This week’s episode of True Blood displayed a truly unique form of human trafficking. The following is my opinion based on the training I’ve had at Polaris Project, but is my own perspective only.
The birth-father of one of the main characters, all shapeshifters, has just forced his younger son to transform into a pit-bull to make money in dog fighting after his mother can no longer fight because of injuries. The emotional and physical control he exerts over his son and wife are similar to pimp-controlled prostitution.
Prostitution is human trafficking when the people being prostituted are there because of force, fraud, or coercion, or is a minor. In many such situations, the trafficker “boyfriends” the teenager involved, and makes her think he is her best friend, her family, the only one that loves her. Then he convinces her she must sell herself to make money to enable them to build a life together.
In even more disturbing cases, a family member sells a wife or child or cousin to make money–exactly as the characters in True Blood did this week. SPOILER: the younger son in the TV show was saved by his older brother, after he freed all of the non-human dogs who were lined-up to be fought and killed that night.
Tthis does not always happen for hundreds of thousands of men, women and children being trafficked in the US.
“When you make a sacrifice in marriage, you’re sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.”–Joseph Campbell