Safety. Security. These are not in the lexicon of more than four million women whose lives and that of their children are filled with trauma and drama as a result of physical abuse and/or rape by their partners, oftentimes in the "safety" of their homes.
Domestic violence occurs regardless of ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status (yes, the wealthy as well), age, and sexual orientation. Battering is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another through fear, humiliation, and oftentimes the use or threat of violence.
This crime robs women of their fundamental human rights to maintain control over their own lives. The batterer slowly isolates the victim from family, friends, doctors, and support systems. Personal freedoms are lost as the batterer withholds economic resources - money, credit cards, bank account access, including withholding transportation or access to her own home.
Work offers little escape, as batterers often attack, stalk or harass women at work. Oftentimes they will lose their jobs. Their stress and distraction often compromises their competency in job performance, and sometimes places other office employees at risk as well.
Hospitals, medical centers, and physicians' offices are all gateways to resources for a woman seeking help, as they all now screen for personal safety as part of the medical intake. Hotline 800 numbers for shelters and women's centers are oftentimes placed inside the stalls of public restrooms, medical offices, and women's diagnostic health centers.
Modern slavery is a multi-billion-dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 20.9 million people around the world. Traffickers will sell women and children online every day. In fact, there are more individuals in slavery today than at the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Sex traffickers (pimps) use threats, lies, bondage, debt and other forms of coercion to force women, boys and girls to engage in commercial sex against their will. They target run-away and homeless youth, victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, war, conflict, or discrimination.
The traffickers’ tactics include emotional abuse and physical violence, confiscation of identity and money, renaming victims, and isolation from friends and family. Prostituted individuals are forced to make hundreds of dollars nightly by quotas to be given to her/his pimp.
Globally, the International Labor organization estimates there are 4.5 million adolescent girls, boys and women trapped in forced sexual exploitation. However, hot spots for sex trafficking right here in Southeastern Pennsylvania include King of Prussia, Kensington Avenue, Roosevelt Boulevard, City Line Avenue and the Philadelphia International Airport. From shopping malls to motels and truck stops, the epidemic spans the entire region, including King of Prussia, Reading, Allentown and Chester.
The Carole Landis Foundation supports efforts to end Commercial Sexual Exploitation, including the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law’s Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE Institute) program to provide victim-centered remediation, policy-making, community education and more.