Together Ending Sex-Trafficking

Welcome to the Breaking Free Movement, where together we are working to end sex-trafficking. We hope this website can be a resource for all to bring awareness through information on prevention and intervention, an interactive map on locations involved, podcasts of victims and pimps and their experiences in sex trafficking, and downloadable resources to join the movement by facilitating your own awareness seminar or advocating on social media.

The Organization: Breaking Free

Breaking Free is an organization at the forefront of the movement seeking freedom for victims of sex-trafficking through transformation from a life of bondage and oppression to one of safety and restoration. The ultimate goal is a future with freedom that includes dignity, truth, and strength. At its core, Breaking Free is relational and focused on personal goals, walking alongside individuals towards where they want to be with a careful approach and survivor understanding in mind. An important part of Breaking Free’s mission is to provide direct services which help women escape the systems of prostitution and sexual exploitation. Ultimately, Breaking Free is more than just an organization addressing an issue; it is an organization which actively helps women to break down the barriers that keep them trapped in prostitution and sex-trafficking. In addition, an important mission of Breaking Free is to promote the United States' adoption of the Nordic Model, an approach to the decriminalization of prostitution while criminalizing sex buyers and profiteers. In their mission to do so, they have a desire to spread awareness and bring information throughout the United States.

The Issue

Prostitution and sex trafficking are modern forms of slavery and many women, as well as some men and children, become victims of this issue each day. Human trafficking is the fastest-growing organized crime activity in the United States, making almost $32 billion a year. Globally, the International Labor Organization estimates that in 2012 there were 4.5 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation.

For many individuals, it may be hard to envision a life outside of being trapped within human-trafficking. Often times, the harsh life of sex-trafficking may be all that someone is familiar and even though they may want to leave this way of life for a new reality without trafficking, it may feel daunting and even unrealistic to do so due to the familiar realities of economic crisis, high unemployment, and racist attitudes; often leaving them struggling with poverty. Therefore, more education and awareness are needed to ensure the safety of all women, to equip individuals with ways to help and advocate, and to call for both social and public policy reform.

The Solution

The Nordic Model

The Nordic Model is an approach to prostitution which calls for decriminalization of those being trafficked or prostituted while making the buying of those being trafficked or prostituted a criminal offense for the buyers. In addition to decriminalization, the Nordic Model will help provide support services to help individuals exit this system. This model began in Sweden and is now adopted by Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Canada, France, Ireland, and Israel. The model was built upon the understanding of the despair and abuse the women go through when involved in prostitution. At the same time, the Nordic Model also recognizes the need for relevant consequences for the perpetrators of prostitution including pimps and johns. The one-sided penalization of this model emphasizes the fact that buying someone’s body for sex is wrong, and the sanctions involved are in place to discourage people from doing so.

While different countries take slightly different approaches to the Nordic Model, the underlying basis for the UK model includes fundamental steps. These steps include full decriminalization of those prostituted, high-quality support services to those prostituted, buying sex instituted to be a criminal offense, legislation surrounding pimping and trafficking strengthened, driving factors of prostitution addressed, and a holistic approach implemented. One significant aspect of this holistic approach is education throughout the community. In order for the Nordic Model to be effective, people must be aware of it. Taking the holistic approach of educating the general public is crucial for prevention of sex-trafficking and widespread implementation of the Nordic Model.