Who's a victim? More law enforcers treating homegrown prostitution as human sex trafficking
CICERO, Ill. (AP) — Cops in the Chicago area call it a "track," a stretch of street known for its steady sex trade.
Women in tight, scant clothing stand in high heels on street corners along an industrial strip in suburban Cicero. Customers, usually men, slow their cars and roll down a window.
"How much?" they ask.
Some might see these interludes as exchanges between consenting adults, or at the very least, consenting criminals, if the prostitute is, indeed, an adult and seemingly free to come and go as she pleases. They may call it a victimless crime, seeing domestic prostitution as something very different from human sex trafficking — with its cross-border abductions and brutal coercion — a scourge that's come to the forefront of news in recent years.
But are they so different, after all? Increasingly, experts in the field are saying no, and applying the label human trafficking to homegrown prostitution. And now more lawmakers, police and prosecutors across the country are starting to shift their view on this, too. Increasingly, they are focusing on arresting traffickers and customers (pimps and johns, as it were) and on getting help for prostitutes.
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Posted on Tue, September 3, 2013