Attn; Mr. President Obama Sept 30, 2014
The White House Patricia A. McKnight
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500 62230
Dear Mr. President,
Permit me a few moments of your precious time, first to give my support for the policies you have implemented throughout your terms in Presidency and your continued drive to be the President who provides a true change in our society. This being said Sir, I would like to personally thank you for your recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness & Prevention; also in assuring our justice systems hold these monsters accountable in strict punishments.
I am an Adult Child Sex Trafficking survivor, where the many years of endured suffering and vicious, disgusting attacks, were committed by those entrusted with my care; my mother & stepfather. You see sir, I grew up in the small Southwestern Illinois town of Freeburg during 1970’s. I was five when they first married and I instantly became his property. My mother had given me to him, much the same as giving him any sort of object. For the next 12 years I was his to do with as he pleased and it didn’t end until I left home at 17, but even then he continued to stalk his prey like a lion.
Freeburg was a small town of about 1500 citizens at the time I lived there, which was from 1972 until 1981. Our family always lived in the center of town and my older brother, younger sister, and myself all attended the Freeburg Public School System. Throughout my many years in expected family slavery, even to the point of answering the ring of their little brass bell; there were many witnesses and those who took part in his vile public exploitation and trafficking of the young girl I used to be. I have gone decades trying to heal, change, and erase the person my parents created, but these dark wounds leave a lasting impression and this passes on through dysfunctional parenting in our children’s lives.
The trafficking itself started at about age 11 and lasted for six long years. This included parties at our house with me given as the prize. These late night parties included many of the adult men he worked with; husbands married to my mother’s friends, but she simply walked into her bedroom and closed the door on her pleading child. There were also weekend parties with schoolmates, teen boys lured in with alcohol and marijuana, and of course the young girl as the party favor. Many of these boys knew me, they saw me in school everyday, but they were the sons who were never allowed to date me for fear of being condemned by the entire community. By the time I was 13, the village of Freeburg had given a tag name for me which I cannot repeat in this letter for you.
The most difficult for me to process in my years of recovery, was the complete abandonment by the entire system which should have said something to protect me at some point. The many neighbors & family friends who knew of the evil within my family home, yet despite the severe scarring neglect of filth and infection of sores which covered my body and the broken black fanged teeth covered with plaque from never being given a toothbrush or any form of medical or dental care; still there was not a single person who felt it necessary to make a call for help on my behalf. I still carry the physical and emotional scars today from all the evil that was my daily existence.
The life I lived in my childhood made a huge impact in what I deemed was my self worth and what I continued to tolerate in my adult life, the pattern of self destruction and tolerating almost deadly beatings from the boyfriends and husbands to follow for over the next 20 years; all because I didn’t believe that anyone would ever care or that any service would have helped me and my children rebuild our lives. My life was like no other; it was a life I begged God to end for decades. The greatest regret I carry today is that I didn’t get the help I needed to recover from all these traumas early enough to prevent the home filled with violence from invading my children’s lives. This is how the cycle continues as the emotional dysfunctions in harmed parents then passes on into their children’s lives; then their grandchildren. Sir, there are millions out there like me, today we are finally finding the courage to speak up about the many painful abuses which are often tolerated within the family unit. Sadly when our society silences the survivors of these abuses, we continue to teach silence of these crimes to our children; leaving them to protect their family abuser and live without hope of support, healing, and recovery, thus impacting the lives of yet another generation of human beings in pain and dysfunction.
Your work Mr. President & the ongoing mission in providing resources, support, awareness and prevention strategies is the greatest reward possible for our next generation. These past ten years I’ve finally been safe, but in the aftermath of all those committed acts I am left with permanent disabling injuries to my spine, constant migraines, dysfunction in my hands, feet, and entire chronic body pain. It saddens me to know I did all of the hard work to rebuild a life with my children and provide them an example of a safe loving home; a home with the four of us working together in learning to live a life without harm. I also held a sustainable career in the business field and graduated valedictorian which permitted me to support their needs and buy a home we could call ours. Tragic as it may be, these past five years I have been forced to give it all up and accept a life on Medicare as a direct result of all the endured trauma; however there is no one held responsible for the growing cost of my care or the expensive medications to ease the pain.
My greatest accomplishments in my healing and continued efforts to help others include many training sessions in Sexual Assault, Interpersonal/Family Violence, testing to be a Human Trafficking Awareness Trainer, achieved my 40hr Domestic Violence Advocate Training, and did two years of a featured web based talk radio program discussing these issues and providing self help tools to assist others. I’ve personally coached/mentored more than 100 persons who endured many of the same vicious types of abuses, some trafficking survivors like myself. I’ve published a brief look into my life in the title, ‘My Justice’ which has been used as a teaching guide at La Sierra University in California and have received many outstanding reviews from amazing readers around the world and human services advocates. I have also been invited to be part of the FBI Southwestern Illinois Partnership Providers Against Human Trafficking and a base member in re-establishing the Illinois Victims Assistance Network; also to include many speaking engagements in awareness & prevention of the crimes which are often tolerated inside the family unit.
Please keep up your efforts Mr. President and know how important they are. I cannot tell you enough just how many lives will be saved as a result. I pray we are able to provide Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Education in every small school system & law enforcement agency across the country and make sure to penalize any person who takes part in or watches/hears these attacks against any other person and refuses to make that call for help. It is the duty of every responsible adult to report these types of crimes and only these strong measures will empower every person to believe there is help, they can live safe, and that no one is ever abandoned in such evil existence again.
In closing Mr. President, thank you for your drive & mission to help create the beginning change in our society. I will support these efforts no matter which office you may hold when this term is completed. In the deepest respect, I will keep you and your amazing example of an incredible family in my prayers. One day I truly have to believe that we can provide a unit of resources for every family who has a person suffering in some form of bullying, abuse, violence and the most evil of all; the sex trafficking of our children by those entrusted with their care. Not one single being should ever know this pain or carry the horrific & terrifying memories of these acts.
In Respect & Support,
Patricia A McKnight
Breese, Clinton County, Illinois
Author: ‘My Justice’
Advocate/Human Trafficking Awareness Trainer
Founder: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery