Rape For Profit is a documentary that focuses on an area of Seattle, Washington’s “track” where prostitutes who are underage and of legal age can be found easily and bought cheaply. A special police task force daily goes out arresting pimps and Johns. They try to help prostitutes, recognizing them as victims. Throughout the film we hear from experts such as Not For Sale‘s David Batstone, authors Victor Malarek and Delora Boyer Ph. D., Pure Hope‘s Noel Bouche’, and XXXChurch‘s Donny Pauling. They pour out their hearts on the situations that go on around the world, specifically on sex trafficking and exploitation in the US.
To start off the whole documentary, there are understandable concepts discussed and stories from survivors. Delora Boyer, Ph.D. stated “90 plus percent of prostitutes have been sexually abused earlier [in their lives].” To continue on Dan Allender, Ph.D. stated that sex abuse is the “Misuse of another person’s helplessness for another person’s sexual pleasure.”
The film shows video footage from busts that the task force worked on. The policemen had conversations with the Johns to explain to them that the women they are purchasing sexual acts from do not really want to do what they are being paid for and that they were most likely abused when they were children. I think they brought new perspectives to the men they arrested at times. At one point a woman is picked up by two undercover cops in a van. She suspects their job right away. They do let her know that they are in fact cops. She starts to explain that she started as a prostitute at the age of 12 making up to $600 a day for her pimp whom she fell in love with who recruited her. He got her addicted to meth and was dumped by her pimp when she was “too old.” The woman says she is now 33 and has to pay for her habit and uses her body to do it, but explains how a 70 year old woman’s body is more healthy than her own.
In one woman’s story, she talks about the different jobs of men she encountered when she was sold for sex by her trafficker. Her trafficker told the man that she was 14 when she was really 19. The man was a Pastor and continued to praise God for the 14 year old girl while abusing her. She had a very hard time trusting anyone if a pastor would treat her in such a way. Her entire story is extremely heartbreaking and will cause you to cry. She tells much of her history of her childhood into her current years as someone who I assume is in her 50s now. She got pregnant earlier on before she was 20 and her trafficker had her abort her baby because a “hooker wouldn’t look good with a baby”. She tells us she, “died with that baby.” Years later she is obese, unmarried, and childless and says, “Ugly is so safe. I’m not afraid to be raped now because I’m ugly.”
There is a portion of this film that talks about Gary Ridgeway who was known as the Greenriver Killer. He thought prostitutes were “throw away” girls that no one would care about. He would murder them; killing over 40, most who were underage. I loved how they tied that into how these women he killed were important and were slaves and that the trafficked girls who are put into prostitute never know if they will meet a Gary Ridgeway.
Only a couple of anti-human trafficking movies link pornography with prostitution and sex trafficking. This one does it best. At one point a John is being talked to and it turns out he was addicted to pornography early on in his life. Once he was 18 he started to go to prostitutes because after a while porn got boring for him. He was arrested with a 16 year old girl, received at $2,500 fine, became a registered sex offender, and received 2 years in prison. Victor Malarek said it best, “Porn for these men is dress rehearsal [to going to prostitutes].”
Donny Pauling who had started a website to help people out of pornography addictions tells a little of his own story. Being familiar with his organization XXXChurch for a decade now, I was incredibly impressed by his humility. He said he used to go to malls and would pick up young girls to photograph. They wanted to model and were willing to make a lot of money and didn’t realize they’d be taking off their clothes. He said he photographed “more than 500 first timers” in order to groom them as “porn stars” and eventually they would become prostitutes.
An advocate and former sexually exploited woman (she never says her name and we never see her face) talks about how she started in the same way Donny Pauling would get women into pornography. She eventually would have videos of herself alone and then started doing pornography sex acts on video and in photos before becoming prostituted. She said she never enjoyed it ever and that porn was all fake. She would know how to act and how to behave so that hopefully it would be done with quickly so she wouldn’t be hurt physically.
One of the policemen in this film kept making sure he told a 15 year old rescued victim that she was valuable and was “precious” and you can tell that she really felt cared for in hearing that. God truly loves the many women who are put through these abuses by the Johns who pay for them, and the pimps that sell them. May we always pray for all of them. May everyone be restored to freedom and find the value in their lives that God wants them to see.
This is one of the best films I have seen on human trafficking. One of the producers is actress Jada Pinkett Smith, who has been an advocate for a few years now, though you only see her name in credits. She runs Don’t Sell Bodies.