Porn Shops, Sexually Exploitative Businesses & Sex Trafficking

Posted on May 29, 2017 in Wisconsin Family Connection Transcript


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2017 | Week of May 29 | #1205

The large billboard on a state highway boldly proclaims, “Sex Trafficking: Porn Creates Demand.” That sign isn’t in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, or Detroit. It’s not even in Milwaukee or the Fox Valley. It’s in Beaver Dam, a city of fewer than 17,000 citizens, located in Dodge County, about 40 minutes north of Madison.

This billboard is sponsored by a local activist not-for-profit group, 5-Stones,[1] which is dedicated to combating sex trafficking through their “five stones” of awareness, education, prevention, networking and collaboration.  Of great significance is where the billboard is located in Beaver Dam. It’s on Highway 33, one of the main roads in the community, directly across the street from the sexually exploitative business, Sensations.  Hence, the message on the billboard.

Research and common sense shows where pornography and sexually exploitative businesses are readily available, the more likely it is that sex trafficking will take place. As the billboard proclaims, pornography creates demand. Beyond that, adult clubs also often become places where the trade actually happens or is at a minimum fostered.

The business in Beaver Dam doesn’t appear to be an actual club, at least claiming to be an “adult party store.”  That in itself is distressing; no community is enhanced even by these seemingly non-club “stores.”  Bravo to 5-Stones and its national partner National Center on Sexual Exploitation for exposing this business for what it is, educating the community and hopefully making those who frequent it uncomfortable—maybe to the point that this business blight goes away.

Beaver Dam isn’t the only place in Wisconsin where such a billboard has been or should be placed. I’m especially concerned about the actual adult clubs that have been proliferating in our state, in both small and large communities.

Earlier this month, after seven years of persistent efforts, a sexually exploitative business finally got the go-ahead to begin operating in downtown Milwaukee. The threat of lawsuits against the city ultimately broke city officials’ will, and with a majority vote they gave in.  Soon, this business will open in the heart of Milwaukee, near the Marcus Center, Milwaukee School of Engineering, the Public Museum and other highly trafficked event centers.  Silk Exotics also has businesses in our capital city of Madison and the small community of Juneau.

With these businesses too often come unsavory people involved with sex trafficking. These operators find these businesses complicit in helping or at least turning a blind eye to this modern-day slave trade, involving mostly young girls ages 12-14.

If you look around Wisconsin, especially on our major highways such as 94/41 running from Illinois to Green Bay and 39/51 running from Rockford to the far north, you will see areas where these sexually exploitative businesses proliferate. Easy access to main highways is important to them for all the reasons you can imagine.

As sobering as this information is, citizens and communities are not helpless victims. Communities where no such business is currently located can pre-emptively and proactively enact ordinances to prevent their establishment and operation. Citizens should contact their local officials to find out what ordinances are already in place and what ones are needed. Wisconsin Family Council can help with that.  In places where these businesses are already established, citizens should check to see what restrictions can be put on their operation, such as hours they are open, what kind of entertainment they can offer and more.  Billboard campaigns such as the one going on in Beaver Dam are a great idea, reaching many with an excellent educational and awareness message.

The relationship of porn shops, adult sexually exploitative businesses and sex trafficking is all too real. Unfortunately, Wisconsin generally and Milwaukee specifically already have a reputation for being very fertile ground for sex trafficking. The best defense against all of this is a strong citizen-initiated offense. Burying our heads in the ground and ignoring this, won’t stop the businesses’ heinous operations. Being educated, aware and even alert, as well as involved will go a long way to shutting them down and protecting vulnerable women and children and entire communities.

For Wisconsin Family Council, I’m Julaine Appling, reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

[1]http://5-stones.org/

 

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