In a few short weeks, I will enter my 19th year of writing Words for the Day five days a week. Millions of words have been written, but today’s post is far and away the most important. It is long, but I hope you will read it, or listen to it in its entirety.
What if it was YOUR son or daughter?
Society calls buying sex with children prostitution – Federal law calls it sex trafficking, but the stark reality is that it is Child Rape. Victims include children spanning ages 1 to 17. Testimony from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children revealed that 19% of identified sex offenders had pornographic images and videos of children younger than 3 years old; 39% younger than 6 years old; and 83% younger than 12 years old.
Sexual predators prey on the youngest and most vulnerable segment of society, and too often get away with it entirely, or with relatively minor fines and sentences. A study conducted by Shared Hope reveals that 26% of those who are caught buying sex from children serve no time, 69% of sentences are suspended, and the average time served is a mere 1-½ years.
Ironically the victims are the ones routinely being arrested for “prostitution”, while their pimps and buyers or “Johns” go free. These children are young and naïve and have not even reached an age of legal or moral accountability. They desperately need our help, not judgment or punishment.
Change is needed
Amazingly there are those (including judges) who display sympathy and advocate flexible sentencing for those criminals who are involved in child sex trafficking. This is especially true for the buyers who are paying big money for the privilege of raping children. Misguided people plead for leniency and suspended sentences, and proffer that they don’t want to see someone’s life ruined because of prostitution or what they portray as “simply making a mistake”. This is especially true for first-time offenders.
Perhaps they should be educated as to what happens to the victims. Most child victims are in effect given a death sentence, and if they do happen to survive they end up suffering for the rest of their lives. The average age of a trafficked child is 6-14 and the life span for victims is just 4-7 years. Some are found beaten to death, many die from an overdose of drugs, STD’s like HIV/AIDS, or suicide. Survivors will suffer from fear, anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, and disease for the remainder of their lives.
Something else to keep in mind concerning buyers of child sex. A singular victim is rarely the case. Most buyers have admitted to raping hundreds, or even a thousand or more victims who will be permanently scarred, if indeed they survive.
A powerful deterrent is necessary
Unless interstate or international laws are violated and the FBI and/or Interpol can get involved, penalizing perpetrators is primarily left up to individual states. The foremost problem we face is that states vary widely in how they punish sexual predators.
For example, not that long ago in the state of Georgia, trafficking a child resulted in a $50 fine and was considered a misdemeanor. Thanks to the hard work of determined individuals and 11 years of monumental effort, today this crime results in fines of up to $150,000 and life in prison. That’s great for Georgia, but if the state next door provides a safe haven, the criminals will simply adapt and move their operations there.
To ensure that all 50 states have tough minimum sentencing requirements a federal child rape law should be enacted whereby standardization of mandatory sentencing guidelines can be implemented. The unfortunate reality of our legal system is that sometimes affluent professionals including attorneys, doctors, prominent businessmen, politicians, religious leaders, and celebrities are among those buying child sex, our legal system can and often does levy punishment disproportionately for those of privilege, wealth, and influence, and they receive more favorable sentences. Mandatory sentencing guidelines will eliminate that problem and should be implemented. Judges should not have the discretion to reduce sentences for convictions of child rape.
Long sentences in federal prison, heavy fines, registration as sex offenders for life, and forfeiture of property should all be used to dissuade criminals from committing this heinous crime. 25 years to life in prison for raping a child is not out of the question. One primary advantage of federalizing this crime is that unlike state sentencing guidelines, whereby criminals might serve a fraction of their sentence in a state correctional facility, federal prison sentences require that prisoners serve 80% of their time.
It’s a fearsome thing for your child to be snatched by a stranger
Demand for child sex is rising at an alarming rate. It is estimated that 1-1/2 million children are currently victims of trafficking in the United States with approximately 300,000 added each year.
It should be noted that victims of child sex trafficking come from all backgrounds, including wealthy and poor. Every ethnicity is represented and the same is true for gender. The largest group are runaway, thrown away, or homeless children, but no child is safe due to increasing demand. Many are being snatched out of malls, playgrounds, and even out of their mother’s arms at grocery stores and on the same day are put on a plane out of the country to be trafficked worldwide. Internationally the same thing occurs; the children are kidnapped and put on a plane to the United States to be trafficked here.
Child sex slaves can initially be bought for as little as $90 and once “broken in” can be sold for as much as $5000. Considering a pimp can make $150,000-$250,000 per child per year and exploits an average of 4-6 girls and boys, it is a relatively small price for them to pay for such a valuable, “tax free” product.
“Breaking the victims in” can be a brutal process. Survivors have testified to being chained up in a bathroom where they are forced into heroin addiction. They are repeatedly raped by different men, often dozens of times per day. They are badly beaten, burned with cigarettes, starved, forced to wear dog collars, and abused until they are completely broken. At this point they become totally under the psychological control of their captors and will mindlessly obey.
Very young children are often targeted by traffickers as they are more profitable and deemed easier to manipulate. Many purchasers of child sex feel they are less likely to contract STD’s from young children and they desire them sexually for their innocence. The most money can be earned by younger girls and boys, especially virgins. and as such are in greater demand.
A civilized society should protect its children – What can we do?
It is an economic reality that sex trafficking is driven by profits. If nobody paid for sex with children, child sex trafficking would not exist. The demand for sex with children is steady and increasing at an alarming rate. It is in fact a $32 billion-dollar industry that is on the rise in all 50 states, ($150 billion worldwide.) Globally human trafficking has surpassed the illegal sale of arms and in the next few years will surpass the illegal sale of drugs making it the number one criminal enterprise in the world. Drugs and guns can be sold once and then they are gone; however, victims of child trafficking can be sold over and again.
If we truly want to reduce the supply then we must reduce the demand. This means a different strategy must be developed. Most anti-trafficking groups are dedicated to assisting the victims and are actively working towards rescuing them and putting them in safe houses where they can begin to try to restore them spiritually, mentally, and physically. The other active group of organizations working on this problem includes law enforcement advocates whose mission is to put the trafficker/pimps behind bars.
Unfortunately, as necessary as those programs are, we are not addressing the real problem of reducing the demand and going after the buyers of child sex with enough vigor. If we can successfully eliminate the demand, there will be fewer traffickers, victims, abortions, drug addicts, and billions of dollars going to criminal enterprises.
Until recently scant attention has been paid to the buyers. Most think they can get away with it, and if they do get caught, little to nothing will be done to them. Sadly, with relatively few exceptions they are right.
Public outrage is necessary
We need to create awareness nationwide of the horrific nature of this American tragedy to create public outrage at what is happening to our children. The Jesus Alliance is currently aligning powerful partners to publicize and bring this tragedy to the forefront of public discussion by distributing the facts and detailing the problem (without mincing words) to millions of people in every state.
No sane person can even envision boys and girls as young as 3 years old being subjected to rape by grown men. Saving our children is not a partisan issue, nor is this unilaterally a Christian matter. Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, et al should welcome this initiative with open arms.
Together we can get legislation passed that will prove to be a huge deterrent just like when the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) movement garnered public outrage and resulted in tough DUI laws.
It begins with child pornography
Finally, child pornography is a leading cause of child rape and must be dealt with swiftly and harshly. Child porn is rapidly increasing to staggering proportions and is a leading contributor to the child rape dilemma. It is a progressive obsession that easily becomes an addiction. As pornography viewers watch more and more pornography the viewers desire more perverse videos with younger participants. They become addicted and watch it for hours at a time. Ultimately viewing images and videos is not enough for them. The next step is participation. Arranging for sex with a child is made easy through a myriad of online sex chatrooms and even social media outlets like Facebook.
One man was recently arrested in Canada with terabytes of child pornography images and videos including “snuff” films, (videos that actually show children being killed after they are ravaged). Raping and otherwise harming children for the purpose of making porn films must be stopped if real progress is to be made. Those participating in this evil should be ruined financially and be assessed the most severe penalties.
I ask for your prayers as I travel this week to Washington D.C. There I will discuss and distribute this information to powerful people who have it within their means to do something about this nightmare. Please be in prayer for me as I undertake this important mission. Satanic attack is a given, but I am encouraged to know that greater is He that is in me than is in this world . . .
To volunteer, receive more information, or donate contact the Jesus Alliance through email: info@JesusAlliance.org Or view the Jesus Alliance website: http://thejesusalliance.org/
Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle . . .
April 17 2017 – Click here to listen