Illinois is going the extra step for Human Trafficking Victims Under 18

Readers it is finally here, something which myself and many supportive colleagues have been focusing on for three years; updating Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Trafficking. The one person who is really doing the hard work in making this a reality is

Illinois State House Representative Jay Hoffman (D) Swansea. Jay_Hoffman_Headshot(1)_Web

The first fact I need every reader and leader to understand is that there is one particular misperception about the real crime of child sex trafficking in America; more often than not it is a parent or guardian who is exploiting or trafficking the child. This is a horrible fact I’m asking you to consider, but in Small Town America we usually don’t see Pimps, Working Girls on Street Corners, or the ‘Johns’ circling the block in their vehicles. We don’t have the inner city crime areas where others drive by picking and choosing from those standing almost naked in the freezing cold at three in the morning. We don’t have gangs of kids pushing drugs from the projects. We rarely have common acts of vandalism in the thousands of ‘safe’ communities across the country.

It is because we believe in the ‘safety’ of these communities that we don’t think about what happens inside the house or apartment or trailer next door. We figure our neighbors are all very ‘GOOD’ people because we see them at the grocery store, we see them at picnics, we see them at church, and our kids go to school with their kids, play school sports together, or hang out at the public pool together. However, let me be perfectly clear when I share a few more facts with you.

Children’s Bureau, National Child Abuse and Neglect Data Systems 2011- 1 in 9 confirmed cases of child sexual abuse.

Centers for Disease 2013 estimates 1 in 4 children living with maltreatment or abuse in America

National Human Trafficking Resource Center confirms 70% of Prostitutes reported Child Sexual Harm

NO PERSON DREAMS OF BEING A PROSTITUTE WHEN THEY GROW UP – this is something that is done out of survival; either being forced by control and threats or physical harm by someone or the aftermath destruction of leaving an abusive home and a life influenced by drugs, degradation, and sex.

I was born in small town rural America, raised in these ‘safe’ communities, and grew up to become a wife and mother living within a ‘safe’ suburb so my children could be safe. Most in the town of Freeburg knew my mother and stepfather well; they each had their own reputations. My stepfather the violent and depraved alcoholic and my mother playing the poor victim and woman who had to tolerate him as a husband.

This was not the truth, or at least about my mother anyway. My mother pretty much handed me over to Malcolm like a piece of property she signed over in a prenuptial agreement. By the time I was ten he could dominate me, stalk me, molest me, and then started using me and sharing me with other men that he knew or worked with at the local coal mine. Sometimes he took me to the area bar and pawned me off for a couple glasses of beer, other times he took me to private locations with more than one or two men involved. Mother allowed him to take me along on their dates and then use me as bait to lure some guy in who would by our table drinks and dance with her as she allowed her husband to rub himself against me on a public dance floor. She permitted him to enter me into some bathing beauty ‘Miss Peabody’ pageant at thirteen and then started allowing him to invite five or more men over for late-night parties with alcohol, weed, and porn; entertained by her young daughter as she lay in her room watching TV or reading a book.

My mother was not threatened to allow any of this, in fact Malcolm would have and did do anything my mother requested. Yes, he was a very mean drunk, but not once did I ever hear him so much as raise his voice at her, much less threaten her or dominate her. If the things she permitted to happen to me would have been something he did to her, and if she was treated with such constant control and physical violence; if any of the cruelties against her middle daughter would have been committed against her I know she would have moved on to the next man who was willing to take care of her.

This is how most cases of Rural Area Child Sex Trafficking in America really happens and the escalation of cruelty that encircles the life of these young victims. As children they don’t quite understand what or why these horrible terrifying things are happening and it will probably take decades before they can finally process all the darkness and distortions caused by the parent or parents responsible for their care; for giving them life, but destroying their spirit. These young persons, who can be of any age, are used, shared, sold and bartered for shelter, drugs, and possibly even money. It happened in my case and I know a couple hundred adult survivors and rescued teens who have endured these small town secret crimes without help or hope, just trying to make it through so they can get big enough to escape.

These are the types of offenses we must stand strong against as communities. We must rally our law enforcement, our healthcare providers, our educators, and our neighbors to be a voice for a child or a family in distress. The internal suffering of these silenced and ignored young victims is a haunting with repercussions that affect many aspects of their forming and adult life patterns and behaviors, which then becomes a burden to citizens by the estimated $145 Billion per year economic deficit to provide recovery and rebuilding services, along with many other challenges.

    • Employment Difficulties
    • Mental, Dental, and Medical Healthcare
    • Early Disability from PTSD, Depression, Permanent Injury
    • Immediate & Longterm Life Skills & Recovery Support
    • Criminal Justice & Legal Services
    • Homelessness & Shelter Services
    • Addictions & Self Harming Behaviors

Way too often and much too common, as discussed with a few hundred advocates & survivors; the guilt and shame of these brutal acts is like a brainwashing, ‘training’, ‘conditioning’ that our adult relationships are challenged and our families suffer as they see the emotional turmoil roll through like an evil snake of destruction. We stand for the rights of so many different causes today; Rights for LGBTQ, Muslims, Christians, Animals, and Trees – it’s time to stand up for the Rights & Safety of our American Children.

VOTING – YES for HB3629 – Illinois becomes one of the many states updating Criminal & Civil Statutes for the crime of Human Trafficking, Trafficking in Persons, Involuntary Servitude of a Child, Involuntary Sexual Servitude of a Minor. By voting YES – HB3629 we give these young victims time to grow so they understand what happened, time to heal from the layers of trauma, time to actually accept what their parent or caretaker has done or allowed others to do against them.

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Will we just keep counting the bodies……..

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http://www.clipsyndicate.com/video/play/5717473

Interview courtesy of: WCIAtv, reporter Jessica Kunz

This is a fabulous interview and friends I am extremely grateful for the past few months of interviews I’ve been blessed to take part in; this one by Jessica and two others with Investigative Reporter, Eric Steltzer WANDtv.com (links for these two interviews listed below). My concern however; can someone possibly explain to me why we would rather just keep counting the bodies of the millions of children harmed everyday by family sex trafficking or family terroristic abuse and torment; keep counting the lives of millions destroyed by these acts every year rather than addressing the issue head-on?

Dammit I’m FURIOUS!!! I’ve handled just about all of the authoritative rejection I can possibly deal with on this issue. These past 5 years have been spent channeling as much energy as possible in providing education, awareness, activism, and advocating for the individual basic right to be safe, especially for our children. Many other outstanding advocates have either teamed up with me personally, or have done their own exhaustive advocating on the very serious pandemic numbers which continue to climb above 3.5 million every year, and those are just the numbers of child maltreatment reports. However, because of the mandates, which are not updated to address the hidden trauma behind the family terroristic nature of the abuse to force a child to remain silent and simply endure whatever it is their parent continues to dish out on them day after day, year after year, until they are old enough to get away or they end up self destructing. Sadly many thousands of these wounded souls commit suicide every year, because the trauma is just too severe to overcome and the heavy burden of shame and silence refuses to be addressed by those in our community and our politicians who have the power to create the changes needed to save their lives.

Yes, I’ve used my own personal story, but I don’t feel its my right to discuss someone else’s history. Also the nature of my very public and well known family sex trafficking, exploitation, terrorized slavery, and disfiguring neglect is really one of the most extreme cases I’m aware of, as is with a few other survivors, but none to the public knowledge that mine exceeded in our small rural community.  However, rest assured my goal is NOT for personal gain, but rather to create one of the strongest untied stands across the country in our human history to ensure that these crimes STOP NOW!!

I’ve been shut down by the Illinois Dept of Public Health, stating my story was too graphic and although April’s conference in Peoria was for the qualified trained professionals on Women’s Health and Family Wellness; I was told I needed to tune back my story and reduce the graphic nature of those 30+ years in hell. They had professionals declining to attend my presentation because it was just more than they could possibly handle. Do they realize that children are still suffering in these tragedies everyday? Do they realize that if they do not face it and discuss it, they will NEVER get a child to discuss it with them? Do they realize that by refusing to listen for one hour as I talk about the actions of Family Crimes and the extreme trauma involved when the acts have been committed with complete malice, in a form of terroristic nature, for the sole purpose of silencing the child and preventing them from ever feeling safe enough to talk about these ugly secrets, thus preventing any criminal charges against the parents who commit and allow these grievous acts? Do they realize the continue teaching of shame, rejection, and of course, SECRET KEEPING they enforce when they as trained healthcare professionals cannot handle listening to a one hour presentation which will help them spot and treat, assess and assist a victim of any age trapped in these vicious attacks?

Last October, I teamed up with a personal friend and the Legal Advocacy Director for Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois. I had been working on a proposal to address the very serious crimes within our family unit and the terroristic nature in which they were constantly kept secret and silent. Lisa Chilton and I took the proposal to Illinois House Representative Jay Hoffman, then to Illinois States Attorney Brendan Kelly, and in late February I was notified that ‘terroristic’ was not the proper or acceptable word to use, and out of ten guidelines in the proposal they were ready to introduce a measure to change the Statute of Limitations for a barrage of criminal sexual offenses against a child, including involuntary sexual servitude. The measure House Bill #3242 was going to change our S.O.L. from 1 year after victims 18th birthday, to 20 years, which would allow the victims time to first escape the parental control and then go through the very long and grieving process of accepting what had actually happened, then they could bring forth criminal charges by the time they were 38 years old. However, when I emailed Representative Hoffman last week about a date they would be introducing this bill, I received what seemed to me, a proper political email; “I regret to inform you we had other bills processed and decided not to address this issue at this time, but rest assured I am determined to stand behind your cause.” I really do not mean to offend Representative Hoffman, IL Dept of Public Health, or any other of our legislators or our state and national resources, but I certainly would like to ask, ‘When will the body count be serious enough for our systems to finally take a very public stand and address what changes need to be implemented to ensure we are doing our very best; not only protect the individual rights of our children, all victims to be safe, but also update our public policy on how we assess, assist, and investigate every report of maltreatment made across the country?’

There is another person whom I’ve partnered with, Dana Pfeiffer, Director of Grounds of Grace a nonprofit resource assisting victims of human trafficking, terroristic abuse, and other related family crimes around Central Illinois, including our State Capital of Springfield where the amazing President Lincoln began his strongest political campaign, which later led to the equal rights to FREEDOM for all persons. The Emancipation Proclamation granting freedom for all persons to be seen equal in the eyes of our laws, without regard to race, religion, gender, and age. These are our basic Human & Civil Rights, written into law by our United Nations General Assembly in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and our own American Constitution; in fact it is the basic freedoms our country was founded on but yet we still can’t truly stand up for those rights, especially when it comes to our children and the desperate destruction happening within our families every single day.

Dana Pfeiffer and I have teamed up in speaking engagements as I present my history and what I advocate for today, she is right by my side validating the serious crimes she helps victims escape committed by their family, most commonly their parents. The numbers she assists continues to climb, victims as young as 2 years old to 68 years old. When I address people in authority, or in any setting, about the serious nature of my case, it is not for your pity. I don’t need your pity and absolutely DO NOT WANT YOUR PITY. I’ve survived and my life is very good today. I am safe, I am loved, and if my children and grandchildren weren’t still dealing with the emotional staining from those acts that distorted and destroyed the safe path in my life; my life today would actually be quite perfect.

However, what I do hope those who hear my story, or read ‘My Justice’, will take from all of the extreme vicious and very public nature of exploitation, sex trafficking, terrorized slavery, and the disfiguring neglect of all basic human needs; I WANT YOUR ACTION. We need to ensure not another single person is abandoned and judged as I was throughout the six consecutive years of family friends, school teachers, neighbors, adult men and boys who got their own special time with the child, the law enforcement who knew me well and didn’t care at all that my skin was rotting and filth covered because I could not even safely bathe in my home. Every person in Freeburg, Illinois knew my family, knew my mother;‘POOR WOMAN, having to deal with such a horrible man’.

Guess what towns people, she didn’t deal with him at all, cause he was like a comforting blanket who kissed the ground she walked on. He would have done anything for her, and he did leave my brother and sister alone, but me; I was his target. I was his to do with as he pleased, she not only sacrificed me for him to do with as he pleased, but she also abandoned all basic human needs, ordered me to care for, cook for, and provide for the family needs, she purchased him a little brass bell that only I was expected to answer to at all times. The citizens of Freeburg either witnessed, took part in, or saw the very public destruction of a young growing girl and tagged her as the ‘Village Whore’, rather than try to help her. When I reached out today asking those in public office, those in media who have the ability to share this story, those who fight for protective rights and those in every small community; still all I have felt is that same sense of disregard I lived with all my life. No one cared when it was my parents. No one reported the many years of almost murderous attacks and beatings in my relationships and marriages. Neighbors, police, and healthcare all dismissed the horrific nature of my daily life and figured I didn’t deserve their help then, and apparently the continuing climbing numbers of those speaking about these past decades in hell, they are all getting those same closed doors as I am today.

When I write, do interviews, or even the creation of our petition addressing Family Crimes and Terroristic Abuse (link below for you to sign now), what I want, what all of the hundreds of survivors hope to achieve in sharing our voices today; we want to inspire every healthcare worker, every educator, every community member to notice the warning signs of the desperate victims and rather than abandon them and judge them for the disgusting behavior or promiscuous nature of their acts, HELP THEM!! Maybe you’ll be the one to rescue them; to give them a chance to heal their wounds, learn the positive behaviors and become better parents for their children. It’s easy to look at a family or a person, pass our taught nature of judgment and then turn away and do nothing, but it takes great courage to say that every life matters and EVERY CHILD DESERVES TO BE SAFE!!!

I don’t understand why, throughout our entire human existence, the authorities who have the power to do something simply disregard the serious body count related to suicide, murder, and self destruction from these vicious and disgusting acts, especially when committed against a helpless child who cannot fight back, cannot run away; they can only endure in silent tears the shameful brutal crimes committed against them by their parents and family. I really do not understand why we do not step up and scream out; ‘THAT’S IT, THIS IS NOT THAT CHILD’S CRIME AND SHOULD NOT BE THAT CHILD’S BLAME’!!

How many more centuries will people have to endure these types of attacks within their homes, by their parents or their partners, then walk away filled with pain and terror, while the offenders are protected by the forced ugly secrets of torture and trafficking, or they walk away with a slap on the wrist rather than the harshest punishments deserving of their actions? It is their choice to attack and terrorize, especially when they are attacking and forcing a child into dark secrets and a life filled with destructive behaviors and continued shame in the feeling of not being worth saving. We have hundreds of documented studies which reveal how a life in traumatic events and vile attacks impacts the lives of individuals. We have studies confirming the frontal lobe brain development impaired and twisted by the repeated years trying to survive and making daily decisions based on what they need to do in order to just survive that day. We have the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, the Centers for Disease and Control, National Domestic Violence Hotline, Prevent Child Abuse America and many other outstanding organizations which hold rallies, they help victims recover and rebuild their lives; yet we cannot get a public policy legislator to truly address and make it their public platform to face the very serious pandemic numbers which continue to soar above three million reports every single year. I’m tired of counting the bodies, I’m disheartened by the lack of public concern and the constant avoidance of the direct issues. Constantly I pray that someday all that happened to me, and many other millions like me, will one day matter to those who have the power to mandate our laws and protect the very precious right to simply BE SAFE!! The rights to be free; free from harm and free from fear. One day we will protect the rights of every human being to be safe, no matter who is harming them. What worries me most, is how many lives will it cost us before we actually begin implementing the changes needed to ensure we are doing the very best for our children’s future tomorrow.

Let’s stop counting the bodies and do something about the crimes!!

Thanks for reading, perhaps you’ll also sign our petition here —- https://www.change.org/p/mr-president-please-enforce-the-right-to-be-safe-for-all-persons-especially-our-children-enforce-family-terrorist-act-trecia-s-law

I’d like to thank Investigative Reporter Eric Steltzer with WANDtv.com for the fabulous interviews and share those links with readers here…..Courtesy of WANDTV.com

1) http://www.wandtv.com/category/182814/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=11396570

2) http://www.wandtv.com/category/182814/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=11166176

In closing, Ms. Dana Pfeiffer & Ms. Lisa Chilton, thank you both my friends for your ongoing support and your courage to continue rescuing and assisting all the victims who come into your path. You are both angels and we need your efforts in helping to encourage our society that now is the time to create the greatest change for our human society and protect all persons before something horrific enters their life to destroy the special magic of their spirit within. I’d like to thank Ms Linda Walcher, Kristen Eng, Amie Loman, and Exec Director Darlene Jones of the Violence Prevention Center of SW IL, Mr. Donn Willeford of Hoyleton Ministries, Michal Madison, Mary Graziano, Kelly Townsend, Julia De’Alfanzo, Tammy Fox, Bill Murray, Petra Luna and many hundreds of other amazing advocates who continue to fight the good fight and support victims, survivors, and families touched by the horrible cycle of these crimes. Together we can all make a huge difference, and remember by making the choice today to protect just one person in your life’s circle, to be a positive influence in their lives; you hold the power to change their life’s path, eventually protecting their children and their grandchildren from all the suffering which impacts that victim today.

Blessings & thank you readers,

Patricia A McKnight

Author; ‘My Justice’

Fndr: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery

Steps to Recovery –Daily Rebuilding Skills

Family Crimes & Terroristic Abuse Training Program

Contact me today for your next eventtrish.mcknight@live.com

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