Sex slavery still to this day occurs all around us. The atrocity takes place even in the most developed parts of the world. The Netflix original documentary ‘Tricked’ sheds a light on the cruel world of prostitution in the United States.
The film begins with former sex slave Danielle who shares her story of pain and misery. Her past is so horrific and so unbelievable that it changed my whole perception on the prostitution business. Danielle was studying at college when she was forced into a lifestyle that no girl should ever have to experience in her lifetime. The student was invited to a college party but when she arrived the only person who was there was the man who would soon after become her pimp.
The older man invited her to dinner and treated her like his girlfriend for the following two weeks by taking her to more dinners, shopping etc. After these two weeks Danielle was forced to work on the track after being beaten up in an alley way by this man. She recalls the pimp saying, “get in the f****** car and make my f****** money”. In the documentary the girl says that a lot of pimps get in by ‘boyfriending’ in, acting like the girls’ boyfriends.
Danielle was 17 when she was forced into sex slavery but there are girls that start from about 12 years old in the States. This means that there are girls out there who should be in 6th grade, but instead are trapped in this disgusting cycle. Danielle broke my heart when she said, “it’s like being raped over and over and over”. Her day would consist of working night and day shifts which only gave her 1-2 hours where she was allowed to eat or sleep. After working for so long Danielle would always choose sleep which meant she was never able to eat proper meals.
One of the most tragic things about this girl’s story is that she was arrested for prostitution and other related crimes a large amount of times, but her pimp was never even arrested once. This is the awful reality of the business; that the girls’ pimps are rarely to blame because the girls are the ones actually committing the acts. Even though most of the time these poor girls have no choice but to do what they’re doing because either their pimp will abuse them, mentally or physically, or threaten to hurt or even kill their families.
Danielle also said that no one ever asked her when she was arrested, if she was okay or needed help. Her pimp would simply pick her up from the station and she would be back working within a few hours. She’s been threatened with guns, knives and her pimp would also beat her with a cord. Thankfully Danielle is not a sex slave anymore and is now an activist for girls who are stuck in the cycle and need help.
“no one ever asked her…if she was okay or needed help”
Interviews were made with other former and current sex slaves in ‘Tricked’ in which the girls discuss ways their pimps lured or tricked them into the business. A girl who goes by the name ‘Rain’, started in the prostitution industry when she was only 11 years old. Her pimp took her virginity and she fell in love with him. Rain was young and vulnerable so her pimp took advantage and put her on the track. “The pimps know when you’re vulnerable and weak so that’s the girls they go for”, ‘Rain’ said. When she didn’t make the right amount of money, she would be beaten with extensions cords and bats. Her pimp would also threaten her and her family. He would tell her that he would kill her if she tried to leave him.
‘Tricked’ also allowed me to see how it is from the pimps’ perspective and how they view their job. Pimp ‘Slim’ was interviewed in this documentary and would say things like, “I consider myself a good person to these girls, because I help these girls out”. ‘Slim’ came across as the type of man who was very arrogant and genuinely believed he was doing something that was normal and morally okay. He talked about ‘his girls’ as if they were objects and had no feelings.
The majority of these girls don’t have a say in anything that happens to them and have no freedom. Some girls feel so ashamed of the situation they are in that they are too scared to call their families and ask for help. So many young girls are stuck in this cycle unwillingly and have no way of escaping. A journalist from the ‘New York Times’ said that he thought there was some kind of partnership between the girls and their pimps. In the interview he said the more he interviewed the girls, the more he realised that there is no business partnership. “The pimps exploit these girls and control them and use violence in every city around the world”.
The journalist discussed a study that was done in the United States where it found that workplace murder risk in the States, is 51 times greater for prostitutes than for the next most dangerous profession which is operating a liquor store. Another one of the many horrific stories that was discussed in ‘Tricked’ was about a young sex slave who got pregnant whilst working and her pimp made her douche with bleach and when that didn’t work, he beat her which caused a miscarriage. The young girl nearly died and had to undergo a full hysterectomy from infection.
With the money these pimps make off their workers, they buy expensive cars, clothes, jewellery etc. while these girls suffer and work on the track for most of their days. Some of these men think they are untouchable because they manipulate and use violence against these girls so much that they know these women won’t stand up to them. This means the authorities have no evidence against these pimps because the girls won’t speak out because they are terrified of the consequences that will come after they say the truth. This is the very cruel reality of the prostitution industry in the world today. Legal systems are corrupt by not helping these girls who are victims in these situations, but rather going after them instead of the traffickers themselves. These girls need our help by trying to change societies perspective on sex slavery, to one that is more realistic and highlights the fact that most of these women are just victims who are trapped in a sickening industry.