Stopping Traffic (not for young readers) *may trigger filters

This is directly copied from a portion of a newsletter we subscribe to. I am often surprised to find that the issue discussed here is still not well-known, but I continue to meet people that have never heard of it. I thought I’d share this letter, in case any of you haven’t heard.

“Her life used to be good. She was a star in track – leading her team to the regional championships. But that was then. Before Hurricane Katrina hit. Her life has been sad every day since.
Her family was moved to a temporary shelter… so many families crowded in a makeshift trailer park. Some of the people were friendly. One kind man in particular often helped her dad and visited with her family. He brought ice cream. He made them laugh.
But he was a pimp. and Katie couldn’t stop him from stealing her life.
He took her to a truck stop outside of Baton Rouge. And everything changed. The “nice man” beat her. Raped her. Other men joined in. Katie’s nightmare had only just begun.
Within a few days he had burned his name into her shouldher and said her name was now “Katie Girl”. She was no longer her father’s daughter. She belonged to him.
She wanted to run. She wanted to scream for help. But her pimp controlled her every move. He promised “worse” if she dared to run away. He threatened to grab her little sister.
So Katie stayed with her new “family”, servicing man after man after man, night after night after night. In the morning, she’d shower for hours… and never felt clean.

She was just 13.

Why am I telling you Katie’s story?
I was a member of the United States Congress when I first discovered that little girls are sold for sex all over the globe.
While still in Congress, I began to investigate further – and when I saw the absolutely astonishing scope of the problem, I left Washington. Since then, I have devoted my life to rescuing women and children from this wretched fate.
This is the new slavery – converting human beings into cash.
It took me a few years to discover that even in America, tens of thousands of children also suffer under the violent control of traffickers – pimps – that have only one purpose: to lure or buy young girls as fodder for the ever-growing sex markets.
And though it is difficult to accept that sex trafficking is happening right here in America, the evidence is overwhelming and sickening.
US children are for sale – and it’s happening in your community.
Recent data suggests that at least 100,000 American children are being commercially sexually exploited in the United States.
The organization I founded, Shared Hope International, made its reputation restoring victims of forced prostitution, torture, and abuse around the world, and now we are at work in America also. Our domestic strategy is three-fold:

  • Prevent – Demand is causing our children to be consumed by the commercial sex industry, and the very young are the most vulnerable. We launched the “Protected Innocent Initiative”, providing awareness materials for first responders, information for teachers and youth workers, as well as a man-to-man movement to encourage men to be the Defenders God made them to be.
  • Rescue & Restore – There is no rescue without restoration. Domestic minor sex-trafficking victims require protection, including safe homes and tailored services that remove the child from the control of the trafficker/pimp and lovingly restore her with healing and hope.
  • Bring Justice – We are working at the federal and the state levels to see that laws are put into place that provide protection and shelter for victims and meaningful punishments for both traffickers and buyers.”

Here are some statistics on Sex Trafficking in the US:

  • The US Dept. of Justice states that the typical age of entry into prostitution is 12 to 14 years old.
  • Exploited children are often labeled “child prostitutes” and punished for the crime that is committed against them. While exploited children are often arrested for prostitution, their buyers and traffickers go largely unpunished.
  • Shared Hope International‘s field research confirms that underage girls are the bulk of victims in commercial sex markets, including pornography, stripping, escort services, and prostitution.
  • The prostitution of America’s children is a nationwide problem. Shared Hope‘s assessment of the city of Las Vegas reports that 1,496 children from 40 states were trafficked into and arrested for prostitution (how many slipped by the radar??) in Clark County, Nevada, in a 30-month period.
  • The US Dept. of Justice states that at least 75% of minors exploited through prostitution are controlled by a pimp, using violence and psychological torture to hold the victims in bondage.
  • There is a severe lack of protective shelter for child victims of domestic minor sex trafficking. Best estimates are that there are fewer than 100 spaces availiable at restoration centers in the US today to house victims of domestic minor sex trafficking.
  • Nineteen states still have no commercial exploitation of children laws that makes it a crime to buy sex with a minor. (do you understand??? It’s NOT illegal in 19 states to BUY sex with a CHILD!!!)
  • Five states have no laws making it a crime to use the internet to purchase or sell sex acts with a minor.

Now. If you know me, you know that I am not a proponent of attempting to legislate morality, that, in fact, I firmly believe it can NOT be done. I don’t vote, I didn’t vote on the “Marriage Amendment”, I don’t plan to vote or lobby or protest anything in the future…
Nor am I very “into” America-centric problems, or getting involved in / involving the government. I was recently labeled “anti-establishment”, and I think that’s pretty close to accurate, as labels go. :0) This is not my kingdom, not my home.
But.
I do think that, even if laws won’t change people’s behavior, there will still be punishment for the offenders and protection for those offended. I do think that there should be laws for these children to appeal to. Laws that, even if they don’t change the predators behavior, help open the way for healing, restoration, and rehabilitation for these children.
That’s why I’m sharing this. Just to make you aware, if you weren’t, and to give you at least a starting place for your own research or action, should you be moved to any.

Posted on May 22, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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