I spotted this poster last week at the bus shelter on Emmons Avenue and East 26th Street, right in front of Applebee’s. The advertisement is a “call to end human trafficking.”
The location is no coincidence. The hotels on Emmons Avenue have been known for years as hooker hotels. Whether that’s true or not, the stigma persists. And numerous young Eastern European women have been brought to the states in much the same way described on the poster, especially in the 1990s.
But it’s not really something most of us think about in our neighborhood. Sheepshead Bay isn’t exactly the kind of place where you’re frequently accosted by hookers and pimps, or see the violence or skeeziness it draws. You don’t see the cars pulling up and the girls leaning in. It ain’t Times Square in the 70s.
But it is a problem in our neighborhood. After all, it was just in May that vigilant internet folk kept a pair of Russian girls from being duped into a sex ring based out of a Sheepshead Bay-area nightclub. Every one of us should similarly be on guard.