Words Matter – Defining “Pimp”

Danielle Douglas had a wonderful Mother’s Day — breakfast out, a trip to the zoo with her husband and two children, snuggly naptime, and the gift of a colorful necklace and brooch. This New Jersey woman looks like a modern-day young mother. She works at a pharmaceutical company, and in her spare time she experiments with fashion statements — different haircuts and color, and fanciful makeup to accentuate her beautiful hazel eyes.

But Danielle, 30, is far from typical. She is a survivor of human trafficking, victimized during her teen years by a vicious pimp who turned her out as a prostitute in the Boston area. Those violent years and how she survived is the subject of an upcoming documentary called “10,000 Men,” to be released later this year. Today, Danielle is a woman with a mission. Danielle is pushing for heightened awareness about how pervasive human sex trafficking is — nationwide.

For Danielle, words matter. “We have to start by changing the vocabulary that defines the crime,” she told me. And for her, “It all begins with the pimp.” Danielle’s online petition calls for Merriam-Webster to understand that “pimps use fear, force and coercion to abduct human beings. They are usually violent and abusive, and can use various tactics to keep the human beings under their control.” She asks the dictionary keepers, “How can we expect people to understand sex trafficking when the definition of one of the main aspects is incorrect?”

Let’s take up the education campaign where the dictionary has faltered.

Sign Danielle’s petition at Merriam-Webster: Change the Definition of “pimp” to a realistic definition

Words matter, and true definitions enlighten.

Learn more at Diane Dimond’s Rockland County Times article: Cleveland’s Horror Is Nationwide Problem.

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