for pimps and “johns” (Kajsa Wahlberg) Traffickers and pimps, they complained when we wire-tapped them We overheard their telephone conversations, that they would speak of us, “Sweden’s a bad market,” Because the buyers were afraid of getting caught And traffickers and pimps could not easily send women out in street prostitution, because the police or social service or other women in prostitution, they would easily find out (Benjamin Nolot) In Sweden we found that protecting the sanctity of human life was more important to them than fostering the unbridled sexual appetites of men It has a social implication in terms of the way that people even view women, in this case, and value them, and it creates an atmosphere of safety, an atmosphere of dignity in the country; and so here it’s 2 o’clock in the morning, we can walk freely through the streets feeling no threat of danger The last time that somebody was actually even murdered in prostitution in Sweden was 1989, which is over 20 years ago; incredible (Melissa Farley) Sweden has the lowest rate of trafficking in the European Union If you want to stop trafficking, you must stop prostitution (Benjamin Nolot) Sweden’s model provided a ray of hope for us in terms of combating sex trafficking as an industry, but there was still this issue of girls left out there, girls still trapped in prostitution And when we first embarked on our journey, we envisioned rescuing girls trapped in cages But the issue of human trafficking was far more complex than we originally anticipated, and it seemed like every place that we went, the barricade confining girls in prostitution grew more and more impenetrable From the government corruption and organized crime in Europe;

to the statelessness and poverty and parental complicity in Southeast Asia; to just the general psychological chains that bind girls in prostitution, rescue efforts seemed to be a nearly impossible task ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ (Don Brewster) In the last couple of years, 3 years actually, the anti-trafficking police, NGOs, three NGOs, have worked in Svay Pak, have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and they’ve rescued one girl You know, people say, “Education; if we just educate them If we just get them good jobs If we do developments.” Well, hell, millions of dollars have been spent on both and the situation continues to get worse I mean, what proof do we need? Has education and development solved evil in the West? I mean, what has that done? Nothing We have all the evidence in the world that education and money does not get rid of evil It isn’t a money and education issue It’s a moral; it’s a spiritual issue (Benjamin Nolot) What we began to realize was even a greater challenge than even rescuing the girls, was restoring them once they’d been rescued In fact, we found that most girls, even after they’ve been rescued, still suffer with nightmares of their former life, which makes coping with everyday life pretty unbearable (Don Brewster) How many women do you know that have been brutally abused, who never leave therapy? As a former pastor, who did counseling, I can tell ya most of the women continue in counseling the rest of their life And they’ll tell the story in detail and they’ll talk about it, but their thinking–really you could change that word to “faith.” What they really believe doesn’t change And to really change that it takes more than a counselor It takes more than the words of a staff that’s gonna come along side the girl, and say, “You’re really good This is good.” ‘Cause remember the world out there, the world they live in is telling them they’re trash (Benjamin Nolot) What was really going on inside? I hated myself I hated myself so much, and I started to think that my mother was right about never accepting me like a daughter, that it wasn’t worth it to live anymore There’s only one thing what it does It destroys your body It destroys your life, your thoughts, your heart, especially That’s what you start to feel and truly, spiritually believe in your heart, that you are just a whore, that you’re just a prostitute, that you’re no good, that as soon as you get older, as soon as you get fat, as soon as there’s a wrinkle on your forehead, that no one’s gonna want you And regardless of you getting paid, no money is worth the disgrace and the shame and the destruction that it does to a woman’s heart and soul It is devastating Trust me I knew that there was something wrong I felt almost sub-human, and I was very ashamed I was frightened to tell anybody that I couldn’t feel love, or I couldn’t feel compassion or anything like that, you know, because I thought there was something wrong with me (Benjamin Nolot) What was so tragic is that many of the girls, who had been rescued, were retreating back to prostitution just to regain a sense of normalcy (Lauran Bethell) Why a woman would choose to stay in a situation where she is being abused; why is that? Even when they’re offered alternatives, why? Why would they choose to stay? And I’ve often said that the abuse that we know is sometimes better than the future that we don’t know We know by the statistics that you take a girl out of prostitution, 96 out of 100 within a year are back in it, unless deep, profound care over a lengthy period of time is provided to be able to begin to restore that sense of dignity and future for that child I’d rather, like, not ever do it again, ’cause I felt like every time I sold my body to somebody I was, like, selling my soul, like, I was–every time I worked it was just like, you know, a piece of me is gone every single time, and I was tired of having that, like, empty feeling inside of my body, you know, inside of my soul (Don Brewster) Let me tell you the story of one girl

For 2 months, every single day, this big, fat ex-Marine rapes this little 12-year old girl You know, she writes her story out As part of our therapy, she writes her story out, and she says how worthless she knew she was then She said, “I know I’m now just a piece of garbage, “and my life is ruined And why does he do this to me? Why would he do this to me?” Hopelessness is just like, it’s such a weak word, such a weak word for what she feels It’s beyond hopeless to– Did you ever feel guilty about something you’ve done? Right? You never– and maybe sometime you– I felt really guilty before Well, if you can imagine the worst you’ve ever felt for something, the very worst Multiply it by 10 and live like that for a year or 2 Every day feeling that pain, and thinking that’s what you’re worth, that’s what your life is And not understanding how this could happen to you “How could this happen to me?” (Benjamin Nolot) What type of emotions did you feel, that you were experiencing during that time? Intense fear, intense fear [sniffs, catches breath] of real rejection, of feeling totally unloved unwanted uncared for I just felt totally lost within myself [crying] (Annie Lobert) And so that’s when the heavy, heavy cocaine abuse came in, and I just wanted to disappear I remember just lighting that pipe and just looking forward to that hit All of a sudden I heard my ears just ringing really loud And, like, everything went black Like my eyes just shut down My eyes were wide open, but went black, and I fell back I was having a heart attack The pain in my chest was, like, my heart was going– and it was like, it felt like somebody was stabbing me with a knife in my heart, but I couldn’t see anything, and all I could remember was that, you know, there was nothing but blackness around me And just, I realized, “Crap, I’m dying. I’m dying.” And all I could remember is Jesus That’s all I could think about was God And I saw my life literally flash before my eyes and I called upon his name I just said, “Jesus, Jesus, I’m alone I’m sorry, and come and get me Save me from myself. I’m sorry.” And all I could do was, like, say sorry “I’m sorry I’m sorry I was a prostitute.” I was so ashamed And the ambulance came They took me in the hospital, and the doctor came over and said, “Do you know how lucky you are? “You have a lot of drugs in your system, lady, and you’re allergic to narcotics.” And he’s like, “God’s with you.” And I knew that Jesus heard my prayer I was in such despair and desperation I would really cry out to God, you know And then one night He appeared to me in a dream I would go into this beautiful garden, and sat on the bench was the Lord Jesus And I would go to him, we would sit, and we would just talk about– I don’t even know what we spoke about, but he never, ever once condemned me I said, “Jesus, I just want to see you “I wanna know what you look like “I don’t care about the movies I’ve seen “I just wanna see you I wanna talk to you I wanna see you.” And so, he granted my request I had a dream of him one night, and he came to me, and he didn’t look anything like any picture, any person I’ve ever seen before He was the most handsome man I’ve ever seen, beautiful! And he came to me and went this close to my face, and looked into my eyes and read me, from a baby until my perfect age that I was; everything I’ve done

Didn’t say a word to me, and looked at me with love in his eyes, like, “I love you.” It was such beauty and, and such love that emanated from him, I was just– well, I fell at his feet I was like a dead person And believe me at that particular point in life I wasn’t scared of much, but I was–and it wasn’t like a fear he was gonna hit me It was like, who he was, who he really is And I fell at his feet and I just cried, and I said, “Lord, I am so sorry for what I have done.” And when I got up he’d say, “Helena, I’m waiting for you.” And, oh It was so beautiful So, so gentle [sighs] So, so gentle And that went on for about 6 months And I was always waiting for him to say a harsh word or condemn me, but he didn’t He said, “I love you. You’re healed You’re whole. You’re delivered.” And just like this fire was lit in me And I just started to weep, and I just realized, God loves me No matter what I’ve done, no matter all the mistakes I’ve made, no matter how many people I’ve hurt, he still loves me, and he can make something of my life To think that he took me I was nothing When he found me I was lying in a bed I hadn’t had a bath for a year I was covered in abscesses, skin popped stuff I’d missed veins I’d cut myself I was stinky, I was smelly, I was rotten And he took me and he made me something beautiful And to me that is so wonderful That is so worth giving my life to And I just, oh, I just think he’s so wonderful and I don’t wanna stop talking about him, because my heart just fills with joy Oh, and I just want everybody to know about him, you know, I mean, it’s just amazing Oh, I know he loves me, ha, ha, ha, ha! Yeah, yeah, I know he loves me, and he’s real ♪ He is jealous for me ♪ ♪ loves like a hurricane ♪ ♪ I am a tree ♪ ♪ bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy ♪ ♪ And all of a sudden I’m unaware of these afflictions ♪ ♪ Eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful you are ♪ ♪ And how great your affections are for me ♪♪ There’s a happy ending to the story Okay, she gets rescued She comes to us, and she begins to realize that she is a child of God, that she’s a princess, a daughter of the king And when she finished her therapy, she said, you know, she goes, “Now I know the truth about me “You know, God loves me, “and I have so many people here who love me “that there must be something good about me, “and I know that if I just try hard I will have a great future, “that God will give me a great future no matter what happened in my past.” ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ (Denise) God’s made it possible for me to get out this world He’s loving me, even though I was selling my body, even though I was destroying my body, as many times as I could do at that moment, but his love is so unconditionary and he still loves me every day ♪♪♪ (Ohad) I’m ashamed that I used to be a person like that I can’t even call myself a person It’s sad; it’s really, really sad, but God is bigger than that I was a captive of one thing, she was a captive of another thing

but God wants to set the captives free ♪♪♪ ♪ He loves us ♪ ♪ Oh, how he loves us ♪ ♪ Oh, how he loves us ♪ ♪ Oh, how he loves ♪ ♪ Yeah, how he loves us ♪ ♪ Oh, how he loves us ♪ ♪ Oh, how he loves us ♪ ♪ Oh, how he loves, yeah ♪♪ (Benjamin Nolot) Having reached the end of our journey, it became very clear that a new one was just beginning Our eyes have been opened to our world in a way we have never seen it before The people we met, the faces we saw, and the stories we heard have made us different, and changed the course of our lives We have been struck with a wound that we pray we never recover from Famous abolitionist, William Wilberforce, once said, “If to be feeling alive to the sufferings “of my fellow creatures is to be a fanatic, “then I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.” In addition to his tireless legislative work, we looked at three things Wilberforce did that were so effective at combating slavery: Number one is prayer He understood slavery to be a spiritual battle, and he paved the way for abolition through prayer The second thing was awareness He thrust the injustice of slavery into the conscience of a nation Third, he gave money He was a generous financial supporter of the efforts to combat slavery The crisis of modern-day sex slavery does not need interested observers; it needs incurable fanatics ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪

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