Stop the Traffick’s “Sex and Money”

Adrian Soto, Writer

Throughout major countries, human trafficking appears to be an issue of the past— it is not.  The Stop the Traffick Club in Downey High School hopes to show human trafficking as a present issue with the screening of Sex and Money for the students on Oct. 10.


Every year the club presents a documentary to Downey High School students to encourage them to join the club, help with solving human trafficking, and/or just become aware of  human trafficking itself. In previous years, they have shown films like 3 AM Girls to present the victims of this cruel system in the manner they ought to be considered: sex trafficked girls are not prostitutes, but are victims.  Stop the Traffick values showing these films and wants people to at least recognize human trafficking as an issue.


As a student who enjoys helping out in Stop the Traffick meetings and events, senior Rebecca Salinas believes in the good the club is doing for the issue.  Being a long standing member, she hopes that awareness spreads among the student body in DHS.


“I hope that most people that saw the documentary will see sex trafficking as a form of slavery,” Salinas said.  “That people are controlled to participate in it, and pimps are not cool like shown in media.”


Sex and Money centers around a crew investigating sex trafficking throughout America, in which they interviewed victims, pimps and law analysts from East to West coast.  Throughout the showing, a vast majority of juniors and seniors grew in their knowledge of this human issue in the United States. After the movie, Ms. James engaged with the students into thinking and reflecting deeper on the topics discussed in Sex and Money by having an open auditorium discussion.


Ms. James supervises the Stop the Traffick Club meetings and events as the club advisor.  Having studied human/sex trafficking in her free time throughout her life, she truly hopes that the club helps students.


“There are two kinds of goals: be safer, and drawing in students to move in and take care of the issue,” James said.  “What I like about this film is its good blend of statistics, analysis and personal experiences. Then the end is very hopeful about how to solve the issue…makes students think ‘I can do that too’.”  


The film is an eye opener to those that chose to view it.  Students begin to see the community they are in a bit differently, with a bit more precaution, as Ms. James hopes.  Most of the club members and viewers learn that the United States of America is not as perfect as it appears to be. The film continuously illustrates how the laws are ineffective with this issue and how prevalent sex trafficking is in the U.S.(as human trafficking is the third most profited organized crime).   


Recently made club member and viewer of Sex and Money, junior Chance Perkins, appreciates the presentation of the movie.  Feeling a bit different about his view on America, he shifts how he views himself.


“A really significant issue that a lot of people, and…that Downey as a community needs to be aware of,” Perkins said. “I’ve always considered myself patriotic, [but] I see we need to put patriotic aside…we all need to focus on own issue, not foreign ones… we are united and can solve this.”


Stop the Traffick is a club that focuses on the sex trafficking of minors and the Orangewood Foundation.  For those that are interested in joining Stop the Traffick, there are bi-weekly meetings in B206 afterschool on Thursdays.  Their first meeting will be on Oct.18 and every other week after that.