3 Ways Men Can Fight Sex Trafficking | Christopher Stollar

I’m writing to you today about manhood, as both a father and a new board member of UNCHAINED.

As you may know, there are so many passionate women out there who are fighting sex trafficking, and that’s wonderful. But in the seven years that my wife and I have volunteered in the anti-trafficking community, I have seen so few men involved in this issue.

That is such a shame, because this battle isn’t just about rescuing victims and supporting survivors of trafficking. That’s only half of it. We will never end modern slavery until we reduce the demand that’s driving it in the first place. While some women pay for sex, the fact is, most of that demand is coming from men.

I’m writing to you today about manhood, as both a father and a new board member of UNCHAINED.

As you may know, there are so many passionate women out there who are fighting sex trafficking, and that’s wonderful. But in the seven years that my wife and I have volunteered in the anti-trafficking community, I have seen so few men involved in this issue.

That is such a shame, because this battle isn’t just about rescuing victims and supporting survivors of trafficking. That’s only half of it. We will never end modern slavery until we reduce the demand that’s driving it in the first place. While some women pay for sex, the fact is, most of that demand is coming from men.

 

The demand

Forced labor in the private economy generates $150 billion in illegal profits per year — with $99 billion of that coming directly from commercial sexual exploitation, according to the International Labour Organization.

Like any business, trafficking relies on the law of supply and demand. And while many factors fuel the demand, pornography is a key part of the problem. During interviews with 854 women in prostitution in nine countries, 49 percent said pornography was made of them while they were in prostitution, and 47 percent were upset by men’s attempts to make them do what the men had previously seen in pornography.

This is a very personal and passionate issue for me, because I am a former porn addict who has helped several men find freedom in this area of their lives. Most recently, I have been teaching at Columbus’ innovative John School for men who have been arrested for soliciting prostitutes. While the reasons are complex, some of them have told me that they decided to see a prostitute because they were depressed, addicted to porn and lacking intimacy at home. All of those factors helped fuel the demand.

 

The solution

So, what can you do? If you are a man reading this blog, here are three practical ways you can join this fight:

  1. Stop fueling the demand for paid sex: If you’re looking at porn, quit. I know that’s easier said then done. One of the men I’ve been fortunate to mentor once told me that if he went a day without looking at porn, he would physically start shaking, but even he has recently seen success in this area of his life. So if you’re addicted, seek help from a professional counselor. 
  2. Mentor other men: I’ve noticed a tendency in the anti-trafficking community to vilify johns or porn addicts, but that’s not helping the problem. We must love and help these men. One of the John School guys came up to me after one of my presentations and told me he was a Christian who has been addicted to porn for a long time. For him, soliciting a prostitute was the breaking point, but he was begging me for help and resources. He wanted someone to help him. And we must.
  3. Join the fight: There are so many ways men can get involved in the battle against trafficking. One of the easiest — and most rewarding — is to sign up for The Salvation Army’s street outreach program. You can drive a van of women around some of the darkest streets in Columbus and help them hand out gift bags to prostitutes. It’s a great way to make a tangible difference. And you’ll feel like a badass during the process.

But regardless what you choose, just do something as a man. We cannot win this war without you. 

 

Biography

Christopher Stollar is an UNCHAINED board member and author of The Black Lens, a dark literary thriller that exposes the underbelly of trafficking in rural America. As a former reporter with a master's degree in journalism, Stollar spent more than three years researching trafficking, including interviews with survivors, socials workers and police officers. The author just won Grand Prize in the 2016 Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards and became a 2016 Liberator Awards Finalist for his debut novel and anti-trafficking work. He is donating 10 percent of his earnings from this book to organizations that battle modern slavery. Learn more at http://christopherstollar.com/.

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