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RCASA Sundays with Case Management: Where do we go from here?

In Advocacy, Case Management, Education, Sexual Assault Awareness, Systems Advocacy on November 14, 2010 at 8:00 am

Good Morning all,

I have been avoiding the news and of course, my husband says…movie night…tell me why he picks The Lovely Bones??  Well, I know it is just a movie but of course it gets me thinking…about the victims who have been silenced…dead and alive.  So, I say honey, I have to blog now.

I find it amazing that 884 people could be arrested in a child prostitution ring.  While it is a victory that this happened, I have to ask myself some questions?  And while to many that seems like a big number, when you just take a minute to think about it, it really isn’t.  In fact in the scope of the problem, it is actually a small number.  Please know that by using the word small I do not, I repeat, I don’t mean insignificant.  Even one is significant.

CNN reported on November 8, 2010 “A three-day federal crackdown on child prostitution rings across the country has resulted in the recovery of 69 children and the arrest of 884 people, including 99 pimps, federal authorities said Monday.”  I don’t mean to be a pessimist, those of you who know me, know better than that.  Those of you who know me, know that I am more like a realist when it comes to this. 

I know that those of us who see this and live it everyday know better.  In fact, some of us only get a tiny small glimpse.  I can’t imagine what the Federal Investigators who have to monitor the internet, who see dozens of nameless pictures of tortured men, women and children or who interview the victims have to hear about and live with.   I believe, they like me know that 884 is but a mere fraction of the bigger problem.

“Child prostitution continues to be a significant problem in our country, as evidenced by the number of children rescued through the continued efforts of our crimes against children task forces,” said Shawn Henry, executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Service Branch, in a written statement. “There is no work more important than protecting America’s children and freeing them from the cycle of victimization. Through our strategic partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies, we are able to make a difference.”

 

Okay, can I just be real for a minute?  What will it take to stop this?  I mean why can’t there be enough partnerships to just put an end to this?  I mean after all we put a man on the moon, we now have cars that can park themselves, so I ask myself why can’t we stop it? 

Really, just this past week there was a controversy with Amazon.  According to the Associated Press,  “The availability of “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover’s Code of Conduct” calls into question whether Amazon has any procedures — or even an obligation — to vet books before they are sold in its online stores. Amazon did not respond to multiple e-mail and phone messages.’ ”  Is this really a case of censorship, why is okay to promote sexual violence and sexual exploitation?  I really do not understand how a society that says no to abortion and no to gay marriage ( I mean people actually go to Capitol Hill and meet with their district leaders to discuss this).  And while I know that there are many anti violence activist who speak up and fight against this, I have again ask, why is it so hard to stop? 

The Stop Child Abuse website states,  FBI executive assistant director Shawn Henry said the children found ranged in age from 12 to 17….Since 2003, when the FBI and the Justice Department launched the Innocence Lost National Initiative, about 1,250 child prostitutes have been located and removed from prostitution.  So who is missing their 12-17 year old; chances are some of these children were runaways.  So who is protecting them?  Certainly, not the pimps who use and sell them.

I guess what I am saying is how can we better equip society to manage these problems.  Well, first the systems need to work together.  All the way from the legislative branch, to law enforcement to advocates just like me.  I mean, even your neighbors, do you have neighborhood watch?  Clearly, there is evil in the world…how else to describe someone’s need or desire to rape, torture, murder, or exploit.  So those of us who know this is in fact evil and unacceptable can’t be afraid to be heard and say NO!  NO, I won’t allow 69 children to be victimized in my neighborhood or 15 men, women or children violently assaulted in my town.  People, I am not talking about inciting riotous behavior.  I am talking about awareness, education, prevention!  Something we are all capable of.  If you don’t, won’t or can’t, ask yourself why?  Maybe you can go up to DC or down to Richmond and speak to YOUR representative.  Believe me people, we can use all the help we can get.  Our agency fights a hard fight with less then 10 people and believe me when I tell you, it ain’t about the money.  So if we (like many other non-profits) do this everyday, we could use the community’s help to make a shift and end this battle so that 884, can become 8,884 and then 88,884, until we make it impossible for them to hide.

Well, I am going to end tonight but I will keep up this fight until my time is up….  

  1. Let me start off by saying that I very much agree with you…and I wonder to myself…why is this still so prominent. So, what is it that we as a community of people against this issue have to do? Please let me know what I can do to further our win against these crimes against innocence and our future generation.

    • Shannon,
      Thank you so much for your response! It is a sad fact that so much of this is still going on in the world. There are several things that people can do to help. First, share this with friends, families and co-workers. The more knowledge and education in the community the more awareness can develop. Some people want to get directly involved, some want to see change by doing advocacy on the Hill. Others want to provide financial support to help non-profit agencies like ours reach more people. So there is a lot that can be done. Contact your local Sexual Assault Prevention agency to see how you would like to help. Finally, keep reading our blog. You can subscribe to it and you can find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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