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Kaela Thompson and Slavery in the United States

Updated on April 20, 2014

Reflections on Life

Authors note: the advertising has been disabled on this article because HP considers it too controversial. I consider it necessary; these stories must be heard!

Every once in awhile, a story comes along that somehow spans the entire spectrum of the human experience, as if through one person, and one story, we are given a chance to see the best and the worst of mankind.

This is one such story; Kaela Thompson is one such person.

“Hey bitch, get your ass over here, lay your ass down and shut up. No trouble out of you now, or you’ll get what you got coming to you and then some.”

At the age of twelve, Kaela ran away from home because of an abusive step-father.

Groomed by a hooker who befriended her at a bus stop, Kaela was then captured by a pimp and forced into prostitution. Several times she was “sold” by the pimp for crack cocaine. By the time she was thirteen she had been raped repeatedly and sold as a commodity on the open market. On average, Kaela turned 8-15 tricks per 24-hour period.

“Yo, dude, give me an ounce; here’s some cash and you can have that little tail over there.”

San Diego, California….2002….thirteen years old…..slavery in America!

“Won’t somebody help me? Do you see me? Do you hear me? Won’t somebody help me?”

The year is now 2012. Kaela Thompson has graduated from college with honors, and now works as a counselor to help children who have lived the life that she has lived.

Yes, the best, and the worst, of mankind, all in one story!

Another miracle:  Carissa Phelps
Another miracle: Carissa Phelps | Source

How Did the Miracle Happen?

Well, the short answer is that someone cared enough to reach out a hand of help. Kaela was eventually sent to the Juvenile Hall, and there she met two teachers who took a special interest in her, encouraged her, and helped her to find a new life. Of course, most of the credit must go to this incredible young woman, who dug down deep inside herself, and found whatever she needed to move forward despite the horrors of her past, a past that included four years of forced prostitution and rape.

Someone cared enough to reach out a hand of help!

Many Hands of Help Are Needed

If I were to ask you what is the leading crime enterprise in the United States, what would your answer be? If you were to say the illegal sale of drugs you would be absolutely correct. Now, if I asked you for the second leading crime enterprise, what would you say?

The second leading crime enterprise in the United States is child trafficking, a billion dollar business in this Land of the Free. The average age of girls forced into this business is 13 years old.

What would a typical scenario look like? A young girl meets some friends at the Mall. She is approached by a good-looking old boy and a friendship ensues. Over time, they begin “dating” and the dating continues until one night the boy introduces the young girl to some friends of his; at this point, the nightmare begins, as the young girl is then taken against her will and forced into prostitution.

It is happening in every major city in the United States and it is increasing at a rate that is unfathomable to normal citizens. Most police forces mark it down as a teenage runaway; no crime is witnessed, no evidence of crime is apparent, and because of limited resources the police turn to crimes that have been committed, crimes that are of a higher profile like murder and armed robbery. The children are essentially cut adrift in the sex trafficking world to fend for themselves, many of whom are never seen again.

The young lady in the picture above, Carissa Phelps, was trapped in the same nightmare as was Kaela. Carissa today is a lawyer, has an MBA, and is CEO for Runaway Girls, Inc. She, too, was helped by two caring teachers who recognized a problem and reached out a hand of help.

If you have a younger daughter (and yes, younger son) take a good, long look at them right now, and imagine them being used as sex tools for the underbelly of society. Do not for a second think it can’t happen to your family.

Back on the Reservation

I received a call recently from a woman living in Florida. She had seen my article and video about the child abuse at Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota, and she had a story to tell me.

Her story has to do with Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota, and she told me of young children sold as sex slaves on that reservation. Oftentimes, it seems, children are placed into the care of their extended family when their parents are unable to care for them. The extended family receives money from the government to care for the children, and then, because Social Services does not check on the welfare of the children, the extended family members sell these children to strangers to do with them as they please.

I have done no research about these claims as of yet, but I have absolutely no doubt that the claims are valid. A recent study by the Department of the Interior states that sex trafficking and abuse of children on reservations have reached epidemic proportions. No, I have no doubt that the claims are valid.

Yes, We Have Slavery in the United States

If you are into irony, you will love this next fact. Slavery was once a black institution in America, and the rulers of that institution were affluent whites. Today, the average slave is a white, thirteen year old girl from a middle-income family. It is estimated that 250,000 young girls and boys are currently sex slaves in the United States and the numbers are growing.

How could this happen in the United States? The opinions on that question are varied, but several factors seem to best explain the problem. There are more single-parent households in the U.S. than ever before, and one working parent means less supervision of the children.

The internet has become the great advertising tool for sex traffickers. Children are easily lured over the internet, and once they have been lured to a meeting place, the demoralizing and dehumanizing spiral for a child begins.

Cutbacks in police funding, of course, means less resources to fight these crimes. When funding is stretched thin, most efforts go towards investigating murders and violent crimes. Since most teenage victims are labeled as runaways, they fall further and further down the priority list in police stations across America.

The Frustration Grows

As a writer, I know of only one thing that I can do, and that is to raise awareness about these crimes. I would love to say that these despicable acts shock me, but that is not true. For far too long I have been painfully aware of the dark side of the human race, and very little surprises me any longer.

If you are a parent, you must take a proactive stance on this problem. Monitor your child’s use of the internet. Return to some old-fashioned rules that require more accountability from your child, and know as much as you possibly can about your child’s activities. We were all young and wild at one time, and we all tried to get away with as much as we possibly could. Fortunately, for most of us, our penalty for youthful exuberance was not to be sold into prostitution.

Be proactive in your community. Get to know your neighbors, and try to establish a safe harbor in your neighborhood. Pay attention to this issue when it comes before your City Council, or when hearings are held in your community. Write to your city leaders demanding that the police become more active in possible child-slavery cases. Elected officials will react to demands placed by their constituency; they have no other choice to do so if they want to remain elected officials. Turn up the heat and demand that action be taken.

Someone Cared Enough to Reach out a Hand of Help

For every happy ending like Kaela Thompson, there are thousands that end with slavery and at times death. I look at the numbers and I am discouraged, and because I am human I tell myself that I cannot possibly make a difference. Sex traffickers are organized and well-funded; they are dangerous and they are determined. How can we possibly make a difference? How can we possibly save 250,000 children from a living hell?

We can do it one child at a time!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)….P.S. three days before I wrote this article, a former student of mine disappeared in Oregon. She was dropped off at school and has not been seen since. Please keep her in your prayers.

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, this one was hard to write. This disease (crime) sickens me to my bones. How do you stop it? The 2nd leading illegal activity? Lots of money in this sickness, and it is growing. Sigh!

      Thank you Mary!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Living hell....it must be beyond hell for these children, CHILDREN! How can we be letting this happy! CHILDREN dragged into an underworld where they are used and abused.

      I was so happy to read about Kaela and Carissa and I'm sure there are others, but not enough .... community watch, not just your own children, but their friends, and their friends friends, to start the ball rolling.

      Beautifully done and truly horrifying yet moving...voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yvonne, I am truly awed as well. To climb out of a living hell and become successful....that takes some serious courage and determination. Thank you my friend; wishing you happiness in the UK today.

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 4 years ago from UK

      It is both saddening and heartening to read this Bill. Saddening to think about how people so lose touch with their humanity that they can inflict such cruelties on children (or anyone.) Heartening to read that Kaela and Carissa and many others do get through this to live happy lives and to support others. By reaching out to others they are creating ripples that will go on and on.

      I am truly awed at what these two women have achieved, thank you for sharing their important stories.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      This is disgusting! You know what Bill? What the stastistics don't show are the friggin PEDOPHILES paying to have sex with these girls whose female parts are not completely formed! Let alone their knowing of 'self'! Why can't children be left to follow the life path most of us have learned through the natural process? The body needs time to mature. The soul needs time to become known. The spirit needs time to become strong. The heart needs to learn, expect and accept love!

      Is there any beauty left in the world?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flacoinohio, thank you! For those two young women it was a happy ending. Let's hope the message reaches others who need to hear it.

    • flacoinohio profile image

      flacoinohio 4 years ago from Ohio

      This story helps provide evidence that children and teens who are sent to juvenile correction facilities receive more than just correction. For some, being arrested and sent to a juvenile detention facility may have saved their lives. Great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MzChaos, thank you! You are right about the views that these hubs have generated....through the roof...so obviously it is a topic that, despite its horrendous nature, is one that people want to hear about.

      You mentioned snuff films....beyond comprehension and yet they happen daily AND people pay for them. Not only are they sadistic but they appeal to a large audience. Again, beyond comprehension!

      I appreciate you taking the time to leave a detailed and heartfelt message. Bless you and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jelly, thank you for those personal comments. Although I fully understand how bad things are, I fear that we truly don't know how bad things are, if that makes any sense. I think the numbers of sexual predators are at an epidemic proportion right now, and our knowledge of the numbers barely scratches the surface.

      I hope I'm wrong!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, thank you for pointing out that this problem exists in Dublin as well as here and seemingly everywhere else. It is beyond my comprehension how depraved some people are.

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 4 years ago from USA

      Billy, I am so glad you wrote this. I strive to protect children because I've found it's true, and I could easily have been one of these girls. I can clearly describe a photographer (who was going to make me famous if I'd just take off my shirt while he photographed me) and a customer at the Dunkin' Donuts shop where I worked who seemed to be working to these ends, and a half dozen other incidents where I was "tested." If you can believe it, I think the fact that I was not middle class but was from one of the worst areas of Phoenix and had been extensively abused already why I didn't trust anyone enough to fall for such ploys. The girls most at risk are the ones who are capable of trusting easily.

      Although HP disables ads on hubs like this one or the one I wrote about protecting children from predators, I'm glad they allow them to be published. Maybe the lack of advertising will make readers take them more seriously, too.

    • MzChaos profile image

      MzChaos 4 years ago from Indianapolis

      The US has 5% of the worlds population, and 25% of the worlds incarceration rate. The land of the free, indeed. It is a beautiful irony.

      It makes me wonder at the violation of innocence the trafficking highlights, what as a culture we refuse to acknowledge about ourselves. Where within do we violate our own innocence? It isn't just the theft of personal power, a denial of rights, or even an abuse of a class or subclass - it is the story of the breaking of spirit. Anyone who has been abused and risen up from it has known what it was like to have their spirit shattered. To find the will to stand again, is to recreate oneself out of something that is stronger than what came before it.

      As a country, I wonder how many times we will take a kick to the shin's. We keep looking up and pointing over, but we are destroying ourselves by the secrets within. Not even secrets most of the time since the story is there to see if anyone bothers to look.

      It is a damn shame that they disabled your ads because I am sure this is getting many views. I read some of your related stories as I attempted to finish this one. The numbers aren't surprising to me. And they have been telling this story since the 70's, some are even worse, think snuff films. It all comes down to an underlying power in the perverse.

      At some point, we have to be responsible for our own consciousness and the perversions that lie within. Until we do, they will continue to erupt in social patterning and we will be left asking why does this happen. There is always a story behind the story.

      This is one of the more serious Hubs I have seen out here, this and your sister story on Spirit Lake. I know this type of writing is hard on the heart, but I think your soul may be speaking you...as it is well done.

      The other irony, if you don't mind me pointing out, is that I am at least 25% native american which I only found out about a couple of years ago. I used to joke that unless you were recently moved to the US then you probably had NA blood in your genealogy somewhere, little did I know at the time. We are all connected. Some connections are more obvious than others, if we would only look for them.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      What a subject you have highlighted my friend, I totally applaud you Bill. The drugs and sex trafficking Industries are a huge problem in Dublin too. You have shown how one voice making a stance can make a difference with your articles on Spirit Lake. This is another such subject matter that needs, no demands we speak up on. It is frightening to see the statistics that just keep on escalating in every culture. America is not alone in this and every one us needs to get this shared to all our sources to start knocking down those bricks of injustice.

      Thanks Bill, Voted and shared everywhere my friend .

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Justin, I agree completely about drugs. Our state just voted to make marijuana legal, and it's about damn time. Maybe not we can stop the petty busts and the police can concentrate on more important issues. By the way, Portland is #2 in the nation for this crime....it was hard for me to believe having lived there for two years. :) Thank you Sir!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 4 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      This is tragic and terrifying and is a reason why I do not want to have children. It also serves as another reason why "illegal" drugs should be made legal... police resources are already to thin. Up and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, this issue sickens me, and the more we raise awareness the better. Bravo to your church for being proactive, and thank you for sharing.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Bill, our church has started a home for women pulled from human sex slavery. You would be surprised at the women who are in normal everyday jobs that are involved. It is a growing concern and one we should begin to take steps to prevent the spread. I applaud your posting this information and am sharing this with others. Voted up +++

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, you really have to stop making me cry in the mornings. That may be the sweetest thing I have read in a very long time. Thank you! I know you care every bit as much as I do....honestly, there are days I wish I didn't care so much. :)

      Thank you my dear friend; the angels always make me happy, as do you! :)

      bill...........and please have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Good morning Bill

      So on this day before Thanksgiving I am thankful for you. I had already stated elsewhere in a hub that I am thankful for the new friends on HubPages but you must be singled out. I am thankful that you are the voice of those who have no voice. And by making the public aware of these atrocities maybe we can make some inroads into eradicating this night mare. I know it is not so simple as being aware but if enough of us know and can shake the bushes hard enough, we may be able to make a difference. Thank Goodness for those who are already making a difference. Sending Angels your way..:) ps

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen, thank you for that comment. We are their only hope, and I plan on continuing to shout out about these atrocities.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dexter, wise words indeed my friend! We have failed to learn the lessons taught to us by the powerful nations that came before us, and I do believe history will repeat itself if we do not change our ways, from the top down.

      Thank you my friend; I appreciate your visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, you have a heart of gold, and I'm proud to be your friend. Bless you my dear!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, I only have so many of these stories in me, and then, for my own sanity, I need to write about happier things. This saddens me too much.

      Thank you Sir! You are greatly appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, I have known about this for years, and I am still shocked. I am so grateful that my son is grown and I don't have to worry about the predators regarding him. Thank you Jackie, and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you for writing about this. A friend recently told me that thousands of girls will be flown into whatever city hosts the Super Bowl for the sex trade. In fact any city with a large airport is a hub for this trade. Keep making people aware. We are these girls' only hope.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

      Biilybuc, as a father of daughters, I am certainly saddened that this type of thing happens, regardless if they are white and middle class. Girls are girls and they should not be used and dehumanized.

      It is a shame that Americans as a whole are so caught up in the lives of celebrities, video games and rumors but fail to see the travesty that is happening to others.

      Someone once wrote a hub about how great America is in terms of its wealth, influence and military power. History continuously tells us that nations that have all these things, yet fail to take care of its people, fail tremendously. From the beginning of human times, every single powerful nation in the world has failed (biblical and in more modern times) - because it harmed its people or failed to take care of them, especially the children.

      I pray that your hub is a wake-up call for all of us to look out for one another and OUR children. In truth, history really hates to repeat itself. We just haven't learned the lesson.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Bill, I'm absolutely horrified! You see this type of thing in movies, but never dream that it could be real. Thank you for making people aware of this, I had no idea. I'll be sharing this post today and saying a prayer for your student. I hope she's found soon.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Sadly, this is the bitter truth of our society today Bill. We can, as you say, reach out by helping one at a time. Much like these young girls were helped out by caring people. We need to be more aware of what's going on around us and be more aware of what are children are up to to keep these things in check.

      Thanks for bringing such stories to light.

      All the votes, my friend, except one. And sharing.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      So very sad and I know these girls who went on to do much with their lives are the exception not the rule. Everyone lets their children know about sex but there is just something more they need to learn to keep them safe. In this day and age it is really a shame this goes on.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, that's the first I've heard of that approach....I don't even know what to say to that.

      Thanks for the info and for stopping by!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Again, Thank you for raising awareness about this. Unfortunately you have only touched the tip of the iceberg. In CA people are bound into slavery in privately run senior care facilities (That are licensed!).

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I don't know what else to do. I feel helpless, but I can't remain quiet because to do so is to run and hide from the problem. So I'll keep doing my thing and hopefully more will listen.

      For you, my friend, I wish you a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Michelle! Raising awareness, at this point, is my first goal.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Exploitation happening in this day & age is truly sad & unthinkable. Thanks for sharing!! I will share and help to raise a little awareness.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This just makes me furious. Why can't it be stopped? We need to work on problems like this instead of trying to fix problems around the world and you are right, it takes a community to act. I live in a small town, 500 people. We had a man driving around town attempting to pick up little girls and boys, when it was reported, the police said that they could warn him but unless he had committed a crime they could do nothing. To my way of thinking, it appears the law is more on the side of the perpetrator than the public. Happy that you are driven to write hubs that inform and cause us to think and possibly act...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lisa, it's as old as time I think, but now more brazen and widespread. Good to see you; I hope you are well and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, you are I seem to be on the same rant wavelength of late. I can't find one thing that you said to argue with; priorities are so screwed up in this country that I honestly don't recognize it any longer. Land of the Free and Don't Make Waves! Has a great ring to it, doesn't it?

      Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I saw the irony in that as well. :) Thank you!

    • LisaKoski profile image

      LisaKoski 4 years ago from WA

      Wow those are some amazing stories and pretty sad facts. It's amazing what sorts of crimes people are capable of.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill - Another strong hub, my friend! Sex trafficking is so difficult to prove as many of the young ladies have been brainwashed, or simply live in fear and shame of discovery. Abuse, in any form is unacceptable, and slavery is a tale that none should have to tell. Yet, we live in a country where the government ignores the populace for foreign trade promises. What else can one expect? At one time these acts would have been completely heinous in nature. Now, if you can ignore them, they're nothing to be concerned with. We turn our heads so we do not see as society requests. Don't make waves will soon be the motto of the land. So sad, but unfortunately, true. Great job!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The sad things is, that some of these kids ran away from home for the same reason and LOOK WHAT HAPPENS!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      J Michael, I actually did see "Taken," ....this sickness knows no boundaries. I'm not sure what good it does for me to write about it, but at least I feel like I'm doing something. :)...hey, welcome to HubPages. If I can be of any help, drop me a note with your questions.

    • J Michael McGuire profile image

      John Michael McGuire 4 years ago from Washington D.C.

      Oh, well then they had some good casting for it too. I suppose something somewhat close is Taken, but his daughter was older and it was focused on Albanians taking young women into their power to prostitute them out to the highest bidder. It's just sick how deranged people can get. But as you mentioned in your hub here, you can see the worst of people and the best of people in such stories.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      J Michael, thanks for stopping by. There was actually a movie made a few years back called "Human Trafficking" that had Donald sutherland in it, and it was powerful....that's the only one I have seen on the subject.

    • J Michael McGuire profile image

      John Michael McGuire 4 years ago from Washington D.C.

      Someone should write a movie about these types of stories for the sake of educating people about what is really going on out there, to get people inspired and riled up. Hearing about stuff like this it makes it hard to not want to go out and start knocking the traffickers down one by one. God Bless and excellent Hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, never apologize about leaving comments on my site; I welcome them no matter the length.

      HP has a thing against mentioning rape and child abuse in an article. This is the fourth I've had disabled because of those words; they don't feel the advertisers want to deal with negative subjects like that. I don't even know what to say to that kind of logic. :)

      As for what to do....I don't know what else to do, but I don't feel that I am doing enough...not nearly enough. Kids are suffering and dying and that goes against every fiber of my being.

      Anyway, thank you my friend. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving in Boston.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Levertis, I simply do not know, but I know I need to do more....I just haven't figured out what "more" looks like yet.

      Thank you and I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime

      This is indeed sad. It gives me a helpless feeling because I do not know what else to do to help aside from raising awareness and educating youngsters to help them to avoid capture, but I wonder if there are significant signs that an onlooker could possibly use to help reason that a child might be a sex slave and what to do if it is suspected. I never thought about the possibility that a child slave could be held "next door," for example.

      An article like this one could go a long way to help others for a long time. You may never know how much.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I am puzzled as to why HP disabled the advertising, but I guess that’s just me. Human trafficking and slavery in the US is a horrific problem that needs to be discussed and confronted.

      “Be proactive in your community. Get to know your neighbors, and try to establish a safe harbor in your neighborhood. Pay attention to this issue when it comes before your City Council, or when hearings are held in your community.”

      Absolutely, Billy. And we have to be more observant and vigilant as individuals. I remember when my sister and I were little; we used to wait for the school bus at the end of our very long driveway. My folks always told us to never talk to strangers, or accept candy from them. One day, a man driving a blue sedan stopped at the end of the drive on the opposite side of the road. He rolled his window down, smiled, and asked us if we wanted some candy. We said, “No,” because this is what we were taught by our parents, not fully understanding why. He looked up the driveway and could see my mother begin to drive down to where we were standing in the family station wagon. She must have seen him. He quickly left. Had we not listened to our parents, I might not be here to write this comment today.

      Decades have since passed, but this problem has become far more serious and lethal. When my son was growing up, and especially during his “independent” teen years, I always insisted on knowing where he was at all times, and who he was with. He thought it was annoying until recently, when he learned he was about to become a father.

      Sorry for the long comment, Billy. Superb hub! Up and more.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sharkye, bravo, and bless you for making your children your number one priority. This issue sickens me, but as you said, this has been going on for thousands of years, and as long as there is a market for it, it will continue.

      Yes, your suggestion is controversial, but it makes a certain amount of sense regarding adults. I have no problem with prostitution among adults; I have a huge problem when it involves twelve year olds.

      I do not know the solution; all I know to do is keep raising awareness about it.

      Thank you for caring; thank you for being who you are. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving in OK!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Never, it is sad and yes, it is happening all around the U.S. Thank you for taking the time to read, and thank you for caring.

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      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very powerful and intense statement. I'm like you in that I am not shocked...its been going on for thousands of years. I am however determined that nothing like this will ever happen to my daughter. My husband and I made an agreement before she was born that I would stay home with her. It has cost us dearly over the past year, and I am sure there will be many times in the future when we would be financially better with two incomes. But money is money. Its not worth risking my children. Your hub is exactly the argument I am going to use from now on when people insult me for staying at home.

      Your hub isn't controversial, but my next sentence probably is. I think if they legalized this 'career' for consenting adults, there might be less of a problem with kidnapped children. I don't know, maybe slap some restrictions and state regulations on the businesses? The demand is never going to go away, make it hard for them to hide things. After all, they can't sell blackmarket babies or cocaine at Walmart.

      And you made a great point. People need to be more proactive. I live in such a rural area that you don't see this, but people living in cities do. And they know what they are seeing. They just choose not to act. That's pathetic.

      Sorry for rambling. I just get really upset when I think of abused children. If adults want to do it to themselves, that is fine with me. But kids shouldn't have to suffer.

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      never ben married 4 years ago

      This story is sad. I believe this is happening all around the US as well. Thank you for bringing it to the forefront.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Judi, I have no doubt that this is going on in practically every country in the world. Most certainly in the third world countries, but now in the industrialized nations as well. As long as there are people who will spend money for this sort of filth, there will be a market for it. It is overwhelming and disheartening for me.

      Thank you and I hope you are well.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, your last point is the one I now struggle with. Unsure of how to go about educating others. It is a massive job and I'm not doing enough, but I don't know what else to do. :)

      Blessings to you my friend; you are a good person.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! I am feeling somewhat disheartened at this point. I can only write so many articles about child abuse, slavery, and poverty before I feel like my head will explode and my heart break.

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      Judith Hancock 4 years ago from UK

      It's not just the US, it happens here in the UK too. We're in the midst of a scandal about the abuse of vulnerable children in children's homes. The issue of trafficking has also been highlighted. Incredible that slavery can still happen in our "civilised" society.

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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Wow - powerful hub on the eve of Thanksgiving. People should know that this is not just happening in major cities...look at smaller cities and towns and one will find this same thing. I think of my growing up and my daughter and how happy and sheltered I was, and she is, from this sort of thing and I hope that it won't change for us, but I also know that educating older children about the dangers out there is important. Just unsure of how to go about that education. Phew..what a read.

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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Thanks for helping to raise awareness on this issue. It's hard to fathom that this goes on here in America, but sadly it does. Kaela and Carissa had happy endings, I can only imagine how many have not. I will share and post this to as many places as possible to help spread the word and raise awareness.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donna, I have tears in my eyes because of your story about that student. What an incredible story of overcoming obstacles too large for most of us to imagine. Selling your child for drug money....is there a more deplorable act for a parent to do?

      God bless you for caring enough about that child; what a great success story, and think...you played a part in her success. You played a part in saving a life and ending a destructive chapter in that family.

      Bravo to you! HP can do whatever they feel they need to do. I will keep on writing and shouting at the moon, because, well, that's what I am compelled to do.

      Thank you dear lady and have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie my dear, seriously, what can most of us do? Like you, I have nothing to give. All I can do is raise awareness, and even that seems feeble and a waste of time. Sigh!

      I thank you for being who you are; I always feel better when I read comments like yours; at least then I know there are others who care.

      blessings and hugs to you my dear

      billy

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, it is shocking and it is real, and it's in our very own city. There is an extensive "distribution" system so that these kids can be moved quickly to another city thousands of miles away. I of course have known about this happening in other countries, but the extent of it in America is shocking and disgusting, and very little is being done about it.

      Anyway, thank you young lady; I am sending blessings to you and your family on this holiday season.

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      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Bill, I am so overwhelmed with the horror of this article. To think that this could be happening in the United States of America, is almost too much to fathom. Of course, I know that children are abused and preyed upon all over the world--but to think that this kind of organized and wide-spread crime is happening right in our own backyard?! I watched a show on tv, Dateline or 20/20, that showcased 2 teens (middle-class white girls from Illinois, I think) that went through almost the exact same type of scenario you listed above....met the boyfriend and then were kidnapped. It took the parents years to finally track them down and get them back. It is just mind-blowing to think this could happen to so many defenseless children. I can't even imagine my two children in this kind of situation.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vox, I understand. This is something I have known about for decades with regards to third world nations, but the extent of it in the U.S. was a shock to me. It no longer is a shock; now it is a rage. :) Thank you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lipnancy, yes they do; there is a complete network in play here, and a child can be 1000 miles away in one day.

      Thank you for the visit and comment.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I understand. That's why I have limited myself to only a couple of these a month. I feel so damn helpless every time I write one of these. And then I get hit with the news that a student I know has disappeared.....yes, too much. :)

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      Jasmine 4 years ago

      I'm not shocked either because the USA have never been a safe place to live. Unfortunately, this is not just a big problem in America, but also in most countries of the world. Honestly, it hurts me to think about this because I feel there isn't much (or anything) I can do.

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      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      This is a tough and sad article to read. But if you talk to any law enforcement officer, they will tell you that it happens every day. Unfortunately, it is not only runaways or kids who have a bad background, they take all kids and take them to different cities in a matter of hours.

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      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Too much....too egregious.....I clearly see how the human being can ultimately go stark-raving mad...after being exposed to one atrocity, injustice, neglect and abuse, rape, torture, murder, starvation, oppression after another ,after another.......and this is just those who are on the outside, looking in!.....I'm NOT running away. but honestly? I need to get off-line and find my connection to some friggan fantasy land somewhere......I just want to breathe.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, of course, this is a business, and the business would die if there were no customers. There are hundreds of thousands of sick individuals who will pay for this. It hurts to think about it, and I have no doubt that many just want to turn their heads so they don't have to recognize it for what it is. This is moral sickness at its worst and I have to raise awareness about it. I don't know what else to do.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bless you Kelly! I had heard that the midwest, because of its central location, was the hub of this filth. It is huge on the west coast as well. Portland, Oregon is the 2nd leading city for sex trafficking.....and the numbers just keep rising.

      Thank you for your awareness and activism on this; it must be stopped! This cannot happen in this country.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, how interesting that you have a contact at Leech Lake. Please, let me know what you find out. Nobody is willing to talk, yet again, for fear of reprisal from authorities. Same old story, different day.

      Thank you my friend; coming from the Queen of activism, I take that as a huge compliment. As for HP....they can do their thing and I'll do mine. :)

      hugs back atcha,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suhail, no, it is not easy, but something must be done and I'm hoping to at least raise awareness about this epidemic of human misery. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, thank you as always. I guess I understand HP; they have their advertisers to answer to, and we all know that corporate America does not like controversy. Oh well, they still published it and that's all that matters.

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      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Billy - It is so disturbing and frustrating. Although receiving that call from the woman in Florida had to provide some form of comfort, even if small. Unfortunately, the call only emphasized the large scourge included in Minnesota Leech Lake Reservation as well. I abhor all levels of abuse, whether the elderly, children or animal abuse but I am also always left with a feeling of hopelessness each and every time.

      Other than being hyper aware, I have no money to give, no home to lend and no legal background. I do say the sincerest of prayers but I am ultimately left with a helpless feeling.

      I thank God for hubs such as yours and I will be sharing it. Every bit helps.

      Love to Bev and You - my over-the-rainbow friend.

      Beckie XO

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      Donna Kay Bryan 4 years ago

      Bill, I will continue to keep your former student in my prayers until you let us know otherwise. Perhaps our prayers will be answered quickly, and tomorrow we will offer prayers of thanksgiving for her safe return home.

      Thank you so much for writing about this "controversial" topic. I wonder which is more controversial: the fact that you are bringing this deplorable issue to light, or the fact that HP wants to sweep it under the carpet. To call it "controversial" would mean that it is debatable. I'm sorry, but there is aboslutely no debate here. Human trafficking is going on, and not enough is being done about it.

      Thank you for the success stories as well. I had a student who, along with her two older sisters, was sold by their mom repeatedly for drug money. The oldest sister eventually killed herself. The girl I taught was only in elementary school at that time. When I taught her in grades 8 - 12, she went through a lot of bad times -- drugs, theft, the wrong crowd. She too became part of the juvenile justice system for awhile. Many people did not think that she would graduate. Secretaries and administrators put her down and gossiped about her. She was treated poorly by many around her. She turned out to be one of the brightest and most talented kids in her class, with a heart of gold (even if she did threaten to kill me one time). She just needed someone to care about her, so that she could care about herself. ALL of her teachers were determined that she would graduate; we would not let her give up on herself. The day that she graduated was one of the proudest days of my life. I don't know about the other teachers, but I, for one, felt as if I were the one walking across that stage and receiving a diploma. Today that young lady is a young mother, determined to give a better life to her child.

      Controversial? I think not. God bless you for being an advocate for 250,000 children who can not advocate for themselves. Voted awesome and interesting.

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      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      This is the most heinous crime I can think of when young children are involved. I know it happens to boys as well. I am so glad there are some women that found their way out and are helping others. I cannot for the life of me see why a man wants to have sex with a 13 year old, but obviously many do. It is heartbreaking and I am glad you wrote this hub, advertising or not. This is definitely a cause worth championing and you did it quite well. We must stop this crime as a community!

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      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Yay Bill! I am so glad to see this hub! It is one cause I've written about too. So bad...and people like to poke their heads in the sand and pretend this kind of thing doesn't happen. It does far too often.

      They say the Midwest is the pipeline to human trafficking Bill. I've researched this and if you look at a geographical map of missing girls you'll see that it's VERY concentrated in Kansas City and St. Louis.

      I realize they are more populated areas but I have heard of these rings in hotels. They've busted lots in KC....I can't say how I know this but recently, the police had a shoot out with a few guys in a van...after they were arrested they opened the van and there was a girl inside. She'd been kept captive for sex for days.

      Sex trafficking and human slavery are alive and well and we have to stop it.

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      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Good morning Pal! You did a good thing here, for sure. Kaela is certainly to be celebrated. Prayers going up for your student too.

      So HP found this too controversial. Interesting. Kudos to you for just stripping the ads and not letting censorship silence you.

      I have a good contact at Leech Lake and I will be making that connection later today. I'll let you know what I learn. It's an important story and like you said, must be drawn into the spotlight.

      The most significant statement in this hub is that it took one person caring to reach out to Kaela. One person! Do we need any more validation than that. No, we don't.

      Excellent riting and another powerful act by one of the best activists for social justice I've ever known.

      Hugs,

      Linda

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      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Hi Billy,

      This is a very informative hub. I knew it existed, but I did not know its magnitude. Like I do with nature conservation, I suggest the best course of action could be volunteering for and funding organization working to wipe this menace out from our society. This is not an easy thing to do, but I think small amounts on a monthly basis can make huge difference.

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      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Bill this is an amazing article and an extremely important topic. I had almost idea about this being as bad as it is until I started following a blog about it. The statistics are incredible and their stories, powerful. Thank you for bringing it to hubpages and shame on them for thinking it's too controversial. Praying for your student and hoping she's safe.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, you do that, and then do it again, and again, and again, and I'm proud to be the instigator of those kisses and hugs.

      You are special young lady, and I'm proud to be your friend.

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Thank you for putting the message ahead of the money. But that's just your style!

      This is so disturbing. But as long as we focus on the things that divide us, children will suffer. As long as we concentrate on how we can get more stuff and who has the coolest god, kids will be ignored and placed in greater danger as time passes.

      I'm going to hug and kiss my baby a million times today. I'll tell her it's Billy's fault.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joseph, you just hit the key point.....clients are always looking. Clients! Average citizens on the street are paying for this filth. It sickens me and yes, I know, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Sigh!

      Have a very Happy Thanksgiving Joseph, and thank you!

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      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Sad and so true. Gang members from the west coast and east coast profit on these poor souls as well. It won't stop because the clients are always looking for that fresh meat. This is just the tip of the iceberg Bill. Child pronography and slavery make us look like a third world nation. Great awakening hub!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, you are a dear, dear lady, and you make me feel better about humanity every single day. Thank you for caring so much; we can change things my friend. I won't give up trying.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, you have a heart of gold, and I love you like a brother. Get your butt up here and I'll do everything I can to help you turn the corner. Let's make a difference, buddy!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Xstatic, you mean this ugliness happens in Eugene, Oregon??? What a shock! Of course I'm being a bit facetious; it happens everywhere in this country where there are enough people to exploit these kids. This is the ugliness of the human race and it is hard to face.

      Thank you my friend, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      J, the perseverance in human beings is unbelievable. I am in awe of these two young women....now if we can only find a way to save 250,000 more of them. :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, sadly, your words are true. Most people simply do not want to hear about this ugliness. Oh well! This is why I write. Sometimes I'm the cheerleader, and other times I'm the guy with a baseball bat clubbing people with the message. Sigh! The bat is getting heavy!

      Thank you Carol!

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      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      First off, I will keep your former student in my prayers and thought Bill. Next, I did know a bit about this from teaching. Each year, we would bring in a local police officer, who would do a presentation on this for the school and warn of the Internet for this very reason. So timely and so very sad that this is what our society is coming to. Glad to here two stories of women who have been able to turn their lives around and find that inner strength to help them do that. Thanks for always writing such important and timely stories. You really are just a wonderful person and my hat is tipped off to you again!! Have of course voted up and shared all over.

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      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      This is another important issue and one of your best Bill. The only way these issues will ever change is for each and every one of us to take a stand. It is not acceptable to stand by pretending it does not exist, or to look the other way.

      Great work shouting this out. I am sharing this every ware I can.

      Mark

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      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      This one hits right between the eyes, Bill! And that is great, because it is the truth. There have been recent convictions locally in Eugene of pimps for trafficking underage kids. It is in the news everywhere in this country, but I have a feeling it is news people don't want to hear and they avert their eyes.

      This young woman is lucky that someone took an interest, and had the fortitude to overcome what happened to her. Thanks for sharing this story. Awareness is the best weapon.

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      JThomp42 4 years ago

      What an amazing, yet very sad story in the beginning. After all this poor girl went through, she rose above it all! Great read as usual Billy! Voted up and awesome.

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      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      All of us know this stuff goes on and of course want to pretend it doesn't. So important that you wrote about this and created more awareness. We all get caught up in the small details of our lives. I personally have never known stories like this...in our middle class lives often these stories are never told. Thanks for writing about this subject that most people don't want to know about ..but you do!