Raping with impunity: If you tell, I will kill you (Video)

Many rapes go unreported due to the victim's shame and fear.  Credit:  Holly Craw

Many rapes go unreported due to the victim’s shame and fear. Credit: Holly Craw

Mary Lou was raped in Phoenix on Friday night, one of possibly hundreds of unreported rapes in the metropolis that night. These won’t make the news, but perhaps their effects will be at least as devastating as the high-profile cases.

The victim is a young woman who met the assailant in a treatment group. Under the pretense of being a friend who wanted to watch a movie with her, he took her to his apartment and sexually assaulted her. To aggravate the crime, he threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

This scenario happens all too frequently across the country. The victim is already devastated by an act of degradation and personal violence, and then is silenced by fear of reprisal. The first response for the victim, out of shame and feeling dirty, is to bathe and try to get clean from the vile act and memories of humiliation. Then she feels hopeless and guilty for washing away all the evidence, so there seems to be no point in reporting or doing a rape kit.

In Mary Lou’s case, the rape triggered flashbacks of previous sexual assaults and violations and brought on suicidal ideations. After pretending everything was okay for nearly 48 hours, she finally called a friend and the crisis response team. Before she could be admitted to a psychiatric hospital, however, she had to go to the emergency room for a rape kit and police report. Six hours later, hospital staff told her that they didn’t do the rape test there, so she was discouraged from taking further action.

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Mouse click can rescue, heal dozens of sex trafficked girls: Your help is needed

Julianne, Felicia and Marguerite* look like ordinary teens. They enjoy makeup, pretty dresses and occasionally cuddling with a teddy bear. They know all the current songs and movies and can articulate why they want to finish their education and get a college degree so they can get good jobs. They can be seen in serious moods when they are writing a play about choices and where each scenario is likely to take them in five years. Often, they can be observed laughing and giggling over some silly comments.

What you won’t see from the outside is the past from which they are healing. Families of origin that struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction form a common theme. Add to that various kinds of abuse, most encountered while they were still very young, and the stage was set for them to fall prey to the deceptive lies and physical coercion of sex traffickers who sold their bodies to numerous strangers every night. Physical abuse from both the pimps and the customers was the norm, and the psychological manipulations they used left deep tracks in the girls’ psyches.

These girls represent a few of the dozens of young ladies who have been residents atStreetLightUSA, a safe house and treatment center for teens who have been victims of child sex trafficking.

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Mouse click can rescue, heal dozens of sex trafficked girls: Your help is needed – 

Child sex abuse may lead to PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, sex trafficking

Rage and continual cursing in a child can be indicators of extreme abuse Credits:   Stock Xchange/GeoX

The vile, excoriating epithets fly from Brandi’s* mouth like daggers–well-aimed with intent to maim and mutilate. At times, she seems to delight in her expertise in causing verbal destruction. However, a careful observer can see beneath the surface to a scared little girl who desperately wants to be loved properly and consistently. Each scathing expletive that she hurls is akin to a jagged, shard-like iceberg tip that is a decoy for the mountain of submerged pain lying underneath the surface. The sheer volume of curses that emanate from her mouth gives credence to the immensity of the abuse she has experienced, both at the hands of those in the family circle and the strangers who bought and sold her for sex.

Barely 16, Brandi has probably had more sexual encounters than a happily married couple of two to three decades. Her history of abuse and sexual violation began when she was just a little girl and continued for numerous years. She has been a runaway from the violence at home countless times, only to be caught up in forced prostitution when she was on the streets. Within the custody of child protective agencies, she has been placed in group homes and foster care, but has run or been removed from all of them.

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Child sex abuse may lead to PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, sex trafficking 

 

Women’s month highlights achievements of females and ongoing gender bias

Womens' rights means all girls are free to live normal lives in a safe and exploitation free environment.

Rights of women means we win the war. We overcome. We are stronger than the Alpha male because we are the reproducers.”

March has for decades been designated as the month to celebrate women. The International Women’s Day (also known as Women’s Rights Day), March 8, began in 1909 as female factory workers fought for better working conditions and pay. The National Women’s History Month has been in effect since 1978 to foster recognition of women’s accomplishments. These designated seasons stand as beacons of hope that the voices of the female population are being heard.

Women’s Education – Women’s Empowerment is the theme for the 2012 Women’s History Month. Females now outnumber males in American colleges, and great progress has been made in the area of women’s rights in many countries. Women around the globe have greater access to education at all levels, career opportunities in areas formerly exclusive to men, and political and decision-making power.

However, Women’s Month also becomes a searchlight exposing the venues of darkness, inequity and loss of freedom that millions of females still endure daily. One enormous area of gender discrimination of our day is human trafficking, of which sex slavery is the biggest piece. Worldwide, an estimated 27 million people are trafficking victims, with 70 percent entrapped in the sex trades. Each one endures physical deprivation and beatings, long hours of work, emotional coercion and degradation, and all manner of sexual defilement so someone else can profit financially. Eighty percent of these oppressed ones are women and 50 percent are children.

Women’s rights include some additions to the body of human rights, specifically the rights:

  • To bodily integrity and autonomy
  • To vote (suffrage)
  • To hold public office
  • To work
  • To fair wages or equal pay
  • To own property
  • To education
  • To serve in the military or be conscripted
  • To enter into legal contracts
  • To have marital, parental and religious rights.

The epidemic numbers of girls who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation have had their rights violated in nearly every area. They are held in hostage-like scenarios and are closely controlled in all they do. They have no freedom to live normal lives, and even when they get out of the “game”, they are often treated by society as second-class citizens or worse. Often the laws criminalize the children who have been victimized (usually females) and are lax or non-existent for the perpetrators (usually males).

Gender discrimination and gender bias are still strongly operating in the United States, and girls feel it, as evidenced in part by the reactive stances survivors of sex trafficking express. The following are comments about Women’s Month and women’s rights from teen girls at StreetLightUSA who are in their recovery process:

You don’t have to depend on no man or woman. I can have my own stuff, a job and a car. I will be living for myself and be financially stable with a stability I created.”

Rights of women means we win the war. We overcome. We are stronger than the Alpha male because we are the reproducers.”

“We have the right to not have a man tell us what to do. Men could not survive without us. Women bring life and peace and make the world turn around.”

We may be used and abused, but at the end of the day, we have something they (the men) want.”

I want money, power and control. I want to be on top (in my profession)—not just some ordinary girl.

The road to health and wholeness after being a sex trafficking victim is long and arduous. When the rights of one person are demolished through enslavement, coercion, and demeaning behaviors, incredible damage is done to the psyche. A host of resources and healthy, compassionate people are needed to restore the individual’s dignity and hope. Awareness of personal rights and empowerment to walk in them can help move a young girl from a despairing victim to successful, confident woman.

Women’s month highlights achievements of females and ongoing gender bias – National sex trafficking | Examiner.com.

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Major fail in US culture being safe for children

 

How often do we see signs of abuse but take no action?  Child abuse is a crime.

A child in an abusive home is at high risk for getting caught in Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking according to current research. The damage done to the psyche from physical, emotional or sexual abuse leaves a child extremely vulnerable to anyone who will show some attention and bestow some sense of worth upon him or her. These children are the ones sought out by exploiters because they have a fundamental belief that they don’t deserve anything better than more abuse.

 

Child sex trafficking then becomes the most egregious and devastating form of child violence. Sadly, because the scenario involves the selling of sex, these minors often go unnoticed by the system and are not classified as abused. Instead, they are sometimes criminalized themselves. Additionally, perpetrators are rarely caught, charged and convicted.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. In an excerpt of the Presidential Proclamation for the month, President Barack Obama asserts that the biggest part of prevention of child abuse is having healthy families.

 

“Over half a million American children suffer neglect or abuse every year. A strong and well-informed family unit is the surest defense against child abuse, and parents and caregivers who have support from relatives, friends, neighbors, and their communities are more likely to provide safe and healthy homes for their children. Trusted friends and active community members can help ensure families get the support they need by offering their time and resources, taking an active role in children’s lives, and fostering a safe environment for young people to learn and grow. By coming together in service to our communities, we do more to meet our obligation to do right by the next generation.”

 

The President’s number of abused children is low by commonly cited reports, the most recent from ChildHelp indicating that 6 million US children suffer abuse and neglect every year. Representing about one in 12 children, this figure shows a huge fail in American families and culture for achieving the goal of being safe and healthy places for minors.

 

Since abused children are far more likely to become abusers or victims of further abuse and/or trafficking, it makes sense to aim prevention efforts at the families. But, what does it take to turn around a whole generation of families that are abusive and dysfunctional before these values become inculcated into their children? President Obama hit on some key points. Healthy members of the community need to invest in their extended families, their neighborhoods, schools and religious or civic groups as role models, mentors, support and especially as those who value children.

 

If we don’t honor our most vulnerable in these ways, they will become easy prey for the profiteers who choose to sexually exploit the emotionally damaged ones.

 

If you suspect a child is being abused, please call the National Child Abuse Hotline: 1 800-4-A-child (1 800 422-4453).

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Major fail in US culture being safe for children – National sex trafficking | Examiner.com.

Thoughts on child abuse from sex trafficking victims who have been there

 

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See full video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVKLX1bgEkE&feature=related

Child Abuse Prevention Month is a time to recognize the harsh reality that millions of children in America are abused each year. It is also an opportunity to talk about ways to prevent abuse. Teen girls who have been rescued from child sex trafficking, and are now residing at StreetLightUSA were asked about their observations on child abuse.

There are many types of abuse: emotional, physical, sexual and verbal.”

“Abuse is inhumane treatment. It is misusing a person or thing for a purpose it was not meant for.

“Abuse is hurting someone on purpose or putting down someone’s self-esteem.”

“Physical abuse is hurting someone [to bring about] obedience.”

Thoughts on child abuse from sex trafficking victims who have been there – National sex trafficking | Examiner.com.

Secret Service prostitution scandal: Another name for sex tourism?

Obama says he will be "very angry" if the allegations of secret service agents and military members engaging in prostitution are verified.

The security clearances of 11 of President Obama‘s secret service agents were pulled on April 16 as part of a prostitution scandal investigation. The agents were in Cartagena, Colombia last week to prepare advance security measures for the President’s attendance at the Summit of the Americas in that city. At least one agent was reportedly entertaining a prostitute in his room beyond the hotel’s curfew of 7:00 AM, and she complained to police that the man owed her money, which was then paid on the spot. All of the agents and some military personnel were sent home for inappropriate behavior.

Prostitution is illegal in Colombia, but is overlooked by police within designated tolerance zones. Many of the preliminary comments by White House officials focus on the possible breach of security and potential for blackmail that have been engendered with the agents’ behavior. While these in themselves are extremely serious issues, almost nothing is being said about the legal and moral impropriety of government staff supporting the international sex trades.

 

Secret Service prostitution scandal: Another name for sex tourism? – National sex trafficking | Examiner.com.