Being Trafficked Is Not a Choice

Yesterday we started by taking a closer look just what it is we mean by ‘sex-trafficking’ as it pertains to the disgusting and sinister platform created by Backpage and defended by lowlife yes-men like Tony Ortega.

When peeling away the onion on this vast and complex web of criminality Backpage made possible, we find layer upon layer revealing all manner of atrocities: the prominence of drugs, dissociation, PTSD, background of child sexual or physical abuse, lack of safe housing, death threats including threatening family members or friends, Stockholm Syndrome, violence from pimps and sex buyers, fear, lack of control, manipulation, brainwashing, unspeakable trauma, and more.

This bleak picture alongside the testimonies of hundreds if not thousands of survivors of Backpage only serves to prove that being a victim of sex-trafficking is not a choice. Rather it is an exploitative lifestyle that exposes  women and young girls to the threat of assault and gratuitous violence.

From the beginning this was the focus of the Backpage advertising model. Despite Tony Ortega’s many attempts to spin and manipulate the truth (as he so often does) Backpage was able to keep itself flush with cash while its parent paper teetered on the verge of economic collapse. The paper was the Village Voice and its Editor-At-Large was none other than illicit prostitution advocate Tony Ortega.

How was it that Backpage was not only surviving but, indeed, thriving during this time of economic turmoil? The answer was and is sex-trafficking, endorsed by the highest levels of Backpage’s management team.

When they gave the order down the chain to their employees to follow this new model a few complained. Some made professional exits to seek employment elsewhere. But others, like Tony ‘Backpage’ Ortega went to bat for his bosses in the press, playing the victim card even as he was bullying the very women and girls being victimized by Backpage.

Together, we can expose the abuse of Backpage and its staunchest advocates. Together we can stand up for those who have no voice, seeking to make a difference in our own communities and around the world. And together can we demand justice for the countless innocents whose lives have been destroyed by Backpage and its yes-men defenders.

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