Category Archives: Child Abuse

There are 5 forms of Child Abuse: Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Family Violence, and Sexual Abuse.

One man’s mission to rescue child sex-trafficking victims

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

American goes undercover to track down Child Traffickers

Last weekend, police broke up a major Child Sex Trafficking ring in Colombia, which has become a destination for tourists looking for sex with boys and girls.  The police had help from an American who went undercover to rescue the Children.

Tim Ballard has one mission: to track down Child Traffickers. Four months ago Colombian authorities asked him to investigate a tip that Children were being sold there as Sex Slaves.  “Within a half hour this individual walks up to me asking me what I’m here for, what I want and within minutes he tells me that I have kids here as young as 11 years old,” Ballard says.  A former Homeland Security agent, Ballard now heads up Operation Underground Railroad, a non-profit group that rescues trafficked kids. After that first meeting, the Colombians asked him to put together a sting.

Operation Underground Railroad spent months planning — renting a house, rigging it with hidden cameras to document the crime, coordinating with Colombian authorities and negotiating with the traffickers.  “How they find these kids is they lure them in by pretending to have a modeling agency,” Ballard explains. “They target them at nine- or 10-years-old and they were telling us that at about 11, they’re ready for sex. They’re ready to be sold.”  What is it like to look into that kind of person’s eyes?  “It’s horrifying and this is why: Because I have to smile in the face of evil,” Ballard says.

Less than 24 hours after the operatives landed, the suspected traffickers arrived on the island and the final deal with the undercover team began.  Fifty-four boys and girls, aged 11 to 18, were ushered in for what had been billed as a sex party. They were given candy and drinks and told to wait in a small room.  “This little 11-year-old boy, I remember, he asked… one of my operatives for some cocaine,” Ballard recalls with tears in his eyes. “He said, ‘They usually give me something because I’m really scared. To kind of numb myself.’”  By the time the deal was done, the alleged traffickers were set to make $25,000.  That transaction was never completed.

Twenty-five Colombian special operatives stormed the party, arresting five suspects — four men and one former beauty queen — all charged with Child TraffickingThe victims, 29 of whom are under 18, were evacuated, given medical exams and placed in a rehabilitation center where specialists are working to undo the damage.  “Right before we got on the boat, we walked by the room where the kids were and a couple of the kids came up to the screen,” Ballard says. “And they put their hand up on the window) and I go to touch their hand… and I see that there’s liberation now.  Liberation, one child at a time.

Part of the Problem, or Part of the Solution

10 Signs of Child Abuse

You can become aware of Child Abuse by recognizing the signs. Here are 10 signs that can help:

1. Unexplained injuries. Visible signs of physical abuse may include unexplained burns or bruises in the shape of objects. You may also hear unconvincing explanations of a child’s injuries.

2. Changes in behavior. Abuse can lead to many changes in a child’s behavior. Abused children often appear scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive.

3. Returning to earlier behaviors. Abused children may display behaviors shown at earlier ages, such as thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, fear of the dark or strangers. For some children, even loss of acquired language or memory problems may be an issue.

4. Fear of going home. Abused children may express apprehension or anxiety about leaving school or about going places with the person who is abusing them.

5. Changes in eating. The stress, fear and anxiety caused by abuse can lead to changes in a child’s eating behaviors, which may result in weight gain or weight loss.

6. Changes in sleeping. Abused children may have frequent nightmares or have difficulty falling asleep, and as a result may appear tired or fatigued.

7. Changes in school performance and attendance. Abused children may have difficulty concentrating in school or have excessive absences, sometimes due to adults trying to hide the children’s injuries from authorities.

8. Lack of personal care or hygiene. Abused and neglected children may appear uncared for. They may present as consistently dirty and have severe body odor, or they may lack sufficient clothing for the weather.

9. Risk-taking behaviors. Young people who are being abused may engage in high-risk activities such as using drugs or alcohol or carrying a weapon.

10. Inappropriate sexual behaviors. Children who have been sexually abused may exhibit overly sexualized behavior or use explicit sexual language.

Some signs that a child is experiencing violence or abuse are more obvious than others. Trust your instincts. Suspected abuse is enough of a reason to contact the authorities.

What Can You Do About Child Abuse?

If you suspect a child has been abused….

  1. Keep calm.
  2. Tell the child you believe them.
  3. Show interest and concern.
  4. Reassure and support the child.

Take action – it could save a child’s life. Report child abuse to your local or state child protective service agency, or to your neighborhood police precinct.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

There is NO VIOLENCE in MY WORLD!!!!
Happy Owl lives in NOT IN MY WORLD!!!! because there is NO VIOLENCE.

What is the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children?

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children is a global problem that could be happening right in your neighborhood. The commercial sex industry victimizes girls, boys, and transgendered youth.
Commercial sexual exploitation of children occurs when individuals buy, trade, or sell sexual acts with a child. Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act.
Children who are involved in the commercial sex industry are viewed as victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons,  which is sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age.  A commercial sex act is any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.

How does a Child become a Victim?

Pimps and traffickers target vulnerable children and lure them into prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation using psychological manipulation, drugs, and/or violence.  Any child may be vulnerable to such a person who promises to meet his or her emotional and physical needs. A trafficker/pimp’s main purpose is to exploit the child for monetary gain. Often traffickers/pimps will create a seemingly loving and caring relationship with their victim in order to establish trust and allegiance.  This manipulative relationship tries to ensure the youth will remain loyal to the exploiter even in the face of severe victimization. These relationships may begin online before progressing to a real-life encounter.

Victims are

Targeted – Pimps are predators who seek out vulnerable victims, particularly runaways or children experiencing trouble at home.  They know these children have emotional and physical needs they perceive are not being met and use this to their advantage. Pimps find victims at a variety of venues such as in social-networking websites, shopping malls, and schools; on local streets; or at bus stations. While pimps often target children outside of their family, a family member may also prostitute a child.
Tricked – Pimps are willing to invest a great deal of time and effort in their victim to break down a victim’s natural resistance and suspicion – buying them gifts, providing a place to stay, promising a loving relationship – before revealing their true intent. Frequently victims do not realize the deceptive nature of their trafficker’s interest in them, viewing their pimp as a caretaker and/or boyfriend.
Traumatized – A pimp’s use of psychological manipulation (causing the child to truly believe the pimp loves and cares for his or her well-being) coupled with physical control (threats, violence, or drug addiction) can make a victim feel trapped and powerless. This trauma bond is difficult to break and long term treatment and counseling for victims is required.