By Brittany Costello
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Websites are making it easy for people to find prostitutes.
KOB 4 discovered a website that allows people to leave reviews of people they met who offer sex acts.
Posts detail what the sex worker looks like, what they will do and how much it will cost.
Christine Barber, executive director of Street Safe New Mexico, said she’s familiar with various websites that allow people to find prostitutes.
“Honestly, it is gross,” she said. “It is really gross to go onto these websites and see, ‘5’6” green eyes, this is how much I charge,’”
KOB 4 called a person who listed their number on the website. She offered her services and rates, which she described as a donation.
Sex trafficking is a problem widely known in Albuquerque.
“That’s the thing that we really need to start to focus on– prostitute means sex trafficking victim and sex trafficking victim means prostitute,” Barber said. “They’re not anything different.”
Albuquerque Police Department Commander Mizel Garcia said investigating sex trafficking businesses isn’t easy.
“Investigating these businesses is very difficult, not just for APD,” he said. “Reason being – it’s difficult to get the cooperation of the workers that work these businesses.”
APD said it’s aware of websites like the one KOB 4 discovered. However, they don’t have the ability to take them down.
However, officials believe they are making strides in fighting sex trafficking.
“We’ve had a lot more cases where the women are willing to help and we’re seeing a lot more calls to the hotline in our state, a lot more cases in general,” Barber said.
One website user reached out to KOB 4 and said he believes the website does more good than harm.
“I just believe that it’s the kind of the least evil given that this is something that’s going to go on no matter what,” said a user who wanted to stay anonymous.
He claims the website creates a community. An easy outlet for law enforcement, a way to keep people—in his mind—safe. He also believes prostitution and human trafficking are very different.
“Somehow it’s ok for me to go see a lady who wants to rub my back and rub my feet, and I can give her money for that, but she can’t rub those other parts of me because all of a sudden that’s just illegal,” he said. “Even if that’s her choice.”
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To learn more about what the Attorney General is doing to stop human trafficking, click here.
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