In June of 2006, I found an article about a woman who sold her 7 year old son to a neighbor to rape. Around the same time, I discovered a blog about a facility in California, the Coalinga State Hospital. It is a new $388 million, state-of-the-art facility designed to house 1,500 high-risk sex offenders. It is apparently state of the art: library, gymnasium, barbershop, mall, open-air courtyard… As the author said it best, “A dreamy resort for sexual predators.”
Both articles generated a huge response. One issue that was mentioned is why we spend so much money for people like this, yet do nothing for the victims. i.e. There is no state of the art rehabilitation center for child or adult victims of sex abuse.
Rehabilitation. One of the “patients” of the “rehab” resort made a statement that he didn’t appreciate being treated like a prisoner because he was listed as “patient”. This individual was a teacher hospitalized for raping an 8 month old baby.
When I lived in Virginia many years ago, a man had been arrested for the rape of his 2 year old daughter. Although there was past speculation that he also raped and murdered a previous 18 month old child he had fathered, he was given 3 months in prison.
A month later, he was arrested for possession of crack with intent to distribute. He got 8 months for this.
After reading those articles and dealing with my own extensive past with sexual abuse, I started a Yahoo! group dedicated to victims and survivors of sexual abuse, especially children. Because of Yahoo!’s inability to control stalkers and cyber bullies (predators and pedophiles started harassing people who came to us for a safe haven to talk about what happened to them), I had to shut the group down.
In 2007, I was approached by my daughter’s girl scout troop to create the group again, this time off-line, and put together informational booklets for all the moms. Unfortunately, my efforts at the request of the troop leader were quickly scorned and the plans for a presentation that would include McGruff and members of law enforcement were quickly squashed.
I won’t get into too much in this section about the drama that occurred, but I will say that what happened with it caused me to pull my daughter from GS permanently and have quite a few harsh things to say to the Girl Scout Council leaders.
In short, the vast majority of the moms didn’t want to hear about it. They didn’t want the booklets, they didn’t want the presentation, they didn’t want to hear about the dangers very real and living in our neighborhoods, and worst of all, they didn’t want to learn how to protect their children and went so far as to condemn my helpers and I for even suggesting they talk to their daughters about sexual predators.
This to me is inexcusable. It is the primary reason a pedophile/sexual predator chooses the victims they choose.
Parents MUST NOT turn a blind eye to what is very real and happening in this world and this country every single day. We are ill-educated about this ever-present horror hovering over our children, but we can name every incident for which Paris Hilton was arrested and what flowers were used in the TomKat wedding.
For years, I believed the sexual abuse I and the few others I knew of experienced were all alone in our suffering. I knew nothing of the global crisis of child abuse until I was 22 and read an article from Andrew Vachss in the Parade magazine about the child sex slave industry in Thailand and Vachss’ movement to stop it. (I still have the original article clipping.)
Andrew Vachss is a child advocate, a New York lawyer fighting for the rights of children, whether they can afford it or not. His site is: [link] Please explore the links, including his mission link: [link] and the link about the dog he donated to a child advocacy group in the south: [link] .
The dog, named Vachss, aids children who have to testify before their assailant. They bond with him during their counseling sessions and are allowed in court to give them strength. There has been a noticeable change in cases where in the past children have been too afraid to testify. Just his presence at their feet on the witness stand gives them the courage they need. They feel safe as he makes them feel he will protect them. In some of the cases, the defendants are actually afraid of having the dog in the courtroom and try to have the dog removed because of the courage the dog gives the children. Thankfully, it has not yet worked!
About 13 or so years ago, Andrew Vachss, who has also written many books exposing child abuse in America, child neglect, child suicide, etc… , was approached by DC Comics and Bob Kane, creator of Batman and child advocate, himself, with an idea for using Batman to expose the child sex slave industry in Thailand. Andrew Vachss readily agreed and so was written “The Ultimate Evil”.
The link on the Vachss site for this novel is: [link]
In The Ultimate Evil, Bruce Wayne is on a tour of Thailand when he is approached with an offer for a visit from child prostitutes. He suddenly learns this is a widely accepted and widely used practice in Thailand and dons the Batman costume to bring justice to the children.
Now, you may think that since this is Thailand, it has nothing to do with us, much the same as you may think websites and child sexual abuse based in other countries have nothing to do with us.
Many of the children being used in the sex slave industry in not only Thailand but Mexico, Africa, the Netherlands, and other countries have been kidnapped from America and sold on the black market to these countries. Many of the babies sold on the black market go to these slavery rings to be bred into sex slaves. Many of the customers of these slavery rings are American businessmen.
Because of Andrew Vachss’ “Don’t Buy Thai” campaign, the Thai government has since cleaned up much of this, though not all.
I tried to boycott them, myself, until I looked around the house and discovered most of what we have comes from Thailand. ALL of Disney merchandise, merchandise geared at our children, comes from Thailand. Our children play with products created by a nation selling children into sex.
Still, you may wonder what this has to do with us, especially since these men are going overseas. I’ve actually been told, “At least it’s not our kids, right?”
These men who find pleasure in having a sexual encounter of ANY kind with a child are sick. They have an INCURABLE disease. These men who go overseas for it are not always there. They are on our home soil for most of their business, and I can guarantee you, every child within their reach has become their victim. Being that they are businessmen who are noted enough to be sent on business trips abroad, it is a fair assumption they are capable of getting out of any trouble here.
So, yes, it does affect us, it does involve us. Regardless, the assault of ANY child is important for ALL of us.
The most recent fight involves Lindsay Ashford and others like him using the net to reel in their prey. Lindsay Ashford is an outspoken pedophile from the Netherlands, who has created a website and written a book instructing other pedophiles how to do what they do and not get caught.
(There is currently a movement to boycott Amazon.com for it’s support of his book and those of other pedophiles, their reason being that they respect free speech.)
His site is dedicated to pedophiles and is an attempt to convince people pedophilia is not the same as molestation with an agenda to make pedophilia LEGAL – meaning molesting and raping our children would be legal if they were to get their way. Unbelievably, or perhaps believably, they are gathering support for this cause!
At the bottom of the blog’s front page are support “buttons” by groups that support the site and the effort to make this legal. Americans For Freedom Of Speech is one of them and the ACLU has taken up to defending their rights, as well. I am an American and this does not represent my freedom of speech!
Pedophiles do not consider themselves on the same level as child molesters or child abusers or child rapists. They believe themselves to be, and I quote, “lovers of children”. They see nothing wrong with what they do, citing their feelings are that of appreciation towards innocent children and their actions are only to make a child feel “special” and “feel good”. They collect photos of children across the net (yes, even those you post publicly on your blogs and public albums) and always keep them near because they believe children are “God’s special gift to all men.” (exact quote).
Additionally, there is a traveling circuit of pedophiles that goes around the country and holds conferences in predominate hotels teaching how to get victims. They talk about how to get kids away from their parents, how to stalk their victim, which children are good choices and which ones should be passed over, how to make a child not talk, how to assault the child without leaving signs….etc…
( There is an excellent site dedicated to instructing parents on these very things called Warriors For Innocence – Grooming tactics: [link] )
Does the government know about this group? If they didn’t, how do I know? It was on a 20/20 or 60 Minutes or Dateline special a couple of years ago. They had an undercover video of several of these conferences. Men there ranged from roofers to teachers to company executives, doctors and lawyers.
You must ask yourselves if the government knows of this, why won’t they stop it? Then take action – sign petitions, research on the net and actively communicate to your lawmakers. Demand to know why they continue to let this happen.
It seems around every bend, there are not just pedophiles and child rapists to contend with but their defenders, as well, and those who believe with every fiber of their being that ignoring the ugly truth will make it go away. My site is to remind all of them that this horror will not just go away and as long as it exists, neither will I or others like me.
I’ve been part of organizations before where I have given my all. In addition to the Yahoo! group I’d created and had to disband, I came back with another group for survivors only, and last year I created PACA: Pagans Against Child Abuse. It was as a member of a Pagan site and I was soon joined by three others who helped me monitor it and post awareness tips.
Unbeknownest to me, one of them started spreading the group throughout the internet, even starting its own site. I was okay with it as it was about helping the children, not my pride, but then two of the three admins started methodically changing our mission. Under my ownership, survivors were encouraged to share their stories, but then they were told to keep quiet if it was about any particular religion or race that these two admins didn’t want to make angry.
We were kicked out of the Pagan site because we exposed the extensive predators and pedophiles hiding within it, and when we moved to the PACA site the one admin had created, I became just an admin and she had all the power. I could no longer let survivors speak of their pain and receive sympathetic support. I could no longer allow discussions about harsher legal punishments for sex offenders because this was seen as “inciting violence” by the other two admin, even though it was basic discussion about legal arrests and penalties.
When I allowed a victim of a Christian sect to post his sexual abuse story at their hands, I was forced from my admin duties, he was banned, and it was said as an unwritten rule that there would be no mention of Christian abuse. We were still going against Islamic abuse, Wicca abuse, and the Frosts’ child rape how-to Wicca manual full throttle, but Christianity was suddenly off limits.
I, finally, had enough and left when it became glaringly apparent one of our admin circle was using PACA to generate hits on his political and drama-inciting site for monetary gain, and the woman who had taken PACA from me without my original permission (though granted later for the sake of the children) was wound tightly around his finger.
Of course, I was hurt. I was betrayed and it might have destroyed my spirit had it not been for the fact that I am and have always been here for the children, the victims, and the survivors. The most shameful aspect of the whole episode was alienating all of the people who had found PACA to once be a safe place for people to care and suddenly found themselves being told to keep silent just as their abusers had done.
The site is all but dead now and it hurts because of all the people the group had started to help, finding the courage to open up when promised people would care enough to listen. Opening up is the hardest thing for a victim to do, and what PACA became has betrayed not just me but those who took that first courageous step. I have washed my hands of the site and group completely and moved on to see victims follow me and start to open up once again.
I see people angry at the world and the system who yell and scream and cause more problems for our cause than the good they meant to do come and go, and I remain. I hear people telling me to tone it down, walk on eggshells so as not to offend certain groups who also happen to be harboring child abusers, they fade away and I remain. I read scathing remarks, threats, and insults by pedophiles and their defenders, but they are a fleeting moment and their hatred of me only keeps me here stronger with the knowledge that their attacks mean my efforts to destroy them are working. I become part of groups that form with the good intention of helping children but turn into tit for tat turf wars, ego-inflated arguments, and drama that is completely off the issue of child abuse prevention and awareness and helping children in need. I have no problem packing my things and walking out immediately without a second glance back.
I am tenacious and nothing these people have done to me have made me quit for one reason and one reason alone: It isn’t about me – it’s about the children!
They cannot understand why they cannot break me or why I keep going strong even when they fail, and that is because they cannot embrace this one simple mantra – that it is only about the children. If a group cannot live by that one standard, they are in this fight for all the wrong reasons and my site and off-site efforts are all the more necessary and needed to push on.
If you come to my site looking for a debate, looking for attention, looking to generate attention to your site, looking to defend child abusers, looking to convince me “it’s not all that bad” etc…, you have no idea the spirit you challenge. I am cold, I am steel, I am vigilant. All I am here for is to protect and defend children.