Syria's refugee crisis has shone a light on sex trafficking in Lebanon, where victims are often treated as criminals. Everyone in Lebanon's "sex trade" seems to be involved in trafficking in one way or another: Sources at both the Internal Security Forces ISF and the General Directorate of General Security GS in Beirut told Al Jazeera that even pimps working further down the chain of command ultimately report to a bigger network of organised traffickers. Paul has learned the ins-and-outs of Lebanon's trafficking world over the years. Beirut, the Lebanese capital, and Jounieh, a coastal town about 10km 6. A GS officer estimated that there are at least women and girls who have been forced into prostitution in these areas. But the numbers are hard to verify because of the hidden nature of the problem.
Life on the streets
Few crimes in recent Australian history have stirred more community anger and fear than a series of pack rapes committed by more than a dozen young Lebanese men in Sydney's west 18 years ago. That group, which became known as the 'Skaf gang' after their leader, Bilal Skaf, went on a day rampage in which four young women were violated in three pack rapes shortly before the Olympics. One of the victims, an year-old woman, was raped 40 times by 14 men over four hours in an attack coordinated by mobile phone. She was then dumped at a train station after being hosed down. Many of the rapists have never been identified and police fear there were more victims who did not come forward. Railway worker Bilal Skaf led a gang of young Lebanese males who went on a rampage of pack rape in western Sydney shortly before the Olympics.
RELIGION, ABSTINENCE PLEDGING, AND TECHNICAL VIRGINITY
The only time Rama, a year-old from Syria, broke down as she recalled her months of torture and sexual enslavement in a human trafficking ring in Lebanon was when she described how she lost her faith. Over the course of an hour, Rama — not her real name — described in harrowing detail a hellish nine months as part of the largest sex trafficking ring ever uncovered in Lebanon , in which she endured torture, including being beaten with cables and an electric baton, with a bathroom mat in her mouth to keep her from screaming. She was forced to have sex on average 10 times a day and imprisoned in a decrepit house without even a glimpse of sunlight. She also detailed the abuse of the other women who were enslaved in the network, forced to have abortions after unprotected sex with customers, and subjected to inhumane physical and psychological torture. Her account meshes with details obtained independently by the Guardian from security and judicial sources involved in the investigation of the network, which eluded authorities for four years and enslaved 75 Syrian women. An indictment confirmed many of her allegations. The interview with Rama, which occurred as she was finalising her departure from a shelter for abused women, offered a rare insight from one of the women enslaved in the network, who have rarely spoken to the media since its ringleaders were detained last month. Rama described how she was lured to Lebanon from a city in Syria where she worked as a waitress in a cafe. Eager to leave her war-torn country, at the time approaching five years of civil conflict, she accepted. She said the man told her he would take care of the necessary approvals to enter Lebanon Syrians need visas now to enter the country but was surprised when he told her after a few hours of driving that they were already in the country, having crossed the border through a smuggling route.
Using a sample of 15—year-olds from Cycle 6 of the National Survey of Family Growth, we examine technical virginity and its motivations. The results suggest that religious adolescents are less likely than less-religious ones to opt for non-vaginal sex over total abstinence. Abstinence pledgers who are virgins are neither more nor less likely than nonpledgers who are virgins to substitute non-vaginal sex for intercourse. Moreover, religion and morality are actually the weakest motivators of sexual substitution among adolescents who have not had vaginal sex. Preserving technical virginity is instead more common among virgins who are driven by a desire to avoid potential life-altering consequences, like pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Social scientists report that about 10 percent of adolescent girls and 15 percent of adolescent boys are technical virgins, but the proportion decreases quickly with age, as rates of vaginal intercourse increase: Only about four percent of 20—year-olds have had oral or anal sex but not vaginal sex Mosher, Chandra, and Jones There is little evidence that this practice of sexual substitution is anything new. In the early s, about 15 percent of adolescent girls and 25 percent of adolescent boys had engaged in oral sex but not vaginal intercourse Newcomer and Udry Social scientists, though, have yet to offer compelling, empirically-based explanations for technical virginity. Assumptions about its source persist, however.