Cross-posted by Gary Fouse
When you read about prostitution busts, you think of prostitutes, pimps and johns. You think of undercover cops arresting hookers and johns, and Date Line NBC helping cops catch men looking for underage sex on the Internet. Yet, there is another form of prostitution that is expecially insidious; that is forced child prostitution. Usually, we read about child sex slavery in Third World countries, where enforcement is lax, and corruption allows the child sex-trade to flourish-aided by Western men who travel to these countries to engage in activities they know they would go to prison for here. Shockingly, however, it is going on right here in the United States, sometimes even involving the kidnapping of young children for sexual slavery purposes. The statistics show that forced child sexual exploitaion is formly rooted right here at home. Aside from the cases of child sexual abuse within the home and those involving runaway children who are preyed upon by pimps, many cases of child sexual abuse involve organized criminal activity such as gangs and ethnic organized crime organizations. Many of the child victims are brought to the US from other countries for sexual purposes. Young women and children are being forced into the sex slave trade every year. Now nearly 1,000,000 American children in the United States alone have been victimized and trafficked across state lines to include Richmond, VA To L.A. Califorina and every small town and big city across the United States. These represent true crimes against our children and young women.
One organization that is devoted to help fight this scourge is Project Meridian Foundation Inc. The founder and CEO of Project Meridian Foundation is Nathan Wilson, who is based in Richmond, Virginia, which, surprisingly enough, is part of a region where much of this activity goes on. Wilson interacts with countless organizations to help bring a public awareness to the problem, help in the rescue of child victims, and assist in sheltering and helping them recover from their ordeal. One of the organization's present goals is to establish an initial secure facility (safe house) where rescued children could be housed, given medical treatment and counseling under 24 hour security. Such a facility would have the capacity to serve 100-120 children per year for a three month period before moving to a step-up facility. In addition, the organization is seeking funding for an operational office/victim call center and an updated website.
In addition, Wilson makes numerous speaking appearances to bring public awareness to this problem. I myself will be making inquiries next week at UC-Irvine, where I teach part-time, to see if we can bring Mr Wilson out to our campus.
Without question, such an undertaking requires funding. If you are looking for a worthwhile organization to send a check to, please consider Project Meridian Foundation. Their website can be found at http://www.projectmeridianfoundation.org and is linked on this blog. Project Meridian Foundation is a non-profit IRS 501 c3 organization.
I will be giving periodic updates on Project Meredian Foundation's work.