Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Sex trap

Can you imagine what it's like to be lured to Britain with the promise of a lucrative job, only to find yourself in thrall to a pimp who forces you to have sex with 15 men a day and pays you nothing at all?

And if you even think of running away, he'll threaten to kill your family, beat you and keep you permanently locked up?

Police say the number of women trapped like this is nearly five times more than previously thought - anything between six and eighteen thousand.

They could be working next door to you in an ordinary suburban house that's been taken over by gangsters and filled with coerced women.

While they're paid nothing for their humiliating labours, their owners bank colossal sums from what is now one of the highest-earning crime rackets in the world.

Operation Pentameter 2, run by police forces across the UK, has just finished its biggest ever crackdown, releasing 154 women and 13 girls, arresting 528 suspected traffickers and closing 822 brothels and other premises.

Most of the women are foreign but British women are also being lured away from their home towns and put to work hundreds of miles away.

It seems there's an endless supply of men keen to prove their masculinity by having sex with a complete stranger in the most squalid conditions, no doubt well aware of the misery behind the scenes but only interested in satisfying their physical cravings.

And unfortunately there's also an endless supply of gullible women falling for enticing job offers that turn into something hideously different from what they were promised.

Jenny and I have been invited to Veronica Trinket's sumptuous New York hideaway in the Hamptons. If the weather's good, we'll be on the yacht. If not, we'll be pampering ourselves in her private beauty salon. See you all soon. Behave yourselves while we're away. I'll be keeping an eye on you via Veronica's laptop!


  1. It is a shocking tale of misery. Whilst it is great to hear about a large number of these sex slave pimps being arrested, unfortunately it is porbably just the tip of the iceberg.

    Have a nice holiday in the Hamptons!

  2. Another reason for the regulated and legalisation of prostitution to stop these scum profiteering from the misery of others . . .and in other news . . .oooh the Hamptons . . how posh! Enjoy the sunshine!

  3. Sharon - I'm sure it's exactly that, the tip of the iceberg. There must be many such slave-houses hidden away all over Britain.

    Baino - I think on balance I'm in favour of legalisation. You weren't reading my blog when I posted on both arguments - banning it and legalising it (July 2007 if you're interested).

    Before I get any more comments, I'd better make clear that the Hamptons hideaway is about as real as Voluptua. But we will be on holiday! Will reveal all when we return.

  4. If you haven't seen the movie Eastern Promise yet then you should. Although the story if fiction, it's not far from the truth.

    Enjoy the holiday!

  5. Heinous. People trafficking and forced rape, well they aren't really agreeing to it are they?
    Death is too good for the people who are in control of this.

    Have a great holiday.

  6. Its just to say that its not just women trafficked into sex slavery- Operayion Pentameter has found a few young men too.

    Also, there no known numbers for the amount of people who are trafficked and forced into slavery- whether that's in the domestic home or on farms or in sweatshops.

  7. I cannot understand the people who are responsible for that. My view is that forfeit the right to be considered human and can therefore be culled with impugnity.

  8. Yes its shocking - but for every girl working in quasi slavery there is probably another who figured that selling her body is a better way of paying her way through college / raising her kids than waiting in a bar or being a secretarial assistant. Come on, Nick selling and buying sex is not just a simple story of vulnerable women being degraded. That is part of the story. But to trot this out as being the whole story about why men and women engage in sex for cash is just too trite. You could read the blog by debauchette to get another side of the story. Sorry to sound so antagonistic - but there are very deep dyamics that drive this trade and they can't simply be put in moralistic balck and white categories.
    Yours, expecting to be blacklisted here.

  9. This is a horror story that is replaying all over the world. That women are exploited and degraded is not new but, you'd thing we humans would evolve onto a species that honors one another.

    I have always hoped that evolution involved more than just a change in physical characteristics but, included a change in those attitudes, behaviors, instincts and tendencies that keep us from living harmoniously and in good mental and physical health.

    As the Mom of a teenage girl, stories like this frighten and sicken me. It brings out the worst in me and that, unfortunately is a part of the human condition. Horror most often begets horror, pain begets pain and fear begets fear.

    I saw an interview with Ingrid Bentancourt (the Columbian hostage and past presidential candidate who was recently freed) who said that she did not want vengance. It was part of a cycle of which she would not be a part. At that moment, I thought how sad that the rebels would have taken such a remarkable person and tortured her. She might have actually done her country some good.

    Well that enough of a comment, I think.

    Be well.


  10. Hope you have a wonderful holiday you two!

  11. Quicky - I hadn't heard of the film. But I bet the truth is more horrifying than any bit of fiction.

    Muddy - No agreement at all. Anyone who claims women volunteer for this kind of life is being ridiculous.

    Aishchai - I'm sure men are involved as well - anyone they can lure into their trap. And yes, as Sharon said, I expect the known figures are just the tip of the iceberg.

    Thrifty - I don't support the death penalty but they should certainly be locked up for life out of harm's way.

    Textual - Of course you won't be blacklisted - all opinions considered! Yes, there may be a small minority of women who do this as a deliberate and relatively civilised choice but there are many many more who don't.

    Gayle - It would be wonderful to think, and to know, that human beings are evolving to more civilised levels, but this sort of thing brings you back to reality with a jolt.

    Conor - We're having a great time so far at mystery location number one! Should be some good stories when we get back!

  12. I've seen some documentaries on this, Nick. It is sickening to what degree poverty will make a - usually unskilled young girl - believe that there is a terrific future for her in a marvellous job and then she finds herself raped countless times a day.
    it is happening in every country, some of these brothel masters supply young children as well.
    You left us on a depressing topic, Nick.
    You and Jenny have yourselves a great time.
    (New York?)

  13. www - Yes, I guess some women just want to believe these offers are genuine because they're so desperate, so they ignore their better instincts. Sorry to be depressing - hopefully I can post something more positive when I return! New York? Certainly skyscrapers are involved....

  14. Medbh, we're having loads of fun here in Somewhere City. Trying to write a new post for you all but there are so many tantalising distractions....

  15. As long as there are customers, there will be entrapped women. Attitudes need to change because just arresting the perpetrators changes nothing. They are quickly replaced by others just like them.

    I hope you and Jenny enjoy your trip to America. I grew up not very far from the Hamptons and hope you'll post pictures because I'm a bit homesick.

  16. Heart, that's true, the ultimate solution can only be changing people's attitudes so this sort of thing becomes utterly abhorrent and impossible. But that's a very long haul. In the meantime I guess arrests at least reduce the problem a bit.

    The Hamptons? If only! Maybe someday we'll go there!