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October 2015 News

On the front foot to end sexual exploitation

  • Written by  Ian Anderson
Three women share their experiences of being trafficked Photo: Provided

Last month, City Women coordinator Letitia Shelton attended the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Summit in the United States.

Along with the Australian Christian Lobby’s Queensland representative Wendy Francis, they spent three intense days with 350 leaders from around the world at the  Orlando conference,  which was hosted by the National Centre for Sexual Exploitation, an organisation on the front foot of fighting the battle to end sexual exploitation.

“They work at a political level to see laws changed, and run education programs as well as high level advocacy across their nation,” said Letitia. “They have been instrumental in seeing the Hilton Hotels remove porn channels from their hotel TV’s. They were also able to ban the sale of pornography in the US Army and Navy.” 

“The issues around the exploitation of women are worldwide and overwhelming,” said Letitia. “In a country like the States, there are 10,000 women alone in Los Angeles trapped in underground brothels.”

According to Letitia, Australia faces the same challenges.  

“Many of the speakers at the Summit spoke about the link between porn, human trafficking and prostitution. We heard powerful stories from three women who had been trafficked in the States, all local women who had been manipulated into the industry.”

“One of my favourite sessions was from a dad talking about the power of a father in a daughters life and how an engaged dad is the greatest form of prevention to keep a young woman from entering into the sex industry.” 

A former stripper made the statement, “I tried to dance for my father as a little girl, but he never paid attention. So when I grew up I danced for men. I got the attention and money, but it ruined my life.”  

“Right here in Toowoomba we are faced with huge challenges with so many girls growing up without an engaged father and very high levels of abuse,” said Letitia.

“City Women, chaplains and many other churches and groups do amazing work to pick up the broken pieces. May we begin to get on the front foot to stop a lot of the rubbish."

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