Montgomery County, Texas, February 5 – On January 31, 2019, The Golden Hammer ran a reader poll, “The Tragedy Of —– ———–, The Clear Solution: Part 1 Of 3, A Reader Poll.” Two hundred and thirty-one people responded to the poll through this newspaper’s email address.
As announced on “It’s Hammer Time” last Friday, February 1, 2019, the unnamed topic of the article was “Human Trafficking.”
Here are the poll questions and the results of the survey:
Question Number One: Is it ever ethical for a man, who is 30 years or older, to have sexual intercourse with a girl between 12 and 14 years of age?
Did not answer: 3.
Question Number Two: Is it ever ethical for a woman, who is 30 years or older, to have sexual intercourse with a boy between 12 and 14 years of age?
Did not answer: 32.
Question Number Three: Is it ever ethical for an adult, who is 30 years or older, to have sexual intercourse with a person between 12 and 14 years of age?
Did not answer: 0.
Question Number Four: If the boy or girl happens to be a foreign national in any of the foregoing questions, would your answers to the foregoing questions differ?
Did not answer: 43.
Question Number Five: Should American law enforcement agencies protect individuals between 12 and 14 years of age from the adult conduct in Questions 1 to 3?
Did not answer: 36.
Question Number Six: Should the states invest substantial resources to stop the adult conduct in Questions 1 to 3?
Did not answer: 41.
Question Number Seven: Should the United States of America invest substantial resources to stop the adult conduct in Questions 1 to 3?
Did not answer: 30.
Question Number Eight: Do you agree that the “cost of human lives” to those victims and to society as a whole from the adult conduct in Questions 1 to 3 is far greater than the substantial resources required to stop such conduct?
Did not answer: 59.
What the poll tells us
While the poll wasn’t particularly scientific, among responding readers of The Golden Hammer, there was near ethical unanimity against the propriety of adults having sexual relations with children. More than 82% of the respondents answered that law enforcement agencies should protect children from such conduct and approximately the same answered that states and the federal government should invest substantial resources to stop the adult conduct involved in those terrible situations.
The closest poll question responses came on the question whether the cost of human lives to childhood victims of adult sexual abuse justified spending substantial resources required to stop such conduct. Nevertheless, even that question had 83.7% of respondents answering in the affirmative.
Clearly, as individuals who care about our community, the readers of this newspaper are willing to invest our own money in the form of substantial tax dollars going to law enforcement to bring these terrible crimes to an end.
The impact of sexual abuse and other forms of human trafficking
If you’ve ever spoken with or tried to help the victims, the children, of adult sexual abuse, an understanding of how detrimental these circumstances are. Sexual assault is life-changing. Very frequently, the victims can never recover. Very frequently, the victims develop mental illnesses that exacerbate the terrible impacts of the sexual assaults.
Sex trafficking destroys lives.
Michael Quinn Sullivan, the Chairman of Empower Texans, one of the leading grassroots conservative organizations in Texas, has noted, “The Democrats in D.C. may have decided it’s OK to look the other way, but…[there is an] ongoing humanitarian crisis at the border.”
According to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, there are approximately 79,000 victims of human sex trafficking in Texas alone who have gotten here by illegal migration across the southern border with Mexico. As Paxton explains, it’s the modern version of “slavery.”
One of the primary methods of human trafficking is the crossing of fraudulent families through Mexico’s border with the southern United States, according to the Heritage Foundation’s study on the causes of human trafficking. California and Texas are the worst states statistically for human trafficking and sex trade in the United States, although the city of Atlanta is the worst large city for the terrible pattern.
The 2018 annual report on Human Trafficking by the United States State Department noted that local communities throughout North American have successfully confronted the effects of human trafficking by creating joint law enforcement task forces that obtain intelligence and other information on local trafficking rings and then work together to eliminate those business operations.
According to three different peace officers inside of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, human trafficking rings are particularly prevalent in East Montgomery County, especially in the area around Splendora. When the Publisher of this newspaper interviewed Sheriff Rand Henderson on “It’s Hammer Time” on February 1, Sheriff Henderson acknowledged the severity of the problem in this community. (Readers may watch the video of “It’s Hammer Time” at MCP.TV on Facebook or YouTube.)
United States Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, has said, “Human trafficking has had devastating effects on communities in Texas and across the country. The fight against modern-day slavery requires our full effort.”
On February 24, 2015, Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, wrote an opinion piece in The Huffington Post the entirety of which follows and is well worthy of reading:
Sherri was a little girl, born with big brown eyes and bouncing curls. She was the forth child born to her parents, but was the first girl. She was born into a seemingly normal family, with two parents and three older brothers. More often, this girl grows up into a lovely young woman, prepared to carve her place in the world. However Sherri’s story was different.
Sherri became blind at a young age and her father did not want a daughter, especially not a disabled one. Her family had no money, and her brothers were never around. Her mother’s mind seemed to live in a very dark and distant place, and she offered little guidance.
Her father cared more about whiskey and drugs than he did about his family, so too often, little Sherri was on her own.
She would try to search for her parents, someone to feed her and care for her — but even when she did find them, her father would most often snatch her up and throw her in a closet so that she would stay out of his way. She spent the majority of the first six years of her young life in that closet. Maybe, in some ways, it was a blessing that she was blind during these times. The darkness of the small closet might not have been quite as scary.
When Sherri was seven, her father found another use for her. It was the most awful and vile thing that a father could do to his little girl. He repeatedly abused and raped her, over and over, year after year, until she was 11 years old, at which time, she became pregnant. It turned out to be a minor problem for her dad, which he took care of with his large leather boot firmly on her back, kicking her flat on her face at the bottom of the stairs, and ending the pregnancy.
During this time, Sherri’s father would also beat her mother daily. Even though her mother wasn’t there for her, Sherri loved her, and wanted to protect her. After all, it is all she’d ever known.
The abuse continued and her dad often ran out of money to supplement his habits.
That is when he discovered another use for his blind, teenage daughter.
He began selling her to different men for the night. They would pay him in cash or drugs. It didn’t matter to him. He would send man after man into her room each night. Then, when he was done using her, he would throw her back in the closet, which locked from the outside.
This closet became Sherri’s sanctuary. She knew that if she was in there, then she was going to be left alone — at least for a little while.
One day, while Sherri was in her closet, she was feeling around through the clothes on the floor, looking for a place to lay her head. Instead, she found a guitar. She had never held or played a guitar, but she discovered that she loved the pretty sound it made when she thumbed her fingers across the strings. The strings would vibrate, and she would listen to the sweet, soothing sound. For the next several years, this sound blocked out all of the other noises. Sounds that used to frighten her were now replaced by the soothing sounds of the guitar.
Sherri did go to school when she could. She loved school, because it meant that she was not at home. She learned everything she could. She worked on her studies as much as possible — and despite everything, she became valedictorian of her class, and received a full scholarship to college.
The blind little girl with the bouncing curls was now off on her own, finally escaping the dark hell that was all too familiar to her.
At least, this should have been her escape. But every weekend, her father would threaten to beat, rape, and even kill her mother if Sherri did not come home. So, feeling that it was her duty, Sherri would go home and face the abuse that she had suffered all her life, not realizing that she finally did have a choice.
One Sunday, one of Sherri’s friends from school invited her to church. Sherri enjoyed church, and she made friends quickly there. One night, after the service, a couple of the women leaders asked Sherri about the visible scars and sores on her body. Sherri confided in them out of desperation, sharing her darkest secrets for the first time.
That same night, the women came to her dorm, gathered all of her stuff, and took her to a safe place — the first safe place she had ever been — a 50-acre farm in my home state of Kentucky.
This story is almost too horrible to be true, but it is. I can tell you this, because I recently sat across from Sherri while she shared her story.
Today, she is a beautiful, healing young lady with purpose, goals and dreams. She is writing music and playing her guitar — the same guitar that she taught herself to play on in her dark, sanctuary of a closet. Her songs tell of hope and redemption.
She played one for me last week called, “Beautifully Broken,” and there was not a dry eye in the room. Her strength, courage and resilience are incredible and inspiring.
The home that welcomed her in is a ministry called “Refuge for Women.” The ministry provides “safe homes” for women who have similar experiences like that of Sherri.
Refuge For Women is the largest organization in America to provide free housing and a Christian environment for women who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.
Trafficking is a serious issue, and it is not limited to Third World countries. It is right here in our homeland. We hear the saying, “don’t turn a blind eye.” How fitting it is to say that and think of Sherri.
There is a government role in combating sex trafficking and the abusers — but what about the victims? These women are broken physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They need healing in all areas and Christian-based programs have proven to be successful over and over. Refuge for Women provides these women with hope, and the promise that they will be loved unconditionally — a love that most of these women have never experienced.
I will continue to be a voice for these victims. I will stand up for harsher punishments for their abusers. And, I will partner with organizations like Refuge For Women to give these women a fresh start, and a path towards recovery and redemption.
I have started an internship program for the young ladies from Refuge for Women. I will offer a paid internship in my Kentucky office with the hope of giving them a second chance. I hope you will give them a chance as well, and look around your community for organizations, like this one, to help.