About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

62 UCLA L. Rev. 1642 (2015)
Black Girls and the (Im)Possibilities of a Victim Trope: The Intersectional Failures of Legal and Advocacy Interventions in the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Minors in the United States

handle is hein.journals/uclalr62 and id is 1648 raw text is: Black Girls and the (Im)Possibilities
of a Victim     Trope: The Intersectional
Failures of Legal and Advocacy
Interventions in the Commercial Sexual
Exploitation of Minors in the United States
Jasmine Phillips
ABSTRACT
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) considers all youth less than eighteen
years of age trafficking victims without a showing of force, fraud, or coercion. The
presumption is that minors cannot legally consent to sex and thus are always victims.
Being characterized as a victim helps youth access support services and avoid prosecution
in certain circumstances. However, local and state governments struggle to provide all
youth with comprehensive resources. Additionally, legal and advocacy interventions
fail to substantively engage racialized vulnerabilities that serve as pathways into the sex
trade and the juvenile justice system.
Black girls are disproportionally prosecuted for prostitution offenses yet their narratives
are seldom heard. Controlling images of Black womanhood, as unvirtuous, immoral,
and blameworthy, impact interactions between Black girls and the juvenile justice
system, as well as, service providers. By overlooking race, the TVXPA and antitrafficking
advocates do not anticipate and remedy the complexity of applying a victim standard to
Black girls and other marginalized youth.
Consequently, the TVPA and antitrafficking discourse fail to respond to the economic
forces driving sexual exploitation and sexual exchange. Rather, interventions to address
the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) have put forth a limited
narrative-magnifying sensationalized depictions of violence and force-and focus
primarily on strengthening law enforcement apparatuses, which reinforce racial profiling
and oversurveillance in low-income communities of color.
Therefore, this Comment challenges the use of victim rhetoric in antitrafficking
interventions and confronts the absence of racial discourse when devising next-steps.
Centering the unique experiences of Black girls reveal the limitations of current
narratives and strategies deployed in antitrafficking policies, which include failing to
create nonjudgmental services and viable alternatives to sex work for youth.

62 UCLA L. REV. 1642 (2015)

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 3,000 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most