It seems to me that the VALUE of someone’s pain depends on the size of their bank account, or that of who caused your pain.
In case you’re wondering what I am speaking of, yes, it’s what is HOT in today’s news—Weinstein and his Victims/Survivors. Don’t misunderstand me, I am in no way minimizing their pain just because of their Social Status. It does however go to show that many of US Survivors go unnoticed due to lack of funds and those involved show little to no interest. Many Survivors of HUMAN (SEX) TRAFFICKING will never get the chance for justice.
You are also probably wondering how I can compare Sex Trafficking and what Weinstein did—I am going to point out a HUGE similarity. [Here are some phrases I’ve used In the recent past and their meanings:]
Sexual exploitation means taking advantage of sexuality and attractiveness of a person to make a personal gain or profit. It is the abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust for sexual purposes.
Sexual assault refers to an assault of a sexual nature on another person. It can include a wide range of unwanted sexual contact such as rape, forced vaginal, anal or oral penetration, forced sexual intercourse, inappropriate touching, forced kissing, child molestation, exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, torture of a victim in a sexual manner, etc.
Aggravated sexual assault is a felony sexual offense governed by state laws, which vary by state. It is typically defined as a sexual assault that maims, wounds, or disfigures the victim, or involves a victim who is physically or mentally incapacitated. It may also be defined to include a sexual assault that is aided or abetted by another person, occurs during commission of another crime, or involves use of a deadly weapon.
Sexual harassment occurs when a person is subject to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature to such an extent that it alters the conditions of the person’s employment and creates an abusive working environment. Sexual harassment may include touching, feeling, groping and/or repeated unpleasant, degrading and/or sexist remarks directed toward an employee, implying that employment status, promotion or favorable treatment depends upon the employee’s assent. Pornography displayed in the workplace or emailed to coworkers may also constitute sexual harassment.
First and foremost let me remind you that NO MATTER WHAT NAME YOU GIVE IT, be it SEXUAL—EXPLOITATION, ASSAULT, ABUSE, or HARASSMENT—IT does not DISCRIMINATE. It does not see gender, age, beauty, religion, social status, or financial background. It does not care where you’ve been or where you’re going, or if you are in good health or not – in FACT it cares about one thing and ONE THING ONLY; it cares about NOTHING ELSE BUT ITSELF.
This is why this egregious tragedy happens to many on an hourly basis.
What is the common theme that I’m getting to here? Well, it’s just this; The common theme is that sexual abuse is present in conducting business to make a profit. Harvey Weinstein did this and so do Traffickers/Pimps.
Both predators/perpetrators, at the time of the occurrences were seeking to gratify no one but themselves i.e.;
1) sexual gratification
3) financial gain
to name a few. I believe that the sexual abuse Weinstein’s Victims felt as well as trafficking Victims was and is we were ALL MADE TO FEEL TRAPPED, VULNERABLE and ALL were exploited. I have no doubt that both Weinstein’s and Trafficked Victims/Survivors had or still feel the ripples of the deep oceanic tides of this heinous act that was forced upon all. What comes to mind is – as a trafficked victim myself I know that my safety was and is still a concern for me. That during the time of occurrence, I was NOT in control of my situation any more than the Ladies who suffered at Weinstein’s hands. That both perpetrators used their position to commit sexual torture by using manipulation, coercion, and force – to obtain and gain from their Victims.
Sadly, this Weinstein situation has brought to light one very important issue I myself am struggling with and that IS: that no matter how many EXPERTS a task force can bring together or a law enforcement agency THEY will never have the INSIGHT that Survivors have. I personally am having great difficulty getting this across in my own community task force. Again, proving that although predators all share many characteristics the reasons behind why they commit this never-ending hideous crime greatly differ and so do the visual aspects.
As far as VICTIMS go – pain is pain and what we all suffered is horrifying to say the least. However, there are some differences between Weinstein’s Victims and those who are Trafficked. Weinstein’s Victims have received:
1) attention from every aspect starting with the investigation to possibly the courts
2) great financial compensation
Trafficked Victims receive little to no attention IF you’re an adult victim and the situation if you’re a minor gets some to 15 minutes of fame so to speak. As far as any financial compensation, most if not all Trafficked Victims receive absolutely nothing/zero. With these two most important issues, it leaves many trafficked victims, what they deem reasons they either stay or go back to their Traffickers. Lastly, and most important, is ALL or MOST Victims had our VOICE and FREEDOMS VIOLENTLY STRIPPED AWAY.
All of this brings me back to my original thought when I started writing this blog and that is: ALL VICTIMS OF SEXUAL PREDATORS ARE VALUABLE AND DESERVE A VOICE AND THE MEDIA SHOULD NOT DISCRIMINATE ON WHAT IS GOING TO GET THEM RATINGS.
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Trafficking Survivor/Public Speaker
*photo from Wikipedia