July 9, 2015

Sex Site Backpage.com Scrutiny “Long Overdue”

A recent Boston murder is waking the country up to the dangerous and demeaning sex services offered on the popular site Backpage.com.

The Boston Globe reported on July 7th that two men, Epshod Jeune, 24, of Burlington, and Derrell Fisher, 21, of Roxbury, have been charged in connection with the murder of 34-year-old Sanisha Johnson.

Johnson was robbed and shot at close range in the chest, leaving her dead in her hotel room.

Jeune and Fisher had come into contact with Johnson through Backpage.com’s prostitution service. According to law enforcement officials Backpage is the nation’s top site selling prostituted and trafficked women and children daily. It generates nearly 80% of all the online prostitution advertising revenue.

Maura Healey, the Attorney General of Massachusetts is demanding the Backpage.com discontinue its “adult” section in the wake of the tragic killing of “escort” Sanisha Johnson.

Healey says that this murder is a long overdue wake up call for society to see the dangerous and demeaning evils of Backpage. She said that the majority of the human trafficking cases that her office prosecutes involve advertisements on Backpage.

“As we have seen through our office’s work, Backpage.com and the Internet have become increasingly popular vehicles for commercial sexual exploitation.”

Simply put, Backpage has become a huge enabler for the sex industry. Eliminating this “service” is a “long overdue step,” said Healey.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE) has been monitoring Backpage.com for years and includes the company on it’s annual Dirty Dozen List of top sexual exploiters. A web page has been set up for opponents of sexual exploitation to take action against the company.

Recently, MasterCard and Visa joined American Express and made the decision to prohibit use of their credit cards to place ads on Backpage, choosing to reject profits from a company perpetuating prostitution and human trafficking.

Take a stand with MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Massachusetts’ Attorney General Maura Healey, and fellow citizens who are working to put a stop to Backpage.Com’s contribution to sexual exploitation. Join the movement here.

Rachel del Guidice

Intern

Rachel del Guidice is an intern at NCSE. She is a senior at Franciscan University of Steubenville where she is Communication Arts Major with a concentration in Journalism. She is dedicated to bring about a culture where objectification of both men and women is not tolerated and where all people are appreciated for their character rather than physical appearance or social status.

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