The world of trafficking has its own language and codes. But more than that, it has its own culture. Pimps and Johns have given name to actions that seem unfathomable to many of us, yet are the reality of millions of girls and women. Let’s continue our conversation by looking at some of the terms that relate to what the individual girl endures.
This is the process by which a pimp will break down a girl’s resistance in order to ensure her compliance and loyalty. We referenced this process in the last “Trafficking Terminology” post, but let’s dive a little deeper (Click here to read the first post in this series. Pimps use a combination of psychological manipulation, intimidation, gang rape, sodomy, beatings, sleep and/or food deprivation, isolation from friends and family (social support networks), and threatening or holding hostage a victim’s family or children. This process strips the young woman of her identity, independence, and confidence, making her solely dependent on her pimp. For this and other reasons, it often takes a good bit of time for the young woman to self-identify as a victim of exploitation - she see’s her activity in the life as her choice.
Girls and women who are under the control of a pimp are forced to bring in a daily quota, a set amount of money that she has to make before she can come “home.” Quotas are set anywhere from $300 to $2000 per night, depending on the region, services offered, or local events. What happens if she fails to meet her quota when she comes home to the pimp? Usually he beats her up and sends her back out to earn the rest of the money. One survivor we know said that every night she and the other girls her pimp was controlling had a quota of $800-$1,200. When they would go home, her pimp would have them strip so that he could do a full-body search to make sure none of them were keeping any money from him.
This term speaks to the young woman’s “automatic” routine when her pimp is not present. Whether the pimp is in jail, out of town, or out of contact with the girls he’s prostituting, his girls are expected to continue complying with his rules. Many of us would tend to think that his absence would enable the girls to get free from his control. However, the girls often comply with the rules out of fear of punishment or because they have been psychologically manipulated and brainwashed into a sense of loyalty or love. All of the money that the girls earn on “automatic” is turned over to the pimp to be used for his accounts and/or his bail if he is incarcerated. This term serves to further show just how controlled and manipulated these young women are. The psychological ties are so strong that they will live by his rules and be so controlled by fear that they will continue under his control even when he is not present.