By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Other | Issue: June 2010
William Shatner will be one of the featured stars at the 21st annual Trek Expo in Tulsa.
This is the most heart-tugging story I’ve ever written. Atrocious victimization of children is prevalent throughout the world. After meeting Jason and Kristin Weis, National Walk directors of Stop Child Trafficking Now (SCTNow), and looking them squarely in the eyes, I knew it was decision time. I could turn my back and pretend that human trafficking doesn’t affect me. Or, I could assist in fighting the war.
Stop Child Trafficking Now is a 501c3 organization with a mission and strategy to stop child trafficking by targeting the source – predators who drive the sex industry. Yes, they are in our communities.
SCTNow has partnered with specially trained elite operatives, primarily retired U.S. Navy Seals, familiar with what it takes to infiltrate, investigate and bring to justice the predators victimizing children.
Working with law enforcement, these teams gather information to build cases against predators feeding off children. With a devotion to fighting the enemy, their reward is removing predators from our streets, putting them behind bars, and rescuing innocent lives.
The U.S. Department of State, UNICEF, United Nations, and the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Study, Elliott M., Browne K., Kilcoyne J., has documented the following eye-opening statistics. The findings will make you mad, make you cry, or both. Please read them and let them sink in.
Child rape is fueled by profit. Human trafficking is the third largest criminal enterprise after drugs and weapons. Child trafficking alone is a reported $10 to $12 billion industry, with an estimated 14,500 to 17,500 women and children being trafficked annually into the United States.
Child pornography fuels child sex traffic. Worldwide, over one million children enter the commercial sex trade annually, and approximately 30 million children have lost their childhood through sexual exploitation over the past 30 years.
Approximately 80 percent of human trafficking victims are women and girls, with up to 50 percent of them minors. The total market value of illicit human trafficking is estimated to be in excess of $32 billion.
Five million sexually explicit photos and videos are circulated daily, and 20 percent of all Internet pornography is of children. Six percent of the 20 percent are infants.
Less than one percent of the victims are ever rescued. Child pornography and human trafficking is highly profitable and market-driven, with less than two percent of the buyers ever being caught or prosecuted.
Illegal aliens crossing U.S. borders from Mexico are high at risk. They don’t want to be deported and, therefore, do not report sexual atrocities. Parents of young girls are scared into silence. There is government protection available, but most are unaware of it. Some parents give or sell children to pimps for profit or out of fear. Many of the parents and children affected are U.S. citizens.
On average, pimps approach runaways within 48 hours. Inner-city kids in single parent households with low incomes are also prime targets.
Kids doing social networking through MySpace, Chat Roulette, Facebook, and Xanga are high-risk targets. As you read this, 100,000 to 300,000 children are being abused in the United States.
The first annual Golf to Stop Child Trafficking Now Tournament is scheduled for Monday, July 19 at the Golf Club of Oklahoma. The event will feature guest speaker Bradley Lockhart, the father of Shaniya Davis, a victim of child sex crimes. QuikTrip and Golf Club of Oklahoma sponsor the event. You may get more information or register online at www.sctnow.org, or call Jason at (918) 346-2168. A recent SCTNow Jenks RiverWalk fundraiser was the second largest national event of its kind.
SCTNow is the only organization that targets buyers – predators. I hope this is your call to action and that you will visit the website to see how you can join the battle to stop sexual crimes against children of the world. “We’re the boots on the ground that are making a difference in eliminating sexual predators,” says Jason. SCTNow needs your help. Give voice to the children who have no voice by helping take predators off your streets.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.