According to the State Department, 6.3 million people were forced into commercial sexual exploitation in 2021, and 1.7 million of those are children. What kind of person abuses a child like this?
Jeffrey Epstein, that’s who. And now we will finally see his “John Doe” list — the names of individuals allegedly tied to Epstein or his sex-trafficking ring. According to the New York Post, Former President Bill Clinton will be revealed as “John Doe 36” in redacted documents slated to be unsealed this week. Britain’s Prince Andrew is also expected to appear on the list.
Jeffrey and his accomplice Ghislane Maxwell and all their wealthy and famous friends ran a heinous racket of abuse and vile sexual exploitation of children for years. Their victims were as young as 14 years old. Maxwell enticed and groomed young girls to be abused by befriending them, asking about their lives, their schools, and their families, and taking them to the movies or on shopping trips, then acclimated victims to Epstein’s conduct simply by being present for victim interactions with him. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York who prosecuted the case, her actions put victims at ease and more comfortable having an adult woman who seemingly approved of Epstein’s behavior.
From 1994 through 2001, Maxwell, who is now serving a 20-year prison term, and Epstein identified vulnerable girls, typically from single-mother households and difficult financial circumstances as their victims. Epstein exploited girls who were vulnerable to abuse, enticed them with cash payments, and identified others to help recruit these minors for him and his list of wealthy friends.
Where is the outrage, the disgust from those who claim to care about women and children? The elites who run this country want to sweep this horrific ring of abuse under the rug because of Epstein’s client list.
Not anymore. Republican-appointed federal Judge Loretta A. Preska ordered the identities of more than 150 people mentioned in court documents related to the crimes of Epstein to be unsealed.
Now we see what kind of individuals perpetrate this kind of despicable activity on children and expose their evil acts.
The American people need to know what is happening in their own cities and communities on a daily basis. Human trafficking experts indicate it’s happening all over the country, including in affluent neighborhoods, as teens and young adults are manipulated into trafficking scenarios.
What is Washington doing about it? Last summer, Republicans on Capitol Hill attended a viewing of “Sound of Freedom,” the movie that depicted the abuse of children for profit. An unsuspecting single father is offered money for his children to pose as models in a photo shoot. The charming woman trafficker seemed so kind and concerned for the welfare of the children and makes it sound so harmless. When the father returns to pick them up, his children and dozens more had vanished. They had been sold to a transnational criminal ring in Columbia. The heinous treatment of these children by sweaty, disgusting pedophiles still gives me nightmares.
Becoming aware of the problem is just the start. What are legislators going to do about this growing industry and when are they going to fight to protect the most vulnerable in our society, who have been bought, abused, and used by greedy traffickers who exploit their innocence? As the film says, “God’s children are not for sale.”
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) on which Concerned Women for America was the first at the table to see enacted, equipped the U.S. Government to fight human trafficking along three tracks: protection, prevention, and prosecution. The legislation signed by Bill Clinton was not funded until George W. Bush became president. TVPA has been reauthorized in each successive Congress. Technological advancements over the last 20 years would indicate there is much more that can be done now to track and prosecute these abusers.
There have been three bills offered by Republican Senators to try to curb and prosecute trafficking, but they have few cosponsors and little support in either the House or Senate. And where is the Department of Justice? Maybe instead of going after parents standing up for the kids at school board meetings, they should focus more on the prosecution of evil people who seek to exploit and abuse those kids.
It’s time that we demand that sexual exploitation is treated as the vile, despicable, and intolerable behavior we all know it to be. It’s time for a new zero tolerance for child predators. Sanctions against governments who tolerate it and life sentences for those who engage in it should be our policy going forward.
Epstein has already received his eternal day of reckoning, but maybe the release of the names of his clients and accomplices will wake Americans up to the truth and elicit action to end the scourge of human trafficking.
We need leadership and action for a new abolitionist movement.