The jaw-dropping information is actually factual. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, federally-funded study on the underground sex trade industry reveals that the city of Atlanta has been named the “Sex Trafficking Capital of the U.S.”
The Urban Institute study also reveals that pimps in the city are making more than an estimated $32,000 a week. The detailed analysis observed eight U.S. cities – Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, San Diego, Seattle, Washington, D.C – in an effort to determine the size of the “underground sex economy,” which consists of prostitution, child pornography and the sex trafficking of adults and children.
The conclusions were derived from examinations of crime data, and interviews of pimps, prostitutes and law enforcement officials between 2003 and 2007. The 339-page report indicates that 142 convicted pimps, prostitutes and child pornographers took part in the interview process. They were also given $50.00 gift cards in return for their cooperation.
Some of the interesting facts from the Urban Institute study include:
- The annual amount spend on the sex trade in Atlanta was $290 million. The next closest city was Miami, $235 million.
- The sex trade in Atlanta increased 10 percent in 5 years covered by the study (from 2003 to 2007). Miami’s sex trade fell during the same period from $320 million to $235 million.
- In 2003, Atlanta pimps said they made $25,000 a week in gross revenue. In 2007, they said they made almost $33,000 a week. Denver pimps said they made $31,000 a week, Miami pimps $17,000.
- Most Atlanta pimps said they controlled 4 or 5 women.
- Most pimps charge by time, not sex act. The Atlanta average ranged from $50 to $1000 per hour, but the average seemed to be about $100. Oral sex was $75.
- About 67 percent of prostitutes in the study said they worked out of hotels, 53 percent said they worked the streets. Only 22 percent said they worked out of homes.
- Massage parlors charge about $60 for a “house fee” and women are tipped an extra $120 to $500 depending on the level of service. Much of the “tip” goes to pay off a “smuggling fee.”
- Most brothels operate out of apartment complexes.
- Women working in brothels are switched to another brothel every week, usually on Sunday.
- Brothels charge $30 for 15 minutes, generally. Younger and more attractive women charge up to $50. Many brothels force women to do $500 a day in business. Half of what is charged usually goes to the pimp.
- About 65 percent of pimps in the study were black, 10 percent Hispanic, 8 percent white, 8 percent “mixed”, 3 percent Asian. About 6 percent were of “unknown” race.
- About 33 percent of “sex workers” were black, 17 percent white, 11 percent Hispanic, 8 percent multiracial, and 30 percent did not identify their race. About 78 percent were female.
- The internet has helped pimps finds clients and recruit “employees.”
- Pimps observed that their employees often had histories of sexual assault.
- Pimps use “advanced” techniques to convince women to become prostitutes, including feigning romantic interest and violence.
- There appears to be no link between weapons trafficking and sex trafficking.
The report defines a pimp as an individual “who controls the actions and lives off the proceeds of one or more women who work the streets.” Approximately 31.1% of the interviewed pimps stated that their involvement in the illegal activity derived from “family involvement.” One of the pimps recounted an incident from his childhood where his own mother introduced a man to him as her “pimp.”
“My mother was a hustler,” he explained. “At an early age, she would pick me up and say, ‘This is my pimp here.”
Some even concluded that the illegal “family business” was their way of life since childhood. On 45-year-old African American male explained the influence of what he’d experienced as a child just with some of the conversations he’d have with his aunt.
“At age five and six and seven, I seen it because my auntie was a whore. I’ve seen men come and go all the time, didn’t know. One night, I saw and asked. She said, ‘The clothes on your back, the apartment, this is how I pay the rent.’ I had nothing but love for my auntie, that’s what made me fall in love with a working woman. Then my sister and my momma did it. It’s been in the family. My uncle and father were pimps.”
Image(s) via Bing, Urban Institute Study