Thursday, November 10, 2011

Victimizing Victims and The Sale of an 8-Year Old Child into Human Trafficking

Earlier today while attending a meeting a colleague received a phone call regarding a victim of intimate partner abuse and the sale of her 8-year old daughter by the abusive father along with a "woman broker" he secured because she had a buyer in China for the child.

The mother, currently in an abusive relationship who has other children sought the assistance of law enforcement (who responded it was a family matter, refusing to make an arrest or fill out a police report) and a well known nationally established agency for help. The mother had been beaten and brainwashed by her abuser, if mom told anyone, he would make sure she would be killed or deported and never see any of her children.

She left a crime scene, her own home. Traumatized and in fear for her life and the imminent sale of her child she walked into the organization. The case worker followed "procedure" going down a list of agency and personal contacts.

The case worker made calls to a hotline, it was busy. She continued making calls and allowed the woman to leave her offices so she could pick up her kids and go to work at a mid size national hotel chain. She did provide her with a transportation and grocery voucher and schedule her to return in the morning for a court order of protection. Then, the case worker left to go home.

An hour later, the woman called the agency hysterical. The child broker sent by the father had come to the mothers place of employment for her signature a document that would seal the deal for the sale of an 8-year old child. The mother refused to sign.

Most of the afternoon and this evening I waited for the case worker to call me. My colleague and I continued to speak over the phone. Outraged in what was not happening I wanted an address to go and get the woman and her kids. In an attempt to calm me down, I received this email in the subject matter it said "You started a fire":

Hi Susan: This is the plan for now: at least the order of protection will enable law enforcement to move on this guy if he makes any move to abduct the girl, etc. Apparently, a woman came to the client's place of work, to pick up the child and to have the client sign away her legal rights of the child, so that this woman could sell the child for the husband. The client did not sign the document. Abduction is the next real possibility. Agent also said that whatever is on the pink form from the police department and also in the records of DV can be used to arrest the guy and send him back to Mexico; and meanwhile the client can get a U Visa to stay here in the US based on those DV records.
My question is why hasn't anyone arrested the father? How is that the child has not been taken into protective services by the state? Where is I.C.E., S.L.E.D, or FBI?

You want to know why victims of domestic die? Or why they don't just get up and leave the abuser?

The answers: incompetence and failure by the entire system.

Do you think this woman has a chance at returning back to those offices in the morning? Her husband has all night to plan and take whatever action he deems appropriate.

And the child? By dawn she could be already transported and on her way to the buyer in China.

It's sad but true: here in this country, people are being bought, sold, and smuggled like modern-day slaves.

They are trapped in lives of misery—often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes or to take grueling jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with little or no pay. We’re working hard to stop human trafficking—not only because of the personal and psychological toll it takes on society, but also because it facilitates the illegal movement of immigrants across borders and provides a ready source of income for organized crime groups and even terrorists.

When it comes to human lives, waiting on protocol can get you killed. Finally, I was asked by my colleague what could I do for this woman and her children? My response, what I have always done, whatever it takes, even if it is outside the box.

Susan Murphy Milano is a staff member of the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education as a educator and specialist with intimate partner violence prevention strategies directing prevention for high risk situations and cases.
A national trainer to law enforcement, training officers, prosecutors, judges, legislators, social service providers, healthcare professionals, victim advocates and the faith based community. In partnership with Management Resources Ltd. of New York addressing prevention and solutions within the community to the workplace.
Online contributions: Forbes : Crime, She Writes providing commentary about the hottest topics on crime, justice, and law from a woman’s perspective, as well as Time's Up! a blog which searches for solutions (SOS) for victims of crime.
Radio Shows: Susan is the host of The Susan Murphy Milano Show, "Time's Up!" . She is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated "The Roth Show" with Dr Laurie Roth and a co-host on Crime Wire.

Books: Time's Up: A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships,Moving out, Moving on, and Defending Out Lives.


Donna R. Gore said...

Although it appears the case worker did what was minimally needed, I agree that this is a marked woman and the child is may be taken despite not signing the document.

The ultimate failure does rest with the system. Often these agency responses are far too late and the order of protection means nothing!
As long as child advocacy laws are steeped in bureaucracy, and human trafficking is tolerated, this will continue.

How can you help this child? Perhaps by putting pressure on government agencies to pay attention in a campaign similar to what was accomplished in Topeka. Children must be a higher priority versus self serving special interest projects!
Small consolation that you started a small fire, Susan. Let's hope it continues with others joining the cause to start a raging inferno for this child!


Donna - "Ladyjustice".

BJ Houbion said...

Well said Donna. The problem with this scenario is that a crime has yet to be committed. The order of protectin and any LE records allows LE at all levels to act and sct first. We sometimes believe that LE prevents crime; that is not part of LE's role. Took a long time to realize that harsh reality; they respond to situations. They intervene. We must be the preventers, and raise the bar for all to act on situations which have the potential of trafficking, etc. Under the TVPRA, attempted or thre threat of trafficking is the same as having the actual act of trafficking. This has yet to be applied, and could well be applied to this situation. I trust that the service providers have still been working to ensure the safety of the woman, this child and the other children.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...