Child molestation and rape is awful and outrageous no matter how you hear about it, but I have to admit that reading this week about the three Somali gangs that prostituted young girls shocked me to the bone. There’s a lot of news on the subject, but a good all-inclusive story can be found here: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/11/08/somali-prostitution-ring/.
3 gangs took minor children between Minnesota, Ohio and Nashville, including 4 under the age of 13. Most of the ringleaders, and the children were from Minnesota. This was an organized set-up, where money, drugs and alcohol were exchanged for sexual acts, and the children were transported between the three states. This children’s sex ring was in operation for a ‘significant period of time,’ reports mprnews.org.
Although they are now caught, it’s hard to believe how something so evil could happen for a significant period of time. How could anyone let children be hurt this way?
If convicted, the 29 people could do between 15 years to life in prison. But what about those poor little girls? They get to live with the knowledge that the world is not safe for the rest of their lives. What kind of future are they going to have now with these giant emotional, and possibly physical scars to deal with?
And what, exactly. does this say about this state we live in? How many people took advantage of these, and other girls, and for how long? How many people actually knew about this ‘business,’ and said nothing? If 29 people were caught… how many people weren’t?
Was the state aware of these girls at all? Were there any efforts to make sure they were in school, or put into foster homes? How could these children be dropped through the cracks so long?
I admit, I have a cynical view of humanity. I feel that anything evil one person can do to another, has been done. I know that you can’t trust a person’s outward appearance, because you don’t know what’s percolating in their brain.
But children are a treasure. Even that child that may be driving you bananas right now. Every child deserves the right to grow up with safety, kindness and love.
My heart goes out to all those little girls. How awful for a little one to have to know what cruelty is, before she even knows who she herself is.