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October 13, 2008

Sex Slaves in the Suburbs

Dear Friends,

On October 12 on MSNBC, they showed a harrowing special called "Sex Slaves in the Suburbs."

While I was quite aware of human trafficking issues internationally, I didn't really understand, until watching this program and following up on other related websites, what a domestic problem we have in this area. Teenagers, particularly girls, are being kidnapped and held as sex slaves in alarming numbers. This is not even just about turning them into prostitutes: this is literally about our young people being held as abject slaves...often right in their own neighborhoods.

Adding to the problem is the frequency with which police are unwilling to take on these cases (or at least unwilling to do so until precious time has already been tragically wasted), considering them simply as examples of some girl who ran away with her boyfriend, etc. This then turns American families into vigilante groups...having to do whatever they can, by themselves and with friends, to rescue their own children!

Clearly, we need to do something. People like John Walsh and Marc Klaas (who was very involved with the Shauna Newell case highlighted on last night's program) are doing important work...and it is obvious that the larger picture of missing children has gained greatly increased mainstream attention over the last few years. But this particular issue -- America teenage girls who are kidnapped and turned into sex slaves -- is not the issue of isolated horrors that I assumed it was. Rather, it is apparently becoming an epidemic. And Americans who care are the ones to stop it.

Please sign my mailing list and I will let you know as soon as I can how you can help make a difference.

Thanks,

Marianne

Posted by mwblog at 2:03 PM