Re “Sting of Surfside massage parlors leads to four prostitution arrests” article in The Sun News.
You published the photos, names, ages, and hometowns of the four people who were arrested. Unfortunately, it’s possible that some of those people are human trafficking victims who need support and protection - not increased exposure and shaming.
Massage parlors are often illicit businesses that profit from the sale of trafficked women’s bodies. The women working in them may be tightly controlled by debt bondage, fear, and shame. Their immigration documents may be confiscated, and they may be forced to live inside the business.
While law enforcement investigates, the press can help by keeping the potential victims’ identities confidential, and avoiding the word “prostitution.” Instead of focusing on potential victims, let’s put the spotlight where it belongs: on traffickers, and on the men who buy sex.
Rochelle Keyhan, Director, Strategic Disruption, Washington, D.C.