This is a special edition of our nightly open thread, courtesy of the hard-working Amy Siskind, founder and leader of The New Agenda. In our post Monday, “The New Agenda’s Powerful Visualization of Sexism,” you saw the shocking, compelling video that Amy and her team created. Today, The New Agenda issued this action alert:
Need a Teenage Sex Slave for the Super Bowl?
Imagine a 14 year-old girl forced to have sex for money. Couldn’t happen here, right? Think again! Sex trafficking of our girls – kidnapped, runaways – is a growing epidemic.
Where do perps find their prey? For many, online. One of the largest online enablers: Village Voice Media.
Now we need your help!
A crisis is just around the corner: Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 — prime time for selling sex with underage girls! In the week ahead of the Super Bowl, thousands of innocent girls will be forcibly taken to Dallas, Texas to be sold for sex.
That’s why The New Agenda Foundation is partnering with The Rebecca Project for Human Rights, the organization which successfully got Craigslist to drop its “erotic services” section, for an important call to action!
The new hub for selling girls into forced sex : Village Voice Media’s Backpage.com.
There’s no time to waste! Demand that Backpage.com discontinue their sex ads! Making profit on the sexual exploitation of girls is not good business!
Contact Voice Media Group, owner of Village Voice Media and ask them:
Do you have a daughter? Do you know anyone who has a daughter? Is knowingly trafficking in teenage girls good business?
Head of Back Page
Senior VP of Sales Operations
Senior VP of Sales
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
President and Chief Operating Officer
From The Daily Beast article, “Village Voice Media: Sex Slave Outrage,”:
A startling new ad campaign aims to humiliate websites that quietly allow pimps to sell young girls for sex online. Michelle Goldberg on the backlash against Village Voice Media.
In September, when Craigslist dropped its “erotic services” section, Backpage.com, the classified advertising network owned by Village Voice Media, became the nation’s premier online sexual marketplace—and the most mainstream venue for the buying and selling of underage girls. Now The Rebecca Project for Human Rights, the group that got Craigslist to drop its sex ads, is trying to convince Backpage to do the same, and to do it before February, when activists expect a spike in sex trafficking around the Super Bowl.
Article – Goldberg Sex Trafficking Last month, The Rebecca Project ran startling ads in a number of Village Voice Media-owned papers, featuring a man in a mugshot holding a placard saying, “I paid for sex with a 14-year-old child I found on Backpage.” Next to it was a message to Village Voice Media: “Each year, 100,000 children are sold for sex in America—many through your website, Backpage.com. Do you really want to provide a platform for predators who pay for sex with girls?”
The ad was referring to a real girl, a 14-year-old from Missouri known by the initials M.A. She’s suing Village Voice Media for aiding and abetting her pimp, Latasha Jewell McFarland, who has been sentenced to five years in prison. McFarland posted nude photos of the teenage runaway on Backpage and used it to arrange encounters with clients in highway motels.
M.A. isn’t alone: In just the last few months, there have been several other stories involving Backpage and the trafficking of underage girls. In November, a South Dakota couple pleaded guilty to pimping girls through the site. A Texas couple was arrested for prostituting a high-school girl through Backpage in October. And that same month, a sting operation in Kansas netted two men who were trying to buy sex with a 14-year-old girl. “Ads soliciting sex, including prostitution and including likely human-trafficking cases involving children, appear to be rampant on Backpage.com,” Kansas’s attorney general told reporters. “I was shocked at the ease which our agents were able to apprehend the suspects in each of these cases. If agents from the attorney general’s office are solicited this quickly, imagine how easy it is for pimps and traffickers to solicit sex.”