Child Welfare in the 21st Century

  • December 2013
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Suffering:

Posted by lboyd544 on December 11, 2013

What does that word mean to you? Illness, sadness, depression, poverty, loneliness.

So many things can come to mind, especially during the holiday season when we Christians think of Christ’s birth and suffering for our sins…..when we think of those who have so much less than we or not enough of the basics that they need – food, shelter, friends….when we acknowledge our health and ‘riches’ – knowing others are frail and hurting….when we give more generously than usual to loved ones and to strangers.

“Suffering” is not a word I like. It is not a word I know how to ‘fix’. And I am a fixer (for better or worse).

There is one segment of humanity suffering about whom I want to heighten your awareness. Over the coming months, I will continue to address this specific group from time to time. That “group” is the women (97%) and men (3%) who are victims of sex trafficking. In particular, I will be addressing the plight of children and youth who are victims of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking and victims of Commercial Sex Exploitation of Children.

All of us need to begin to at least recognize this activity and this population: DMST and CSEC. The United States is the hub of this crime! Nowhere else. 83% of these victims are American citizens. Not foreign nationals. Almost 50% of all victims are children. And somewhere between 65-90% of these child victims have been involved in the child welfare system.

I hope you see why I am focused on this specific segment and this specific victimization. I am ashamed and embarrassed. What is it about American males that they need and dominate this crime? (and maybe that the rest of us – women, too –  don’t speak up, don’t even know about this tragedy or neglect to get help for sex addicted people we do know?)

There are 5000+ animal shelters in the US. I contribute to one of those and one of my grown daughters has made volunteerism at that same shelter her life’s passion.

BUT there are only 226 treatment beds in the US for victims of sex trafficking! How can that be!

As I conclude this blog, it strikes me that at a time of joy and celebration that I am writing about this tragic condition. Knowledge is power, however. And I am not fearful. As a nation, we will address this suffering — it will take time, time the victims don’t have. (Statistics suggest that the average life span of a victim once they enter the trafficking trade is 7 years.)

We will a better nation this time next year. Your awareness…your concern will be a big part of that.

Season’s Blessings on us all! For Joy, Good Will and Peace.

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