It’s been no secret that sex trafficking is a major problem that rather than fighting, we’ve only allowed to grow. It’s a dirty, disgusting world that requires more than just jailing pimps. It involves taking care of the actual victims and giving them every opportunity to rejoin society and live their lives to the fullest.
Which is why Ivanka Trump is apparently taking it on as one of her causes. In an earlier tweet, she tweeted:
‘Human trafficking is a pervasive humanitarian epidemic both domestically and abroad. Together we are working to combat this critical issue.’
Human trafficking is a pervasive humanitarian epidemic both domestically and abroad. Together we are working to combat this critical issue. pic.twitter.com/Py6a89Mcth
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) May 17, 2017
In a lengthier Facebook post, she posted:
‘Human trafficking is a pervasive humanitarian epidemic both domestically and abroad. In 2016, there were over 8,000 cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, a 35% increase from 2015. These staggering figures are moving in the wrong direction, and it is our responsibility to put an end to human trafficking once and for all. This Administration, together with members of Congress and NGOs, are working closely to combat this critical issue.’
We will give Ivanka some credit. It IS a cause that she should take up and fight tooth and nail for. Everyone in Congress, the White House, and the public should be fighting against it. However, a few problems exist with Ivanka’s new found focus on the sex trafficking industry.
The issue at hand is the fact that the Trump administration and the GOP has done everything they can to make the lives of a recovering victim as difficult as possible. Trump budgeting is far from helpful for people who are coming out of a situation with literally NOTHING except the clothes on their back.
‘…his (Trump) pricey wish-list for infrastructure, a border wall and tax cuts – is sending House budget writers scouring for pennies in politically sensitive places: safety-net programs for the most vulnerable.’
Democrats, of course, would fight any cuts proposed to public assistance programs. However, the GOP is reportedly planning on a method to get around any potential filibusters, which would be inevitable. Politico reported they would have committees decide the cuts. Though they have not specifically noted what would be cut, Politico reported their sources hinted that “food stamps, welfare, income assistance for the disabled and perhaps even veterans benefits” were options.
Furthermore, with cuts at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), funds for transitional housing have been decimated. In a statement from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, they stated:
‘If enacted, Trump’s proposed budget would result in the most severe cut to HUD since President Reagan… Reagan’s deep spending cuts ushered in a new age of homelessness with a dramatic increase in the number of people sleeping on the streets, in cars, and in shelters.’
— Mike Rosenberg (@ByRosenberg) March 16, 2017
In March, two of Boston’s transitional programs were shut down due to those cuts.
How would those cuts apply to sex trafficking victims? Well, if one was able to escape the hell that is the sex industry, they’d come out with no safety net. With no food stamps, they’d be unable to obtain food. If they were able to find employment, they would probably earn little and still be unable to afford to eat because any food stamps they were able to obtain would be cut off. Without transitional housing, victims would have no where to go while they tried to find more permanent housing. They’d leave with nothing and be given no helping hand. With the state of health care in America in the air, their health problems would go unchecked and mental health help would be out of the question. One of the most important needs of a victim is the ability to seek mental health treatment to help them learn how to cope in a world outside of sex trafficking.
This fits into the whole “pull yourself up by the boot straps” mentality that pervades the GOP ideology, though. If Ivanka truly wants to help sex trafficking victims, the first thing she should do is go to her daddy and tell him the budget he and the GOP have proposed will do nothing to help victims.
Featured image by Win McNamee/Getty Images.