A grassroots movement has taken root across the country as human rights advocates, religious leaders, law enforcement, politicans and all srata of the American public demand that Village Voice Media take down the adult ads on Backpage.com and stop profitting from sex-trafficking. They have protested, written letters, passed new laws aimed at protecting underage victims and 250,000 Americans have made their feelings known by signing a petition demanding the prostitution ads be discontinued.
Anti-human trafficking advocates have organized an advertisors edcuation initiative aimed at getting companies to be responsible and not give their advertising dollars to a company that is facilitating sex-trafficking. The campaign is gaining traction as many big name corporations have refused to place any more ads with Village Voice Media newspapers until they change their behavior.
Rallies have been held outside the Village Voice in New York, the New Times in Phoenix and at an event at Cal State Fullerton which was attended by Village Voice Editor Tony Ortega.
John Mailer, the son of one of the original founders of the Village Voice, has given his active support to this human trafficking issue, as have all the Attorneys General from every state in the country, at least 19 US Senators, 45 mayors, and many other groups and invdividuals.
The words of the Rev. Katharine Henderson of New York’s Auburn Seminary during a rally outside Village Voice's New York office sum it up it up when she said, "I am outraged by Village Voice Media’s continued refusal to shut down Backpage.com’s adult section, even after being confronted with evidence that girls and teens have been advertised for sex on the site.”
Mark-Viverito, co-sponsor of a resolution by the New York City Council demanding that Village Voice Media and Backpage.com get out of the underage sex business said, “The evidence demonstrates that Backpage is being used by pimps for sex trafficking. In 22 states, children have been forced into prostitution and trafficked on Backpage. I am proud to stand with faith leaders to send a message that Village Voice Media must shut down its Adult advertising section.”
People are outraged and want to do something when they hear the statistics showing the depravity of those profiting from the ads on Backpage.com which have garnered an estimated 80 percent of the online underage prostitution ads in the U.S.
The Rev. Guengerich, putting his finger on why Village Voice Media is so adamant and duplicitous in defending the sex ads, has said: “It’s all about the money.” And that revenue stream is now estimated at upwards of $31 million a year.
Important Organizations compiled by DNA (Demi & Ashton Foundation)
Protest against Village Voice Media Sex-trafficking ads at Cal State Fullerton, October 6, 2011
Village Voice Protest NYC - November 16, 2011
Faith Leaders Rally Against Sex Trafficking - March 29th outside The Village Voice in New York