Fight continues against sex slavery in the Tri-State

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Advocates for sex slavery victims say there are several 'how to' manuals that predators can buy online. One was even sold on, but there is something you can do. In fact, other ordinary citizens banded together to stop a disgusting problem and they were able to get some life-saving results.

Victims' advocate Mary R., with the Northern Kentucky Partnership Against the Trafficking of Humans, is busy trying to stop the invisible crime of sex slavery.

She says the problem is the more people try to protect victims, the more predators work to find them in every corner of the world. Unfortunately, it doesn't take much work.

"Here in the Tri-State and pretty much anywhere. Modern day slavery, human trafficking has been around for hundreds of years. It just evolves, it changes. That's why we had to add the new definitions to our laws to keep protecting our children and adults," said Mary.

You can find the manuals for Johns and pimps online. End Slavery Coalition Manager Erin Meyer says the books even tell predators how to tip and where to vacation. "They discuss their locations they've visited. They sometimes rate them. Several different website where these discussions occur, they talk about people to ask for and generally discuss their exploits and recommendations, and how-to's. Hoe to avoid law enforcement and things of that nature," said Erin Meyer.

Both women say the books have been around for decades and new ones keep popping up. "You wouldn't have these books if you didn't have that kind of demand," said Mary.

The problem is the content. If the material contains child porn, it's illegal. If not, it falls in a gray area, seemingly covered by freedom of speech. In early August, strangers started tweeting and messaging friends to call and email and get them to stop selling one 'how to' e-book. It worked. Within weeks, Amazon pulled that book. One that bragged before it was removed that "this 3.49 will keep you out of jail, possibly the most important few dollars that any red blooded testosterone pumped traveller will spend."

Mary says this isn't the first time she's seen that occur so quickly. Meyer says it's hopefully a sign of a changing time.

"With these types of books, no. I have not seen that publicized quite as much. We've heard a lot about Craigslist and a lot of the backlash that they got for posting a lot of the erotic sites and that worked," said Mary.

"I think in order to respond to human trafficking, we need to respond collaboratively. So it needs to be a group effort. Everyone coming to the table, and discussing how they think they can make an impact. How they see it affecting their communities, and how they can inform the coalitions and other responders to get involved and effectively combat the issue," Meyer said.

The problem is we found dozens more e-books just like the one that was removed online, a sign that this fight is hardly over.

If you see someone who could be a victim of sex trafficking, there are two numbers you can call, new 24-hour local hotline at 513-800-1863 or a national hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

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