Cynical Math

With some inspiration recently from a few various places, including Maggie McNeill’s article in the Washington Post cleverly, yet aptly titled Lies, Damned Lies and Sex Work Statistics, I’ve further broken down some numbers about sex slavery provided directly from the anti-prostitution “movement” in Canada, and specifically here in Ottawa. These original numbers are claims made by local and National anti-trafficking advocates, government agencies and local law enforcement:

 

RoosRemillard Consulting

Pact-Ottawa

Joy Smith, MP

Ottawa Police

Government of Canada

 

So, here are the basic numbers of their claims:

140 girls & women in Ottawa right now are trafficked sex slaves (all numbers I’ve seen disregard men & trans folks). In February it was 150, but it’s since changed. PACT Ottawa is also “100% confident that there is much more in Ottawa and that these numbers are conservative. The final report is expected soon.

$26 million per year sex trafficking industry in Ottawa.

-$260 000 – $280 000 is how much each trafficked “girl” makes for her “pimp” on average. That’s MP Joy Smith’s claim, which comes from a 2008 Government report on trafficking. A different number comes from Pact Ottawa, who estimates each one earns $183 000 for her trafficker. In my calculations, I have used the claim from Joy Smith and the Government report, since it’s used far more often by the advocates, and shouted the loudest in the media.

-$200/Hour average price for a trafficked girl, say Ottawa Police. PACT anecdotally claims one of the victims they spoke to made $300 per visit.

 

So if we take these allied groups at their word, and assume their claims are true, let’s further work with some of the numbers…

-If 140 girls each earn on average $260 000 per year, that actually equals $36.4 million, not $26 million. To be fair, PACT-Ottawa made the claim of 140 girls, and publicly estimated that traffickers earn on average $183 000/year per girl, which is about $26 million. But if they believe this, they must acknowledge that their main ally and the most outspoken & influential political figure for their cause, Joy Smith and her claims from the “Government Intelligence Report” are outright false. Until then, I will use the official numbers from the Government Report, which states of an average $260 000 – $280 000.

-If a trafficked person is earning $260 000 per year at $200/hour, they are having 1300 sessions in a year.

-If you believe that 140 girls are each earning $260 000, that means that if each one works 365 days per year, they earn $712 per day, every single day.

-If each one earns $712 per day, 365 days per year, at $200/hour, that is 3.56 clients per day, every single day.

-If each of the 140 girls is seeing 3.56 clients per day, assuming that each men is not seeing more than 1 girl in a day, that’s 498 unique men seeing trafficked girls in Ottawa, every single day, 365 days per year.

-If 140 trafficked girls are having 1300 sessions per year each, that is 182 000 forced sex sessions per year, by Ottawa men, with trafficked sex slaves.

-The population of Ottawa in 2013 was 870 250. Approximately half is men = 435 125. According to the City of Ottawa, 65% of the population is 18-65 years old (age of men most likely to pay for sex), which is 283 701. So if there is 182 000 sessions with trafficked girls in Ottawa per year, and for the sake of a fair estimate, less than HALF are unique visitors, upwards of 32% of all men in Ottawa have had sex with a trafficked sex slave.

 

Even if you wildly adjust some of calculations for a number of variables, it’s still a staggering number.

 

A few things that come to mind when considering those numbers:

-In January, Ottawa Police Services did an “outreach” programme to visit local Ottawa sex workers. They targeting ads off of Backpage.com, in an attempt to find trafficking victims. However, many local established independent ladies were visited, some over the age of 30, some who have professional websites, and who’ve been working in the business legitimately for years. Ottawa Police found zero trafficked girls or women in Ottawa, made zero arrests, and laid zero charges. How did PACT-Ottawa personally identify 140+ sex slaves “who say they are being forced to do sex trade work in Ottawa”

-I am a well-established, legitimate independent service provider. I have many repeat guests, and new guests. I advertise in many places beyond Backpage. I work hard, and I don’t even make HALF of $260 000. So for an unknown, (likely underaged), possibly heavily drugged, trafficked person, who is not likely to offer good service (for obvious understandable reasons), to make that amount of money simply does not add up in my head, especially since Ottawa has a very large and varied selection of legitimate, highly-recommended, fairly priced and easily-accessible providers.

– I rely heavily on that repeat business. Anyone who is not getting repeat business is not going to be sustainable in this business. I find it hard to believe that trafficked persons are going to have a lot of consistent, loyal repeat business, which makes the numbers even more hard to believe. Unless you actually believe that there is that many men who enjoy and regularly willingly see sex slaves for $200-$300 per hour, then we have to assume that most of those will have to be unique visitors.

-I know anti -prostitution folks like to think that “johns” will just stick their cock in any hole, but this is a service industry, and clients demand good service for their hard-earned money. I don’t see how trafficked people (understandably) are going to provide the level of service that clients seek, and I don’t believe they are going to be the enthusiastic, service oriented providers, offering an experience that clients want to pay money for.  So even if a client does see a trafficked girl (unknowingly or knowingly), it’s probably not going to be a good experience, and he is not likely to repeat with her, or recommend her to others. Despite what anti-trafficking and anti-prostitution activists think, most clients who purchase sexual services take many precautions, and actively avoid the nasty situations where trafficking may be likely to occur. They want a consensual interaction with a happy provider who enjoys what she is doing.

-Doing a simple survey of online escort advertisements makes it pretty obvious to anyone who knows even just the basics of the trade, that while maybe $200/hour is average for an ESCORT, it’s not likely to be average for a trafficked sex slave. It would be much lower, which throws all of the numbers out the window, and would actually mean that each girl is doing a much higher volume, if they are still making $260 000. There is even many legit providers who offer services for less than $200/H, so its rather non-sensical to say that there is so many men willingly paying so much to see trafficking victims, for a session that is not likely to be enjoyable, when there is such a large market of genuine working gals in Ottawa providing good quality service.

 

To put it plainly, these numbers show one or more of three things about anyone who believes them, repeats and perpetuates them:

-A fundamental complete lack of understanding of how the business works.

-Total ignorance of the facts

-Lying, or purposeful misrepresentation to support an alternative agenda

 

These numbers are straight from different anti-trafficking organizations in Ottawa and in Canada, government agencies and law enforcement. They have been repeated and regurgitated over and over in the mainstream news media and by these anti-prostitution advocates. Many of the facts and figures from different organizations & agencies are also directly conflicting with each other, in major ways. This shows how unreliable any of this data really is, and how it cannot and should not be trusted. They do not have a general consensus on anything, except “prostitution is bad”.

Yes, trafficking and sex slavery exists, and it is a terrible thing. But it does not exist in the huge systematic ways that some people want you to believe, and perpetuating false numbers and lies only serves as sensationalism and does nothing to actually help the issue. It also makes someone like me, who could potentially be their ally, not take them seriously, or want to have anything to do with them.

To me, it also shows a very cynical and incredibly misandristic way of thinking. If you believe these numbers, you must have very little faith in human kind, and men in particular.  If you believe what these people say, you believe that every single day in Ottawa, 498 men are having sex with trafficked girls & women, sustainably, all year long. I feel very sorry for anyone who sees their fellow human beings that way. And it saddens me that these people truly think that so many men in our society have such little regard and respect for young girls and women. It must be scary to look at the the fathers, husbands, uncles, sons and brothers around you and believe that so many of them are possible of committing such atrocious and terrible things on a daily basis.

 

Sources:

http://www.joysmith.ca/main.asp?fxoid=FXMenu,4&cat_ID=27&sub_ID=131

http://openparliament.ca/debates/2013/3/7/joy-smith-1/

http://womenworldchangers.com/smith-the-flesh-trade-is-canadas-dirty-little-secret

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Human+trafficking+Ottawa+least+women+used+slaves+research+suggests/9465177/story.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-police-target-human-trafficking-a-26m-industry-1.2580475

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Human+trafficking+investigations+invade+workers+privacy+group+says/9435694/story.html

http://www.cisc.gc.ca/products_services/domestic_trafficking_persons/persons_e.html