Think About It: Courage, Post-Crisis - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

October 8, 2012

Think About It: Courage, Post-Crisis

Most any sane person would agree that the issues of child sexual exploitation and underage prostitution need serious attention and action. And while everyone would agree with measures aimed at curbing this horrible practice which exists here and elsewhere, too little attention is paid to what happens when victims are found, when runaways are rescued, when teenagers are brought in. Hawaii's incarceration rate of juvenile girls exceeds the national average. Of these offenses, about 35% are runaways. Hawaii has one of the highest rates of intra-familial sexual abuse (or incest) and also has one of the highest attempted teen suicide rates in the nation. There are approximately 300 children reported missing in Hawaii each month, many of them repeat runaways. There are no law enforcement statistics for child sex-trafficking because of the lack of a state sex-trafficking law. 

Efforts have begun to develop a safe house, a solution for underage girls who may not be able to go back home given the depth of their trauma. Fundraising for this home here is underway, as a fledgling entity called Courage House is looking for land at an undisclosed Oahu location to safely house and hopefully transform, educate, and rehabilitate these precious lives that have been sucked into the vicious cycle of sex trafficking and enslavement. Currently, there are Courage Houses in Sacramento and in the African nation of Tanzania. With over 100,000 estimated children and adolescents becoming involved in the U.S. sex industry annually , we need to do more than simply promote awareness of this sordid situation. We need to help heal the wounded. We must rescue and restore. 

Make no mistake about it, young victims fall prey to threats, Stockholm Syndrome, and adult dependency, sometimes as an extension of abuses suffered at home. Rescuing these victims is one component, but giving them a chance to thrive for the next 70-years of their lives is something else. Want more information? Go to CourageWorldwide.org and see how you might make a difference in this ugly human tragedy. Think about it…

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