Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Missing and Exploited Children in the US

Most people remember the name Natalee Holloway and her strange disappearance while in Aruba on a school trip. Her name has been is the news a lot as of late as a result of Joran van der Sloot's murder of a young woman in Peru a few weeks ago. It is more than likely that Natalee was also murdered by this same person although she has never been found.

One of the speculations surrounding her disappearance was abduction into forced prostitution. I remember hearing about that possibility and feeling horrified about it, but didn't look into it any further.

We hear about kidnapping and abductions too much because they happen too much. When I think of a missing child I think of a man who is abducting a child for lewd acts like in the cases of Jessica Lunsford and Jaycee Dugard. Oftentimes children are taken for other exploitative purposes including forced prostitution and domestic servitude. That's one of the major ways human trafficking happens here in the United States.

A child can be kidnapped with no prior interaction with their kidnapper whatsoever or a child can have interactions with someone and be deceived into exploitative situations.

We need to be proactive about fighting this in America. We have a responsibility as US citizens to do that. We have a responsibility to our children to fight for them - to prevent them from being exploited and to make sure true justice is served for those who do the exploiting. On Friday we're going to discuss ways to do that so we can fight this tragedy here on the home front.

If you know of organizations, contacts or ways to help with fighting child exploitation and abduction in the US, please comment below and we'll include it on Friday's post.

Thank you in advance for protecting our children.

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