What I want to address, however, is how our society defines victim, and how it leaves far, far too many people behind. That article above is a great example. How many people, if asked about sex trafficking, picture little white girls or women abducted from Target? Probably a lot. For many, the only real information they’ve ever gotten about trafficking are warnings about Target or shopping mall parking lots from their Facebook friends. They don’t know how many teenage boys from broken homes, living in poverty, are pulled into being trafficked. How many gay youths, rejected by their families, fall victim to it. How many immigrant children here with no parental supervision, are sold off by the people who should be protecting them, into sexual slavery.
Those stories, even if they’re told, are not going to grab national headlines. They are not going to evoke world-wide outrage and sympathy. Those are things that happen to “other people”. We might even be tempted to start looking for reason why it’s their own fault, or at least the parents fault, right?
From a media perspective, we also have to keep this in mind. An abduction of a young white girl from her home, is a rare event. It’s actually newsworthy because it happens so rarely. When it happens, it’s shocking. A trans, minority, teen being coerced into selling themselves, with no one to turn to for protection, isn’t any of those things. A gay male teen being kicked out of their parents house and trying to make it through homelessness, is also not something that happens so rarely that there would be major news coverage of it. These things happen all of the time. So often, that they aren’t really news.
So, which group should we have support and services for? I’d like to vote for ALL OF THEM. But that will take educating people about the reality of who gets abused, who gets trafficked, and for us all to accept that it happens everywhere. Until we get there, and are willing to see all different types of people as victims, we will continue to fail one group or another. That’s not acceptable.
Mike, congratulations and best wishes. So sorry to hear that you’ve suffered child abuse and depression. Me, too. I just started to face it about 6 months ago. I’m 45 now, abuse was when I was 8-10. How did you overcome?
A lot of time, a lot of work, a lot of reorienting the way I looked at everything and everyone. It’s an ongoing process, believe me. 🙂
Wishing you all the best on the job search and good for you for doing the reflective work.
(Why is it so hard for us (survivors) to compliment ourselves, feel good about our work and the like?! – I too have experienced this and it is frustrating.)
Again, all the best,
Great stuff so much better than the negative stuff we (us survivors) can all list ad infinitum
I feel as if child abuse is based on someone ignorance. The person probably has low self-esteem and has anger problems. So instead of them taking their anger out on the person that caused it they will take it out on their children. Mainly because they know that their children will not strike back. That’s how i feel and someone needs to put an end to all this. I have suffered sex abuse when I was 12-15 and now I’m only 16, but I’m getting over it.