Thursday, October 31, 2013

Truckers Against Trafficking & Lot Lizards

KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

"Business has boomed in North Dakota, and so has the number of truck drivers moving goods and oil across the state. Now, the North Dakota Motor Carriers Association (NDMCA) wants those drivers to be on the lookout for some serious criminals. The group is partnering with the national non-profit Truckers Against Trafficking to make North Dakota truckers aware of the issue of human trafficking.

Spencer says truck drivers are the ideal group to help combat trafficking because there are more than 3.1 million truck drivers in the U.S. who cover more than 400 billion miles a year. In addition, many traffickers bring their victims to truck stops because of the environment.

"Truckers come and go, it's transient, no one can really build relationships," says executive director Kendis Paris, Truckers Against Trafficking. "So this is an industry that literally has a unique advantage in that they are going to be able to recognize and identify and assist victims.""

To Read the Full Article CLICK HERE.


Lot Lizards, Human Trafficking & Slut Shaming

Before I inform you on human trafficking/prostitution at truck stops along highways,  I think it is important to understand a bit of the context of human trafficking and prostitution at truck stops.

Lot Lizard - a person that sells their body at a truck stop

The term "lot lizard" was and is used in the trucker world.  Although, it use to be used to refer to all persons selling sex/sexual acts at truck stops, with the increase in awareness of human trafficking, campaigns are now raising awareness that these "lot lizards" are in many cases victims of human trafficking.  Organizations such as the american organization, Truckers Against Trafficking aim to increase awareness of human trafficking to truck drivers so they can be aware of the signs of human trafficking and to decrease the demand to purchase sex at truck stops, thus decreasing the potential victims of human trafficking from being purchased for sex acts.  Below is a video I found on Youtube which was taken by a person at a truck stop.  As you watch, recognize the blame and shame, and the relationship to drugs that is placed on the women walking from car to car by the person filming this video.  Also,  realize that this is occurring in broad daylight.  

Disclaimer: Profanity and racial stereotypes are used by the persons filming.  Content of the following video is neither endorsed nor supported by Bloggers Against Social Injustice.  This video is only meant to inform you, the reader, of once case of a "lot lizard."

What did you think?  After looking into trucking associations, I came cross the post "7 Deadly Lot Lizards," published by Truckers to Truckers, categorizes "lot lizards" into 7 categories based on actions and physical characteristics.  When reading the description and watching the associated video this website depicts 7 types of "lot lizards" and informs the viewer to stay aware from these ladies(although there also men in these roles). When looking below at comments, Truckers Against Trafficking, pointed out that while it is important to educate truckers to steer clear of those selling sex, it is also important not to "slut shame."  According to Geek Feminism,

Slut Shaming - the act of criticizing a woman for her real or 
presumed sexual activity, or for behaving in ways that someone thinks 
are associated with her real or presumed sexual activity 

Below is part of the comment posted by Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) on the "7 Deadly Lot Lizards" forum, followed by TAT's training video.  The video is a bit long, but reading their comment is well worth your time.

"It is easy to blame the women…after all, our society has us conditioned to blame 
the “slut” versus those who use her and abuse her. We have been told that they want to 
be there, that they love their pimps and just really like sex. But actually talking to 
these women outside of the pressures of meeting her quota tells quite a different story. 
Most were forced into it at a younger age, most have suffered beatings, addiction,
 fear and threats. Most have STDs, forced abortions, and a broken spirit. 
Most know nothing else other than abuse."

Read full comment HERE.  Now I want to know if you were aware that this was happening a truck stops and if you had ever thought that a "prostitute" could be a victim of human trafficking.  What do you think about "lot lizards"?

Truckers Against Trafficking (28:11) from iEmpathize on Vimeo.

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1 comment:

Milex said...

Just speechless!