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Anyone who can help, please do!

My husband recently returned from deployment in Bahrain. He told me just tonight that there is a club/hotel/brothel that is frequented by US Military personnel in Bahrain, but when he began to tell me about it, I was understandably disturbed. He was telling me the girls were Russian and Ukrainian, so I immediately suspected forced prostitution. When I questioned him, he said the girls did say things like, "We aren't allowed to leave," or "I'd like to go home, but I can't - they won't let me." I know that tricking girls from that part of the world into slavery and prostitution is a big business and I don't feel that the US military should be supporting that business! I'm not the morality police - I don't feel the need to try to stop military personnel from spending their money on prostitution. However, I DO feel very adamantly that no one from the US should be supporting slavery in the 21st century - especially not with the consent of the US government. And IMO, by allowing service men to enter this place, their superiors - who have every right to tell them they are not allowed in certain places and who exercise that right frequently - are turning a blind eye and inadvertently supporting the whole thing. If anyone could help me in any way - by writing letters to anyone you know or by helping me look up the facts on forced prostitution so that *I* can write a convincing letter to my husband's CO, please do! Thanks so much.
 

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Something about this was in the news this spring. I don't think "inadvertantly" and "blind eye" have anything to do with this, however. From what I read, in a local Seattle paper of all places
was that the government FUNDS ("employs" the girls, owns the "hotels") these establishments for the purpose of entertaining and housing military personnel. Yeah. Complimentary to the soldiers. It's that sick, and I'm sure even more so if this was reported in the papers. In a related story, some female soldiers formed an exotic dancing/acrobatics (read: strip) group and went around to the bases giving "shows" for the other soldiers. That's a real great approach to cut down on sexual harassment
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As a veteran and having seen the sorts of places sailors like to hang out on liberty in ports like Saipan and Phattaya Beach, Thailand (because I was on shore patrol and we had to monitor places being frequented by the sailors), and being aware of the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) and what sorts of things are ignored and not, etc., I've got to say I have my doubts about the theory that the US government is funding houses of prostitution. Local CO's might well be turning a blind eye, mind you, or might simply be unaware of the details of what's going on. In general, the only places that get put off-limits for military personnel are those that are called to the attention of the command because they are carrying on illegal practices (drugs, underage prostitution, etc.), sailors get in trouble going there (mugged, STD's traced to a place, fights, etc.), local authorities have asked them to do so or warned them about potential problems, or something else frowned upon has been brought to the attention of the command staff. Which is where writing a well-thought-out letter to the CO might make a difference. Better still if it came from your husband.

No command I ever served under would permit a "strip show" put on by female military personnel. But then, in no command I ever served under would a mess like the prison scandal occur. Maybe the army is different, but they operate with the same legal code, so they can't be THAT much different.
 

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with both of you. As a military wife (dh recently returned from Iraq) I've been told that these places *are* off-limits to service people. The problem is that personnel are both adult and unaccompanied by CO's when they're on leave- which means they're going to go where they're going to go. To try and make them *more* illegal isn't possible, short of getting the host-nations to shut these clubs down, which I doubt will happen.

The best thing that concerned people can do is 1) Support agencies like UNIFEM that work to end trafficking and prostitution and 2) SPEAK UP on your home bases! Organize a class/lecture/workshop on the condition of women around the world and ask your CO's (or ds's CO's) to give you time and space to present it. If you don't feel comfortable doing so, get the CO to bring in a speaker from a local women's shelter- believe me, they'll present a compelling case!

HTH
Hip Momma
 

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I know this is a late response but I wanted to make a comment regarding prostitution in Bahrain. Well, actually, I will address Abu Dhabi/Dubai because that's where I live, but basically the same idea/area. Prostitutes are brought here by tricks and lies. They are kept in houses (completely housebound in case they tell. The Gov will shut them down in a blink if it finds out and the punishment for the owners/operators of the brothels is severe). So a broker (pimp) will have to go out and get customers. That is the first clue that these are "sex slaves". Something that guys need to know: These women are NOT clean. They are not taken to doctors/hospitals unless they are dying (truly) and when legal persons enter the countries here to work/live, they are required to take AIDS tests, hepatitis tests and tests for TB. These women are illegal and therefore do not undergo these tests. Don't forget that Russia has a HUGE AIDS problem right now. There are women who enter the country legally (to work in the hotels, restaurants, as nanny's etc) who decide on their own to prostitute themselves. I am not a supporter of prostitution AT ALL but at least those women were given the initial blood tests when they entered the country. Of course, by the time they've made the rounds, who knows what they've contracted. This is (as I am sure you all agree) very much a woman's issue as men can bring home some very nasty "gifts" for their wives from frequenting prostitutes. I definately think it should be addressed by military wives (I say wives because I will have to assume that not too many military women are frequenting prostitutes) everywhere.
 
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