2012 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN AND SEX TRAFFICKING

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2012 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN AND SEX TRAFFICKING

What could possibly be the relationship between the upcoming 2012 Presidential campaign and sex trafficking? Slavery is alive and doing well in these United States of America. It is merely wrapped in a different sort of package—human trafficking. ABC Action News released a report concerning an already present boom to the business of strip clubs in Tampa, where the Republican Convention will be held in August. They have accelerated online marketing, anticipating a giant leap in clientele when the Convention arrives. It was mentioned their numbers also soared when the Super Bowl was held in our area. That would most likely go for any location and any date the Super Bowl is played—or any big event that draws large crowds, for that matter. It appalls me to think of the connection between the 2012 Presidential campaign and sex trafficking.

During recent attendance at a training course on human trafficking, the instructor informed our class that work has already begun to provide “servicing agents” for the Republican Convention and sex trafficking. To say this enrages me would be an extreme understatement. You see, I know many Republicans. Some will be delegates in Tampa this summer. I do not for one moment think they will be participants in a market for the Republican Convention and sex trafficking. But, I also have dear friends who are former victims of sex trafficking and forced prostitution. I have heard the stories of their victimization and enslavement. It breaks my heart every time I think of what they were forced to experience.

I hope those I know in the Republican Party will make an effort to hold their fellow delegates’ feet to the fire, doing anything within their power to hold others accountable. The very thought of a 15-year-old girl being forced to prostitute for any event is deplorable. To be told the most conservative and for the most part evangelical portion of our country will be gathering not only to select a candidate for consideration as our next President, but lurking within strip bars and hotel rooms as part of the 2012 Presidential campaign AND sex trafficking is inexcusable. I can only hope thatTampa’s finest, their great law enforcement agencies, will make no exceptions based upon this boom of income arriving in our port. Rather, I hope and pray that they will continue to stand in integrity and the stellar character they have displayed in the past, arresting any and all who may be seeking out unwilling and forced victims of sex trafficking within our home front.

It would also be interesting to know how many will turn in receipts for strip club visits and “additional hotel room usage” as deductible and declarable expenses. It’s just a thought, and inquiring blondes would like to know.

My message to the Grand Old Party is this: Each of these is someone’s daughter and/or sister—son and/or brother. Some are mothers. All are enslaved and victimized. Last time I checked, prostitution is still illegal within the State ofFlorida. Please, come here to select a presidential candidate who is electable and capable of leading our country into better days. That will not come out of a combination of the 2012 Presidential campaign and sex trafficking. It will not come from strip bars and degradation of women, or prostitution of children. That is not what the Republican Party stands for—at least I’d like to believe it is not. Please spare the children who are being brought here for sexual exploitation. I know there is good in the Republican Party. I believe there is a strong divisive line drawn between the Republican Convention and sex trafficking. Please prove me correct.

Is it possible to conduct the 2012 Presidential campaign without sex trafficking? President Obama, Mr. Romney, are you listening? Can you hear me? Are you even aware of these facts? If not, please learn about them, and address them during your campaign. Call your constituents to a high level of honor and responsibility. Why do they call it the “electoral college” when such action shows no acceptable level of educated decisions and choices?

And I would most certainly be remiss if I close without that good old Southern saying we use often: “What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.” In no way, shape, form or fashion is this post meant to preclude the upcoming Democratic convention. What is being predicted for Tampa most assuredly is taking place in Charlotte, North Carolina even as I type. It is not exclusive to one party or convention, or even one event. Sex trafficking happens every day in every state of this country, and around the world. It’s called “supply and demand.” Here’s a simple economic lesson for our political leaders: If you do not demand provision for sex trafficking, the supply will soon dry up. This is merely a time the Republicans and Democrats can choose to do something about it, to forego it, to change the plans of pimps and traffickers. Let us pray that is what they decide.

Carolyn S. Hennecy recently received a certificate as Designated Victim Services Practitioner through completion of a 40-hour course conducted by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Florida. She is recognized nationally as an expert survivor spokesperson on domestic/intimate partner abuse and violence, sexual assault and child molestation and abuse.

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