Film: “Very Young Girls”

In My Flick File on April 22, 2010 at 4:47 am

Thirteen is the average age that girls become involved in prostitution in New York City.

So they are very young.

Pimps, often two or three times the age of the girls, take advantage of this. Most of the women profiled in this film said they were in love with their pimps. They were told they were loved, and they were taken care of for a “honeymoon period.”

After which, they felt they could not leave the life. They became financially and emotionally dependent on the people who manipulated them. These people may also have raised them through their teenage years.

This film profiles several teenagers and their stories as victims of sexual exploitation. It also profiles GEMS, a mentoring service.

Mainly this film puts faces to the nameless: the girls, the pimps and the men that support this trade.

Particularly striking was a short clip from an educational program required for those charged with solicitation. All types of men: from Hasidic Jews to blacks to whites to young to old.

After being told most prostitutes were 13 or 14, one man jokingly asked when the next break was and the room exploded into laughter.

Unfortunately, no one did or said anything to deter this, which made me livid.

Callous indifference to girls being enslaved and beaten?

And that’s why this film is important. People need to be aware of sex trafficking in our country.

Rachel Lloyd, GEMS founder, has helped change legislation to recognize minors in the system and so give help rather than prison.

Obviously there are many, many issues, and this is one that most of us aren’t faced with all the time.

But helping instill respect for human life and human rights is a good place to start.


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