(CNN, October 26, 2009) Law enforcement authorities have recovered 52 children and arrested 60 pimps allegedly involved in child prostitution, the FBI announced Monday.______________________
More than 690 people in all were arrested on state and local charges, the FBI stated.
this go. I WON'T let this go. As painful as this is to confront, and as near to tears as I am right now, I can't ignore this for another minute.
There are children out there--OUR children--who are being kidnapped, raped, exploited and forced into lives of prostitution and abject misery. They are CHILDREN. They were babies once. Infants. Now they're kids. They should be living the lives that all kids dream of living. Free from worry, free from harm, free to be as joyful and as silly and as wonderful as any sitcom kid devised.
In a little over six years, 889 children have been rescued or "recovered" through the efforts of a task force of 34 agencies known as the Innocence Lost National Initiative. The kids who have now been recovered will never, ever be full time kids again. Those days, if they ever existed, are behind them. They may have joyful moments--kids are resilient, after all--but they will carry those days and nights of misery with them forever.
I hate that.
I want those people--the people who did this to our children--dead. I want them never to walk this earth again, never to inhale the same air we exhale, never to have one more moment to walk upright among the rest of us. I don't say this lightly. I'm not writing this in the heat of passion. I mean it.
In those six years, there have been around 500 convictions, with some sentences as light as eight years. The longest sentences work out to around 25 years. That's not nearly long enough. When those monsters get out, their victims will still be young enough to have to look ahead to years of persistent nightmares. What could be worse than knowing your tormentor is walking the streets, free as a bird, free of conscience, human in physiognomy only?
We owe it to the children rescued and to the pitiful children still lost to the child sex trade to become warriors in their name. We watch animals in the wild protecting their young and think nothing of it. It's the way of nature, after all. But where in the wild is exploitation? What other species of animal creates an environment where helpless, defenseless young are served up to the baser instincts of the most dangerous elements of their kind? None but humans.
We bring these children into this world. We're high-minded in our seeming concern for them. We claim to love them all. And yet we will not take seriously enough our ability to change their lives for the better. We cannot ignore the enemies of our children. We are in the frontline of a battle for their very lives. Every child is a child of ours. We are their only hope.
If it takes a village, we are it.
Innocence Lost National Initiative
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The Cyber Tipline
FBI Crimes Against Children Unit
DOJ National Sex Offender Website
(Cross-posted at Talking Points Memo here)