Lack of trust in the justice system and fear not being believed are two reasons why women do not report sexual assault, according to the National Institute of Justice. Two filmmakers reveal the exploitation of women may be cultural.
The documentary “Girl Model” (2011) focuses on the modeling industry and its impact on young girls who wish to better themselves and their future. At a casting call in Siberia, girls as young as 13 (some clad in thongs), are judged on their bodies, faces, weight, and the rare possibility they will become hugely successful in Japan. Girls who weigh less than large dogs are told to lose weight; prepubescent girls are chastised for acne. Japanese modeling agency executives and scouts believe 13 is the age to recruit. “It’s easier to command them,” one man explains, while a successful casting director says, “I am like Noah, leading animals to the ark.” Meanwhile, girls leave their rural homes to be flown to Japan, where no one meets them to carry them to their apartment, there is a language barrier, and their wages and work offers are cloaked in shady contracts signed by underage hopefuls who cannot read English (one girl visits a newsstand to flip through all of the fashion magazines, wondering if her work appears). A female agency employee sums it up: there is no one to blame for this exploitation of young girls. You cannot blame the models and their families for putting blind trust into the modeling agency; the agency is not to blame for they are only creating a supply to the demand. The advertsinig executives searching for the talent are driven by the consumers, who want to see “young faces, the younger the better.”
Nick Broomfield and Hsiao-Hung Pai go undercover in one of the 2000-plus illegal London brothels to reveal the pain and power in “Sex: My British Job” (2013). The prostitutes, most from Taiwan and China, are viewed through a camera hidden in Pai’s glasses. The focus turns to the Madame, who uses verbal and mental abuse in an effort to force Pai, posing as a housekeeper, to become a prostitute. The Madame is armed with a plethora of arguments: “it’s all about the money…” if girls become sex workers, they can send money home so their families will have nice things, she will not embarrass her family by being a failure, her kids will not be bullied at school. And if this doesn’t work, name-calling (usually filthy expletives) and belittling will. The sex workers are in the country illegally; their power is stripped from the moment they arrive in England. Even as an undercover, Pai admits to feeling suicidal, beaten down, and worthless. “I can understand how these girls become sex workers …” The illegal brothels “are largely ignored by the authorities.” Thus lawmakers and law keepers contribute to the plight of these exploited women.
Of 6,800 charges of sexual harassment EEOC received in 2015, only half found “reasonable cause.” Of 100 reported rapes, only two of the rapists will see the inside of a prison cell (source). A National Crime Victim survey reveals, “Sexual assault is one of the most under-reported crimes.” This means a huge proportion of victims never receive justice, to include compensation, therapy, or simply being believed.
Information for victims of sexual assault: CLICK HERE