A Gruesome Trade: The Trafficking of Sex

By Reuben Schafir '17

We’ve all heard the myth that Portland has more stripclubs per capita then any other city. Maybe it’s true, maybe it isn’t (This Willamette Week article claims it is), but regardless, we know that the exchange of money for sexual acts isn’t exactly unknown to the Portland population.

Unfortunately, however, this trade is not contained to stripclubs and escorts. Portland has another sort of trade; the trafficking of humans, forced into prostitution. The victims are generally female, and the average age is 15.

Judge Stacie Beckerman is currently a United States Magistrate Judge, however previously she was an Assistant United States Attorney, prosecuting sex crimes under federal statute.

Given her expertise on the issue, CatlinSpeak spoke to Beckerman in order to understand what sex trafficking truly is, and how it affects Portland.