Joy Friedman discusses Minnesota sex trafficking
Manitou Messenger : Joy Friedman discusses Minnesota sex trafficking
discusses Minnesota sex trafficking
On Wednesday, Nov. 14, more than 100 students crammed into the Valhalla Room in Buntrock Commons to hear Joy Friedman, a representative of the Minnesota nonprofit organization Breaking Free, discuss prostitution and human trafficking.
After Panning introduced Friedman
at Wednesday night's talk, Friedman
, a survivor of more than two decades of human trafficking, immediately charmed her
audience with a series of lighthearted jokes.
"Laughter is a way of healing," she
said before diving into the sobering facts that define human trafficking.
explained that there are three types of human trafficking, or modern-day slavery: sex trafficking, labor trafficking and organ trafficking.
"As fast as you can order a pizza, you can order a human being," she
also insisted that trafficking can - and does - happen everywhere.
"This is not something that happens somewhere else," she
"This happens here.
Every single person in this room is sellable.
It doesn't matter whether you're male or female, what your color is, what your religion is or what you think about it."
discussed the stages of trafficking - recruitment, initiation and enslavement - and the intense psychological damage that impacts all victims of prostitution, or, as Friedman
calls them, "overcomers."
After explaining the reality of sex trafficking, Friedman
audience to action.
"We have to shift our paradigm," she
asked audience members to take the word "prostitute" out of their vocabularies, as it reduces victims of sex trafficking to what has happened to them instead of recognizing their individual worth.
Acceptable terms to replace "prostitute" include "victim of prostitution" or "victim of sex trafficking.
This vocabulary shift, she
said, is a simple but very important piece of action.
addressed flaws in U.S. legislation surrounding prostitution.
"Help change laws," she
cited strip clubs and the "adult entertainment" industry as legal gateways to prostitution that are unacceptable, claiming that "we shouldn't even have this option.
In addition, Friedman
pointed out that current laws only criminalize men and women in prostitution, not those taking advantage of them.
These laws, she
said, are backwards.
asked audience members to continue to have conversations about sex trafficking and to get involved as activists or volunteers.
"This is not only a female issue," Friedman