I have a very buzzy bee in my bonnet.
I want to know where all the men are at? Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world, people are being bought and sold like cattle, and here in Northern Ireland we have the HIGHEST demand for sexual service in all of Europe.
IN ALL OF EUROPE.
Every month we gather our ACT group together to plan and discuss this issue and how we can impact our local area and our nation to rise up and speak up for those hidden behind this cruel trade.
Every month we ask the same questions. Where are all the men? (we have about 3 regular guys in our group, as opposed to about 15 regular women) Now, let me set a disclaimer in the knowledge that there are MANY great men that are involved in this and some of the most thriving charities/endeavours that focus on this issue are driven or have been started by men but on the ground, at a local level (particularly here in NI) this awareness is being pioneered by women. While this is awesome and I’m privileged to know so many inspiring female abolitionists, I cannot ignore the silence of so many of our men.
We need you. This issue needs you. It needs you to lead other men.
If Northern Ireland is now known for having the highest demand for sexual service in the WHOLE of Europe, then there is obviously a massive demand here for sex. Sex, that more often than you think is being provided by victims that have been lured into this trade by force or deception.
Although we know that many boys and men face the trauma of trafficking, it is largely women that are being exploited here in this country. And men are paying for it. Business men, family men, young men are paying for sex in high volumes of numbers.
We, as women will continue to speak out. We can’t wait for you men to step up because there isn’t time, but we DO need you.
The DNA Foundation has a great visual campaign featuring lots of famous faces claiming that ‘Real Men Don’t Buy Girls’. I would love to see this as a local campaign here in NI.
Our ACT group recently gave out some fliers at our local football grounds. 12 of us, all women, braved the rain to put this vital information in the hands of hundreds of men. I don’t know what the impact of that was, but I wonder if there had have been some men there to give them out it might have had a more powerful edge. There is something powerful about men challenging each other. It’s so important.
Speaking of football, Sky Sports recently did a great piece about human trafficking in the football world. It’s a fascinating report, I urge you to have a watch.
I wonder what the reasons are that many guys aren’t taking a bigger role in this issue? Is it the sensitive nature of the sex trade that puts you off? I would really love to open this conversation up – let’s get chatting.
I’ll say it again, we NEED you.