published Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Sex trafficking study apparently overstates problem

The sad tale of a prostitute being held captive in Chattanooga highlights a problem that appears overstated and solutions that fail to address the problem.

Beth Burger reported earlier this week in the Times Free Press that a 21-year-old Maryland woman agreed to work with Khari Matthew "King Black" Troutman on a prostitution tour of North Carolina. The 31-year-old Troutman (who, as best as we can tell, is the king of no actual nation) failed to live up to his end of the deal.

Rather than allowing the woman to return home at the end of the agreement, Troutman turned the woman from a simple prostitute into a sex trafficking victim when he held her captive at the Microtel Inn on McCutcheon Road and prostituted her to johns through a Backpage.com ad -- feeding her little and preventing her from returning home.

This instance of sex trafficking is notable in Chattanooga because it is the only one ever reported, according to area police.

Meanwhile, a 2011 report co-produced by Vanderbilt University and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation estimated there were more than 100 cases of human sex trafficking in Hamilton County. The study is, apparently, based on erroneous surveys and severely lacking in verifiable facts.

Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd said the sex trafficking incident involving Troutman and the woman he was holding hostage was "the only one I know of."

Certainly, human trafficking --and sex trafficking, in particular -- is a real problem, both nationally and internationally. Even if cases in our area are rare, the loss of liberty involved in modern day slavery are unconscionable. We must do all we can to stop such cruelty and provide victims with useful resources once they are free from their captors.

Unfortunately, local organizations appear unprepared to help what few sex trafficking cases there may be in the Chattanooga area.

Regina McDevitt, senior director for crisis services at the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, the organization that assisted the victim after she was rescued by police, admitted that "services are currently limited" for sex trafficking victims in Chattanooga.

Other local organizations that profess to work to end sex trafficking, such as Second Life Chattanooga, are good at creating awareness for sex trafficking, but are not equipped to provide services for the victims of the dreadful crime.

Thank goodness sex trafficking isn't as prevalent in our area as the dubious Vanderbilt/TBI study claims. This tragic instance of sex trafficking indicates that Chattanooga lacks the organizations and services necessary to serve the victims of sex trafficking and help them begin their healing process.

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hambone said...

Just like the gang problem Chattanooga doesn't have!

January 26, 2013 at 2:54 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

And Women! Listen Up! Lesbians-Be advised that in the state of Tennessee Women make up approximately 24% of AIDS Diagnosis. (23.7 actual percentage). Birth Control pills, Morning After pills, Slaughter House Abortions so You can party at Da' Club ain't no powerful liberal statement you're making. It's no great surprise or wonder. There are an estimated (low) 60,000 Women [U.S.A.] who act? in hard-core pornography videos. These numbers sky rocket when we only talk about lewd still photographs. Now, prostitution, tricky escort services, etc. Don't even try to estimate this astronomical number of Women who agree to be objects.

So, just take a read on some 'ancient modern day' application wisdom, and, absolute TRUTH:

"7 Be not deceived; GOD IS NOT MOCKED: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of THE FLESH REAP CORRUPTION; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Galatians 6:7-8

The Holy Word of Jesus Christ<<<

January 26, 2013 at 10:13 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

Yes I guess one person held in involuntary captivity or one child lost to the street does not make a difference in your comfortable churches where you remain aloof from such nastiness.

January 26, 2013 at 2:42 p.m.
jjmez said...

Now, if they really got serious and down to the nitty gritty of going after the high rollers in the game, they'd be more convincing. In the meantime this no more than the infamous War On Drugs. Where the only ones who get busted are some low level five and dime johns.

January 26, 2013 at 4:22 p.m.
aae1049 said...

The Partnership for Families and Children, is another self proclaimed do gooder organization that receives Hamilton County taxpayer funds, and has a 6 figure CEO and self promoters. I am not suggesting they do nothing good, they do, but they often promote just to raise their bottom line, and CEO. Regina McDeviitt does not have the clinical training or certifications to be rendering study conclusions on Domestic Violence or sex trafficking. The CEO and Regina spend most of their time, empire building.

January 26, 2013 at 7:51 p.m.
Plato said...

I guess no one should be surprised that this writer would take the results of an 82 page reported based on a study by Vanderbilt University & The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and summarily dismiss it based on a one sentence comment by Chief Dodd.

For those of us that actually believe in things like science and statistics the entire report can be viewed at this link:

http://www.tbi.state.tn.us/documents/finaltnhumansextraffickingstudycolorrev2.pdf

BTW the statistics regarding the number of cases of sex trafficking in Hamilton county (over 100 reported) was based on information provided by social services (Department of Human Services and Group Homes), law enforcement (Police Departments, Sheriff Departments, FBI, TBI, Homeland Security, and U.S. Marshals), Juvenile and Family Courts, District Attorneys, and Guardians Ad Litem.

Maybe Chief Dodd needs to check a little further.

January 27, 2013 at 10:09 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Plato,

You know these people don't deal in facts or truth!

January 27, 2013 at 12:19 p.m.

The problem happens when people who have no idea how the sex industry or trafficking even works are the ones doing the "studies". Not every prostitute is a trafficking victim. You have to realize that when I started Sex Workers Anonymous in 1987 - no one would even believe trafficking existed! When people like myself and Linda Lovelace tried to inform the public - we were yelled off of talk show stages. Okay now people are realizing that it exists - and there are well meaning people out there who want to help. But there's a difference between someone who wants to help - and someone who is trying to raise some grant money to keep their nonprofit afloat. We've been successfully and effectively helping both sex workers and trafficking victims since we formed in 1987. I stopped doing TV appearances because of the many death threats I've received because the real trafficking in the USA involves police, FBI, judges, etc. If anyone wants to help anyone wanting to get out of the sex industry - they can refer them to us at www.sexworkersanonymous.net or www.traffickingandprostitutionservice... We have meetings, a Recovery Guide, and a process where we have other survivors who provide mentoring to assist them. Because we don't have any way to access large grants - we don't have the money to go out there and let all of these agencies know about our group and it seems many of them don't know how to use Google to find us either. Yes rescuing them is one thing. Getting them help to stay out of the sex industry - that's another. We do both.

January 30, 2013 at 8:14 p.m.

ORRMEANSLIGHT...In response to your post I would like to clarify that no woman EVER agrees to be an object. ever.

April 25, 2013 at 10:42 a.m.
Vincibility said...

With all due respect, where is the evidence to back up the conclusions this article makes? Perhaps the study overestimates the existence of sex-trafficking in Chattanooga--but if so, surely you would like to provide more solid evidence than the police chief's statement that it is the only one he knows of. With all due respect to the police chief, isn't it true that sex-trafficking is not always easily recognizable (for example, distinguishing physical coercion & captivity from more subtle blackmail and manipulation)? Isn't it also possible that traffickers sometimes move their victims from city to city or state to state, so as to avoid detection? Certainly that would move this to a problem that states and cities have to work together to address rather than being a problem located specifically in this area. I am not claiming to be an expert by any stretch--I am still learning about all this myself. But I am troubled by the boldness with which the conclusions are stated, without providing more evidence than two brief comments. The second one is the more egregious in my view: that the director of one of the organizations that serve victims, "admitted that 'services are currently limited' for sex trafficking victims in Chattanooga." I know nothing about this particular organization, but again, admitting that services are currently "limited" may simply be an admission that an organization needs to continue to grow to meet its goal (to assist victims). It's a far cry from a thorough investigation (which would certainly be worthwhile with any such organization) of the services they offer, to verify if they are in fact effective or currently have enough resources to address the problem (which might simply mean they need help raising awareness & funds). Again, I am no expert, but I find this whole article appallingly lacking in evidence for the claims it makes. The author may in fact be correct on either one of these counts--but he or she needs to provide the evidence for it. Thank you.

May 12, 2013 at 6:55 p.m.
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