The Fight to Stop Human Sex Trafficking

The following material contains mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised.

The Doctors examine the shocking world of sex trafficking, something that could easily be happening in your own neighborhood. This year alone, there have been 4,460 reported cases of sex trafficking in America and that number will continue to rise. We are joined by two sex trafficking survivors, Anna and John, who share their stories.

Anna explains that pornography is also a form of sex trafficking, something she was the victim of. It began in high school when an older man asked her to pose for some photographs. The photos were innocent initially, but progressed over time to become sexual in nature. "I was forced to do unthinkable things that no one should have to do," she reveals. The man involved was allegedly drugging her and she explains there were instances where she would wake up on the kitchen floor naked. The man told her that she was sleepwalking. She says she found thousands of photos of herself in a drugged state, which she says were being distributed.

John says his first memory as a child is a sex act with a female family member, at only 4 years old. John says that he experienced "abuse everywhere he went," which included people from his family and their friends. "It wasn't safe anywhere," he tells us.

The effects of the horrific abuse were long lasting for both Anna and John. Anna began self-harming and feared if she did not do something she would either end up dead or in jail. Nine years ago, the memories of the abuse came flooding back to John and he ended up in the backyard of his house screaming hysterically while holding a loaded gun.

Both Anna and John decided to use their experiences to try and help others and are featured in the documentary “Stopping Traffic,” by director and producer Sadhvi Siddhali Shree, who is also a survivor of sexual abuse. Siddhali shares that stopping human sex trafficking starts with education, including parents, educators, and politicians.

Some warning signs of a human trafficking victim include:

  • Appearing malnourished
  • Showing signs of physical injuries and abuse
  • Avoiding eye contact, social interaction, and authority figures/law enforcement
  • Seeming to adhere to scripted or rehearsed responses in social interaction
  • Lacking official identification documents
  • Appearing destitute/lacking personal possessions
  • Tattoos/ branding on the neck and/or lower back
  • Untreated sexually transmitted diseases
  • Security measures that appear to keep people inside an establishment - barbed wire inside of a fence, bars covering the insides of windows
  • Not allowing people to go into public alone, or speak for themselves

Additional resources on human trafficking can be found at National Human Trafficking Hotline by calling 1-888-373-7888, and at these resources:

https://polarisproject.org/
https://www.acf.hhs.gov/otip
http://www.endslaverynow.org/
https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign

"Stopping Traffic" is in theaters from 9/29 to 10/5 and available for pre-order on iTunes. The documentary will screen at these theaters:

  • Atlanta: AMC Parkway Pointe 15, 3101 Cobb Parkway, #201, Atlanta 
  • Chicago: AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois St., Chicago 
  • Dallas: AMC Valley View 16, 13331 Preston Road, #2300, Dallas 
  • Houston: AMC Studio 30, 2949 Dunvale, Houston 
  • Los Angeles: Laemmle Monica Film Center, 1332 2nd St., Santa Monica 
  • Miami: AMC Sunset Place 24, 5701 Sunset Dr., #300, South Miami 
  • New Orleans: AMC Elmwood Palace 20, 1200 Elmwood Park Blvd., Harahan 
  • New York City: Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th St., New York City 
  • San Diego: AMC Mission Valley 20, 1640 Camino Del Rio, North, San Diego 
  • Sacramento: AMC Manteca, 848 Lifestyle St, Manteca
  • Washington DC: AMC Hoffman Center 22, 206 Swamp Fox Rd., Alexandria, Va.