The vaccines are here. Healthcare workers, essential workers, elderly and those who take care of them are among the first round of vaccinations. Early predictions have told us that we may be back to normal by Spring-Summer the latest, but that’s being proven to be not quite accurate. If we are lucky we may be on the road to repair by Fall? The holiday season? It’s anyone’s guess at this point but there are two sides of the isle. One side is cheering on this vaccine and calling it a pathway to recovery, destroying this virus and are more than willing to take it when it’s their turn in line. Then there is the other side who is skeptical, fearful or just plain defiant in as so much they believe it’s not real and this vaccine is more government control over their bodies and there lives. Groups that fall under the preexisting or vulnerable category are obviously part of, or should be, the first round. But there’s another vulnerable group that no one sees, they’re hidden-sometimes in plain sight. This is a group no huge media conglomerate will talk about. Some call them the “hidden” the “unseen”, they are the victims of a culture of rape, violence against women and a society that, despite the fact that we live in a free country, refuse to give women and girls a chance when they need it the most or real resources so that they do not find themselves in an inescapable situation. This vulnerable population are the victims of sex trafficking and domestic violence.
Just like PPE and other protections this vaccine will also be used to control, manipulate and ultimately put victims in a fatal position. Pimps and traffickers don’t want to be found out so getting the vaccine to the women they are enslaving will blow their operation wide open. You can believe this is a global problem since trafficking is a $150 billion dollar industry that spans across all countries and cultures. The fake debts that are put on these women to buy back their freedom is nothing compared to being exposed to STDS, unwanted pregnancies, beatings and now COVID. It is very easy for a pimp/trafficker to get vaccinated because who would know? They look like any man in the street. Just like brainwashed Trump supporters who will die for their country, male sex buyers are willing to die and take someone with them just to keep the sex trade alive for their own perverse pleasure. If this pandemic cannot stop the epidemic of the selling of women and girls, more unaccounted for deaths will continue to skyrocket. When data is put on the screen of percentages of people who have died versus those that were not accounted for probably doesn’t do justice for the underground population that governments, medical teams and scientists have forgotten or don’t care about.
The obvious other vulnerable and silenced population are the women in domestic violence relationships/marriages. There are intersectionalities between trafficking and domestic violence, although they are not the same, abusers use very similar tactics to oppress and hurt the women under their control. The most violent of domestic abuses are those that are tantamount to a P.O.W. where acts of physical torture and mental breakdowns are weapons for submission of their victim. This pandemic is a perfect weapon for abusers to strike unmitigated fear into the hearts of their familial partner. If these women are being threatened with homlessness if they go outside (without PPE because it’s being withheld from them) what will happen if they are told that they will never get the vaccine while their abuser is vaccinated and therefore holds the power. Why do we not have a task force for this? Why are we so desensitized to these women who are suffering? Is it because everyone is under so much stress and anxiety that nobody wants to focus on more negative news? This is misguided and inhumane.
Right now there are parents that have been looking for their daughter even before COVID came to town hoping that she’s not sick and she’s alive. There is a girlfriend, wife, life partner trying to figure a way out of an abusive situation that has left them wide open to being left out of the testing and vaccine cycle. If we do not recognize THIS vulnerable population it won’t only be the hospitals that are at full capacity-it will be the morgues.
Thank you for reading!!! If you like this blog please share it & spread the word!! W.A.R. is part of BeaSister2aSister an 501(c)3 non profit dedicated to helping women and girls who are survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, exploitation & abuse break the cycle of inter-dependency and come into a life of full independence and self sustainability. If you would like to contact us or make a donation to our work you can visit our website at http://www.beasister2asister.org & click the donate button. You call also send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We so excited to share that we will be having a new podcast coming in 2021 on Anchor.com called Global Sisters where there will be discussions on human trafficking and the broader human rights issues that are affecting populations all over the world. We hope you tune in!