Attention, Attention
Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

Attention, Attention

Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, sex trafficking is the fastest-growing business of organized crime and the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world. Because this crime usually occurs outside of the public eye, it is difficult to estimate the number of minor victims of sex trafficking.

Wow. Take a breath. Criminal Enterprise? I would never have thought to put those two words together! An enterprise, to me, is something worthwhile. You know, a shiny new business like a Department Store or a Company Credit Union, even a singing group launching their first record album. Those are “enterprises.”
Who in their right mind would consider sex trafficking a business? An “enterprise” which preys on frightened, homeless, runaways? Whose owners and managers lure sad, scared children into performing the most heinous acts imaginable in order to serve a clientele who contribute to making this horrible practice “the fastest growing business in organized crime.”
This lucrative enterprise can earn a sharp operator over $35,000 a week, and the
City of Atlanta has been pointed out as number one in the country in this vile business. Profits of over $300 million were estimated in 2014 (and have grown). As difficult as those figures are to see, as hard as it is to believe that number, the saddest, most gut-wrenching statistic is this. “About 500 children are trafficked for sex in Georgia every month, according to Street GRACE, whose mission is to stop the exploitation of children.”
I recently heard the clearest explanation and justification for why “The Wall,” which is struggling by bits and pieces to be erected across the southern border of our united states, for why that infamous wall already costing Americans $l.6 billion, should continue to be funded. An illustration of the necessity for such a deterrent to unrestricted, illegal immigrants was just last week put forth by a young newswoman who, with what was obviously much thought and consideration (as well as solid statistics and research behind her assertions), offered the following scenario and ensuing thought-provoking question to her audience.
Question: Would any one of you not choose the sad situation of having a youngster separated from his or her parent for a short 24 or even 48-hour period than having a similar innocent smuggled across our porous border into Arizona or California and into a young life of child pornography?”
Can any clear-thinking, intelligent, compassionate adult answer any way other than, “Of course it is more humane to allow a child and a parent to be separated by caring, professionals for a few hours in order to verify that relationship than to see yet another precious little life scarred forever by the filth and degradation that is the trade of gangsters and monsters!”
Folks, that may be exactly what is happening under the noses of the under-manned, under-funded, and over-worked men and women who, without a border wall to help them monitor who is coming, going, or sneaking into our country, cannot monitor or stop the coyotes, or the even-more sinister cretans who profit from the abhorrent trade of child smuggling!
I truly did not know on what side of that fence I fell during the recent furor over children taken from adults who were then screened in order to prove their relationship. After reading these statistics and many more easily available online (be careful, though, there are strange and fraudulent sites out there as well). Stick to U.S. Government sites.
Shared Hope International estimates that human trafficking in the United States is a $9.8 billion industry. “It is more profitable for a trafficker to sell the sexual services of a child or adult than to commit other crimes such as dealing in drugs—drugs can only be sold once, whereas victims can be, and are, prostituted multiple times a day.” The arrests and convictions are also far less.
The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 finally, after a two year struggle and after numerous amendments and changes, passed in May 2015. Finally.
The Act is divided into a number (10) of titles or acts, subtitles, and sections such as  Sec. 118) Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act of 2015 (SAVE Act) and the subsection Combat Human Trafficking Act of 2015, as well as  Enhancing Services for Runaway and Homeless Victims of Youth Trafficking. I know…Mind Boggling!
Also, the bill attempts to allay any confusion within the justice system with regard to offenses involving sex trafficking, stating that traffickers and buyers are “equally culpable.”
If your eyes are crossed and your head is beginning to throb, think what our lawmakers must feel at the end of a day after they have tried to explain 25 pages of “their Bill” in order to bring it to a vote. Their colleagues in the Congress are promoting a hundred other bills they believe to be equally important and may or may not have even given this H.R. Bill a cursory examination.
I have no idea what the answer to any of these problems is. A Wall? Yes. If it will save lives. I do believe with all my heart that sticking our heads in the sand, happy it hasn’t touched us, glad that our small town is listed as one of the BestSmallTowns in Georgia is not the answer! Perhaps it is just in being educated, being unafraid to look at the scary facts. And believing that we can do something, can make a difference is a start.
Check out Wellspring Living in Fayette County, a group who has done just that. One woman at a time. It is beautiful.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~ Helen Keller