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Large sporting events, i.e. college and professional football, hockey and professional fights are back in action in my hometown of Las Vegas. Our nation’s passion for competitive sports runs deep. I have spent my entire professional life chasing championships in major league baseball and I know what it takes to attract crowds to support my teams. Along with large numbers of male fans comes a more sinister element. Traffickers/pimps bring children from all over the country to our city (in addition to the thousands of local kids) so they can sell these children for sex.

No More Excuses for Buyers

In America we have demonized the pimp (rightfully so), he is the shady character who preys on the weaknesses of our children, destroying their self esteem and traumatizing them for years. All true, but why does the person having the sex (paying to rape the child) get a pass? Buyers (“johns”) from across the country will come to Sin City and engage in sex with a child and that person will receive a pass and we as a community will even go so far as to make excuses for the transgressions. We will say we don’t want to destroy their life because of a mistake. Yet we barely blink at the thought of the damage done to the child.

I don’t wait until my home is broken into before I take safety precautions to protect it. Let’s stop waiting for our children to be harmed to get involved.

 

We have to at least draw a line in the sand when it comes to our children

We will make comments like “prostitution is in the Bible” or “It’s been around forever.” It was, but they were not children. Our legal system will plead that the “john” is an upstanding member of the community with children of his own, yet the discussion would be very different if the child being sexually exploited by adults was his own child.

I mention this topic, because as a city we here in Las Vegas have to draw a line in the sand. Preferably a very definitive line that states clearly that men who come to our city to engage in sex with a child will pay a serious consequence. We cannot merely arrest the pimps and then pretend like our treatment services are going to resolve the issues. To put it another way, I don’t wait until my home is broken into before I take safety precautions to protect it. Let’s stop waiting for our children to be harmed to get involved. There are numerous ways that we can combat sex trafficking in Southern Nevada:

  • Vote

Ask your elected officials where they stand on sex trafficking of children and hold their feet to the fire when laws, ordinances or policy and practices can be changed to protect our children. Let our elected officials know that we as a community believe an investment in prevention is a worthwhile expenditure.

  • Become an abolitionist

That means volunteer. That means educating others about the seriousness of this problem.  That means becoming a mentor to a child exiting sex trafficking.

  • Donate to causes that you believe are doing the best work in the field of stopping sex trafficking

There are many people and organizations who are in the trenches wanting to fight against this evil.  Some of these advocates were once victims, themselves.

  • Get Educated and So You Can Educate Others

There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about human trafficking. By Educating yourself, you’ll not only know how to respond and help prevent, but you can also educate others so that they can join the fight.

  • If you see something, say something.

That means we intervene when we see something nefarious. Call the police, ask questions, and let our children know that they matter.

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