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Gilgo Beach Murders of "Sex Workers" Targeted Vulnerable Women

Anti-Human Trafficking National Non-Profit Organization

Reprehensible serial killers assumed they could elude capture because they believed their victims would go unnoticed, considering them expendable. Not so.

Raising public awareness about the risks and dangers of sex trafficking is crucial.”
— Stacey Efaw, Executive Director, Selah Freedom
SARASOTA, FL, UNITED STATES, July 24, 2023/ -- Since the discovery of the first victim at Long Island's Gilgo Beach in 2010, the investigation into the alleged serial killer, Rex Heuermann, and the handling of the case have drawn significant scrutiny and criticism. Local law enforcement struggled to unravel the mystery, which perplexed them for over a decade.

Tragically, this is not the first instance in history where a serial killer targeted sex trafficking victims or "sex workers," and regrettably, it won't be the last, as history has shown with examples like Ted Bundy from California or more recent cases involving killers like Bryant "Eduardo" Rivera. The infamous Samuel Little also highlighted the alarming extent of serial killings in the US. Five days ago, police in Dallas, Texas, arrested a man in connection to the deaths of three women who are believed to be sex workers, the latest suspect to be charged in a string of sex worker slayings in recent months.

Disturbingly, sex trafficked women and prostitutes face the highest risk of becoming homicide victims compared to any other group of women, as per PubMed and the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

For far too long, these reprehensible serial killers assumed they could elude capture because they believed their victims would go unnoticed and that society perceived them as expendable. This troubling mindset raises a crucial question: Why do we persist with the belief that "prostitutes" and "sex workers" wouldn't be missed? In reality, they are human beings with families, connections, and emotions. Whether they choose sex work or are coerced into sex trafficking, they deserve the same respect and compassion as any other murder victim.

It's essential to recognize that a significant portion of this vulnerable population experienced childhood sexual abuse, leading them into drug dependency and eventually becoming victims of sex trafficking. The internet and social media have provided new platforms for predators like Heuermann to recruit victims.

"Raising public awareness about the risks and dangers of sex trafficking is crucial," Says Stacey Efaw, Executive Director of Selah Freedom, one of America's largest anti-sex trafficking organizations. "Various non-profit organizations, especially Selah Freedom, are tirelessly working to educate law enforcement, educators, parents, politicians, and others, aiming to change their perception of those exploited in the sex trade," Efaw concludes.

Selah Freedom reports some shocking facts about sex trafficking including its prevalence in nearly every zip code in America, with survivors often experiencing sexual abuse starting as early as 2-4 years old, and 92% of sex trafficking survivors reporting childhood sexual abuse.

As a society, we must alter our distorted perception of at-risk individuals, especially young girls, boys, teens, and women, recognizing the horrors they may face or the potential for their lives to be cut short. These individuals are victims long before they fall prey to murder, and we must acknowledge their value and vulnerability.

While Heuermann and other monstrous serial killers assumed their victims wouldn't attract much attention from law enforcement, recent developments show that public outcry and relentless pursuit by loved ones can bring these cases to light. Organizations like Selah Freedom continue to make strides in understanding, preventing, and eradicating the exploitation of individuals in the sex trade.

If you or someone you know is a victim of sex trafficking, please seek help. There are numerous resources available, such as the National Human Trafficking Hotline's website or Selah Freedom's intake hotline at 1-888-8-Free-Me. Remember, there is support and hope for a life of freedom and justice. Let us be the voice for those who cannot yet speak up for themselves but will one day find their voice.

About Selah Freedom
Selah Freedom is a anti-human trafficking non-profit organization 501(c)3. We are based in Florida and the Midwest, with the mission to end sex trafficking and bring freedom to the exploited through five strong programs: Awareness, Prevention, Outreach, Residential, and Consulting. Donate to Selah Freedom to support our mission. For media interviews and expert insight into sex trafficking prevention, write Andrea Martone,

Andrea Martone
Selah Freedom
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