There are no ‘happy hookers’: In US sex trafficking is complex, brainwashes victims
When Derek Williams was a pimp, one of his favorite phrases was, “I’d rather quit you than hit you.” Williams became a pimp at 16. Struggling to feed a heroin addiction, he convinced his girlfriend at the time to enter prostitution. “There’s a lot of mind manipulation,” Williams says of his former ways.
Thus, he understands why three women garnered national media attention recently for testifying on behalf of their former pimps in New York City. After professing to enjoy “good” treatment at the hands of their exploiters, attorneys for the defendants, and soon members of the press, came to refer to these women as “happy hookers.” These media headlines made buzz-worthy copy, but obscured a startling truth.
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