Georgia County Government - May/June 2008 - (Page 43)

Feature Counties Get Involved in Efforts to End Sexual Abuse of Children The sexual exploitation of children is a heinous crime against innocent children who will never regain what is stolen from them. Led by leaders like Fulton County Commissioner Nancy Boxill, counties are getting involved. ©www. iStockphoto.com/Eric Simard he sexual exploitation of children is a growing epidemic across the United States, impacting both urban and rural counties alike. In cities across the nation, children as young as 10 years old are being bought and sold and forced to perform sexual acts. Many of these children are victims of poverty, homelessness, educational failure, parental neglect, physical or sexual abuse and countless other adversities before becoming victims of sexual exploitation. The victims span racial and socio-economic backgrounds, but are bound together by their horrendous experience. As stories of the battles with sexual exploitation emerge, details are difficult and varying, yet the themes are tragically similar. Many of the victims are lured into the lifestyle searching for the affection or attention of a man. Once sexual predators have earned the trust of young girls they begin to initiate them into a life of exploitation. The initiation includes physical abuse and unthinkable violence. The initiation process can last for days and often takes place far away from home, though sometimes it occurs right around the corner from home. The initiation process always seems to instill a fear that if the victims reach out for help, those in charge would hurt them or perhaps even kill them or a member of their family. These girls never have a chance to look back. Most of the victims will not be rescued from a life of sexual exploitation unless arrested and charged with prostitution. Imagine a 12-year-old being forced to sell her body and give the money to her pimp and then being punished and taken to a juvenile detention center on charges of prostitution. However, it can save a child, as being taken to juvenile detention is the only opportunity some victims need to escape and rehabilitate. For many others, being punished for forced prostitution is the beginning of a horrific life. T The Atlanta Coalition In July of 2002, two of Atlanta’s most notorious pimps were given 30-year sentences for the sexual exploitation of children. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) of 1970 was key to this success, allowing charges to be upgraded to felony status, and preventing the need for testimony by those they had exploited. The sentencing of perpetrators who victimized the children of Atlanta was only a part of the four-year pro- In cities across the nation, children as young as 10 years old are being bought and sold and forced to perform sexual acts. cess that began in 1999 and was led by Fulton County Commissioner Nancy A. Boxill. Commissioner Boxill, along with a group of women in Atlanta referred to as the Atlanta Coalition, were determined to help the victims and punish the pimps in Atlanta’s quest to end the sexual exploitation of children. ABUSE continued on page 44 MAY/JUNE 2008 www.accg.org 43 http://www.accg.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - May/June 2008

Georgia County Government - May/June 2008
Contents
President’s Message
County Matters
ACCG 2008 Annual Meeting: Highlights
County Focus: Clayton County
Negotiating a Professional Service Firm Contract: Part 3
Counties Get Involved in Efforts to End Sexual Abuse of Children
Smart Growth Scorecard Gives Communities a Way to Grade New Developments
Wireless Technologies Critical for First Responders
Research Corner: The ACCG Policy Process
RDCs Assist the USS Georgia Flag Project
Extension News: Animals Take Spotlight in Disaster Planning
Georgia’s Grand Old Courthouses: Grady County
NACo News: Green Initiative Launches Searchable Database
Insurance News: ACCG Announces New Inmate Medical Savings Program
County Parade
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - May/June 2008

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