Article One: A Simple Breakdown of the Jeffrey Epstein Case
By Shontell Brewer
In a recent interview with Yasmin Vafa of Rights4Girls, interviewer Lisa Desjardins of PBS NewsHour posed a thought. “I’m wondering how much of this is in plain sight, the problem of child trafficking. How much of this is a cultural kind of ignorance or a shrugging off of a serious problem?” If the recent Jeffrey Epstein case is any indicator of typical then I would say nearly all of it. Much of America is still choosing to normalize or overlook behaviors that lead to child sex trafficking and to traffickers getting away with it.
It isn’t that we don’t know child sex trafficking is happening. It’s happening right here in our America. We have survivor’s stories and statistics and specialized government task forces and non-profits popping up everywhere trying to bring about change.
The problem America is facing is they know children are being sold for sex and not enough is being done to stop it. Instead we get a former prosecutor trying to justify the lenient plea bargain he offered to alleged child rapist, Jeffrey Epstein. We get Epstein’s attorneys defending his actions saying this isn’t considered child sex trafficking because there was no coercion or violence. And we get stories breaking into the news saying Epstein wired money as a possible bribe “to influence individuals” not to testify against him if it came to a trial. These individuals are two people who have been named as co-conspirators in his trafficking scheme. And we get media and lawyers analyzing words to see if these kids were sexually trafficked or just sexually abused. What a fleece.
Everyone involved here has normalized illegality and crazy on a level that attempts to make us forget that over a dozen children (this number is growing as new evidence comes forward) were repeatedly sexually assaulted and will be forever changed from the little girls they had the right to be. They will never get that opportunity back.
As horrendous as this case is, the charges brought against billionaire Jeffrey Epstein have opened lines of dialogue between everyday Americans. We are all beginning to ask questions and seek clarifications. We hope to shed some light on reoccurring subtopics in this case and in general understanding of how child sex trafficking happens in the United States.
This blog series will cover topics such as
- Consent—what is it and who can give it
- Coercion—what is it and who is guilty of it
- the culture of acceptance—how our everyday actions may be perpetuating child sex-trafficking
- Why many guys don’t think they are “that guy”—a look at identifying who is a john, a trafficker, and a pimp
- What it looks like when men take a stand for this cause
Our hope is that you feel better informed as you either follow Epstein’s story and/or find ways to bring small changes (which lead to big changes) in your own community. Maybe we decide to join forces as humans who share this planet and care about the future of our children. Maybe we take on Thorn’s motto “we won’t stop until every child, can just be a kid.” No matter what we do, we do something.