Over the past 20 years, New York Times journalist and human rights advocate, Nicholas Kristof, has documented and reported the stories of hundreds of sex trafficking victims and survivors from all over the world. His most recent column entitled He Was Supposed to Take a Photo, however, hit particularly close home.
The article details the horrifying story of Raven Kaliana, a child abuse activist whose parents began selling her body to child pornographers around the age of four. Fortunately, Kaliana was able to escape her parents’ grasp once she left for college and has since moved to the UK where she works to fight child abuse through theater and film. Sadly, this story was one that was all too familiar to us. Three years ago, 3 Generations interviewed Phoebe; a young mother whose six year-old daughter became the victim of sexual abuse and trafficking during Phoebe and her husband’s divorce. The trafficker was Phoebe’s former husband; her daughter’s father.
Three years later, Phoebe’s daughter continues to struggle with PTSD. Like many survivors of trafficking, her road to recovery will likely be life-long. In the meantime, it’s hard to say how much progress law enforcement has made. The rapid expansion of the internet and the ‘deep web,’ where the majority of child pornography dealings occur, have tested the abilities of domestic and international law enforcement agencies to contain the booming child pornography industry.
Fortunately we can all lend a hand. Take some time today to read Nick Kristof’s article, Phoebe’s story, and Jane’s Huffington Post piece here and be sure to learn how you can spot the signs of sexual abuse.