Sex Trafficking and the Recognizable Patterns of Abuse Behind the Epstein Case

Like the recent news story about Robert Kraft, Guardian Group feels it is our responsibility to comment on the Jeffrey Epstein case. We have nothing to do with either of these cases and we do not want to be involved in the circus that surrounds them. But we recognize some of the common themes and patterns of exploitation, manipulation, greed, and abuse that are ever present in the commercial sex trafficking industry. We understand that this case is still in litigation, but we want to highlight a few of the allegations because they are very familiar; we see them every day.

The allegations against Ghislaine Maxwell may or may not be true but the role of female exploiters in the underground commercial sex economy is a vital one that too often goes unnoticed. Women that covet a particular lifestyle and will abuse others to get it are commonly complicit in sex trafficking. They are used as recruiters and specifically to get past a victim’s fear, distrust, and instincts that the male “befriending” them might be a predator. Without the women masking the forthcoming exploitation, sex trafficking would decline dramatically. To label a manipulator, exploiter, controller, and abuser a madam or a procuress is sorely masking the true nature of their involvement in this crime.

According to reports, authorities say at least 40 underage girls were brought into Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion for what turned into sexual encounters after female “fixers” looked for suitable girls to groom and exploit.

This crime hitting the news is a reminder to all of us that we still do not appreciate or acknowledge the violence and degradation of sex trafficking well enough yet. There is no such thing as an underage prostitute. A minor sold for sex is a federal crime and needs to be called what it is- rape.

Reportedly, Epstein plead guilty to lesser state charges of soliciting and procuring a person under age 18 for prostitution. Does that wording strike anyone else as a thin veneer covering a serious and abusive crime?

The Epstein case is the very top of this massive iceberg. He and the other abusers he “partied” with have no need to frequent the commercial escort sites where women and girls are sold online every minute of every day in America. He was able to hide behind his wealth and work within a private system he constructed to remain undetected. Guardian Group focuses on the commercial sexual exploitation taking place online, without Epstein’s need for the online escort ads it is unlikely that we would even see this crime.

There are tens of thousands of men selling girls and hundreds of thousands of men buying girls for sex online. Too many of them do not care what age she is, they just want their fantasy fulfilled.

The story of Jeffrey Epstein is a cautionary tale for all of America. Turning away from the devastation sex crimes leave in their wake, sugar coating the terms, and not recognizing how this crime is an equal opportunity oppressor will not lead to freedom for those trapped in this maze of abuse. We need to do better in protecting women and children and in illuminating the monsters in our communities that so willingly abuse and exploit others.


If you would like to learn more about what sex trafficking looks like start here.

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