The Human Toll of Prostitution
Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Washington Times editors hit the mark in an editorial on the Eliot Spitzer scandal by acknowledging that "clients (or 'johns' in the street vernacular) are often ignored by prosecutors in prostitution cases" ("The Spitzer scandal," Tuesday).
Imagine a hit-and-run accident where the driver is freed and the passenger imprisoned. Or a tax-evasion scheme where the mob boss gets off while his accountant takes the rap. Such analogies only hint at the degree of injustice in cases where prostituted women solely bear the brunt of penalty for the exploitation of the men who use and abuse them.
Some women and children are literally trafficked into prostitution by force, fraud or coercion; others are virtually trafficked into prostitution by pimps who prey upon vulnerabilities including childhood sexual abuse, addictions and family strife.
Whether virtually or literally trafficked into the trade, prostituted women not only bear the brunt of legal penalties, but they also wear the wounds of physical and emotional trauma. Far from the sickly sweet portrayals of the "Pretty Woman," victims of sex trafficking have been reported as being forced to have sex with as many as 40 to 50 men per night. …