Recently my Pastor said he was asked what he would characterize as the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time. He said he thought about that for a little while, and then replied, “the refugee crisis.”
That was a good answer. The United Nations reports that there are more than 65 million refugees worldwide, displaced because of war, political persecution, natural disaster, crime, disease, poverty or other causes. Sixty-five million is a huge number of people forced from their homes. That’s enormous suffering.
But if I had been asked that question, I would have had a different answer. I would have named the persistent global pandemic of child sexual abuse, hands down, as the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time. I don’t know of anything that is even close.
The CDC reports that in the United States, alone, there are 60 million adult survivors of child sexual abuse. One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused in the US prior to their 18th birthday. Most of these victims never tell anyone about it.
In other countries the problem is much worse. If we project to other countries the same rates of abuse as in the U.S., the worldwide total is at least 1.5 billion adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. One and a half billion! And that is an underestimate. Imagine all of the silent suffering. Child sexual abuse is a staggering problem everywhere.
What most people don’t realize is that somewhere between 60 and 80 percent of those who are sexually trafficked were first sexually abused, and most likely became victims of commercial sexual exploitation because of the abuse. This applies to both girls and boys. Even less well known are the results of a recent study by John Jay College which documented that there are as many teen male sex workers as there are teen female workers. Just because we almost never hear about the boys doesn’t mean the impact on them is any less.
In addition to sex trafficking, child sexual abuse is one of the causal links to drug and alcohol abuse, severe depression, suicide, sexual promiscuity, sex and porn addiction, obesity, and many more of our social ills. Worst of all, at least 6% of sexually abused children will become sexual predators themselves.
Child sexual abuse is not merely a crisis; it is a global catastrophe.
Despite what you might have heard, this problem is getting worse. The Truth Alliance Foundation, an organization I founded, has developed a program to dramatically reduce child sexual abuse and to prevent the commercial sexual exploitation of children. I encourage everyone to generously support TAF in its efforts to reduce child sexual abuse, and thus reduce all the other social ills that are inextricably tied to it.
I first encountered the nature and scope of the problem of child sexual abuse as a young investigator for an agency that was commonly known as the Illinois Crime Investigating Commission. Or Crime Commission, for short. The official name of the agency was The Illinois Legislative Investigating Commission and our standing mandate was to investigate Organized Crime and official misconduct.
In the mid-70s concern was focused, nationwide, on the shocking revelation that young teen girls were being sold for sex on the streets of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and metropolitan areas all over the country. It was called the Minnesota Connection. The claim was the young girls were being snatched, practically out of their mother’s arms and turned into prostitutes in faraway cities. Organized crime allegedly was behind it.
Because of the alleged Organize Crime involvement, our agency was given the task of investigating the problem in Illinois. That investigation became the most extensive investigation into the issue of sexual exploitation of children and child abuse ever done by a law enforcement agency. I wound up directing the investigation and was forever changed by it.
We issued three reports and during the course of the investigation we profoundly changed the understanding of the nature and scope of the problem, the way such cases were investigated, the tools available to catch the predators, our understanding of the predators themselves. During the 1970’s we:
- drafted the first child pornography statute in Illinois which became a major tool to catch and convict child sexual predators,
- first documented that there were at least as many teen boys who were being commercially exploited for sex as there were girls, if not more,
- developed the concept of, and help draft the legislation to create, what became known as the child advocacy centers in order to minimize the trauma of child victims,
- and we developed a proactive model, a sting, for law enforcement agencies to build criminal cases against child sexual predators in order to get them off the street without the need of a child testifying—a model that has since been adopted by law enforcement agencies all over the world.
Sadly, this approach has failed to have the kind of impact we envisioned 40 years ago. We thought that if we locked up enough child sexual predators, the overall problem would begin to decline. It has not. Despite the tens of thousands being prosecuted and convicted annually, children are being sexually abused at ever increasing rates.
Looking back, it is disappointing that we didn’t see the problem more clearly. We now know that the problem is so large that a law enforcement approach, alone, will not work. Instead, we now know that a better way to protect children is not to rely solely on law enforcement but to equip adults to keep the predators away from our children. To do that, we all need to know how to tell the difference between protective and predatory people, between good guys and bad guys.
But how do you do that? It’s really not that difficult if you know what to look for.
Background investigations have limited utility. The truth is that the vast majority of child sexual predators never get caught. Less than two percent are ever convicted. Because of this fact, conducting criminal checks and checks of the sex offender registry are largely ineffective since more than 98% of the predators sail right through any such screening undetected.
Generally speaking, most people these days decide who are good guys and who are bad guys based almost solely on whether or not they like them. The good guys are the people we like and the bad guys are the people we don’t. The problem is that some of the worse people ever have been extraordinarily appealing. Bad people often are very skilled at being likable, appearing to do good things, being charming, seeming to be self-sacrificing, appearing humble and caring and kind and humorous.
This is where The Truth Alliance Foundation needs your help. The Truth Alliance Foundation has developed a method of screening out the 98% of predators who have never been caught. And we need to get the word out. In addition to training organizations how to spot predators and keep them out, TAF also is engaged in the following major projects. The TAF:
- is spearheading the development of a model coalition to combat child sexual abuse and human trafficking in our local area. The coalition will include local churches, NGO’s, social service agencies, selected businesses, counselors, therapists, and law enforcement. The purpose of the coalition is to gain a clear understanding of abuse and trafficking in the local area and will promote a response to the problem tailored to our findings, the local conditions and resources. This model will be made available for others to implement in their local areas, adaptable to their local conditions and will be spread throughout our extensive network of contacts, including through a recent contact we’ve made at the United Nations. (It should be noted that virtually all other coalitions are purely information oriented, while the TAF’s is going to attack these problems hands on. It establishes an action group. And through such local, coordinated efforts we will finally begin to show progress in reducing the problem of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and human trafficking.)
- is engaged in extensive research into (a) known predators, such as Jerry Sandusky, Jeffrey Epstein, Jimmy Savile, Cyril Smith, and many others in order to gain better insight into their methods and associations; (b) the so called “sex positive” movement and the people and organizations that are actively engaged in promoting early childhood sexualization, claiming that children have a right to decide when and with whom to have sex regardless of their age, or the age or sex of their chosen partner; (c) the entire sex education industry and its connection to special interests.
- And is developing a series of video trainings for identifying predators, keeping kids safe online, and on the general nature and scope of child sexual abuse and what the average person can do about it.
All of these major initiatives require funding to properly carry out. At this point the TAF needs to develop continuing financing to fund their expanded operation. The TAF’s goal is to is to enlist a thousand new regular monthly supporters. Whether it’s $25 or $1,000 a month, your donation will contribute to substantially reducing these problems. This year the TAF will establish a model demonstration project that can be duplicated and implemented by others anywhere in the world. To do this successfully, your continuing financial support is required.
I am personally asking for your generous and continuing support. Start the New Year off right by choosing to support the Truth Alliance Foundation. Your donation will help to save a child and perhaps to save our future.
Thomas R. Hampson
Truth Alliance Foundation
Donate via our website or send your donations to:
Truth Alliance Foundation
869 E. Schaumburg Road, #139
Schaumburg, IL 60194
The Truth Alliance Foundation is an IRS approved public charity under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, contributions are tax deductible under section 170 of the code.
Roman Polanski is walking talking evidence of worldwide indifference toward child sexual abuse. How else do you explain that this contemptible child sexual predator continues to walk free? How else do you explain that he remains friends with so many of the world’s rich and powerful? How else do you explain that governments protect him, the wealthy continue to invest in his projects, that talented artists compete to perform for him?
In 1977 Roman Polanski, then 43 years old, plied 13 year old Samantha Geimer with alcohol and drugs, took nude photographs of her ostensibly for publication in a French magazine, and then forcibly sodomized her and had sexual intercourse with her. Weeks later Polanski was indicted but worked out an unbelievably favorable plea deal with the prosecutor. Prior to sentencing, Polanski was sent to a prison facility for 45 days to complete a psychiatric evaluation.
Upon his release after the evaluation, Polanski had expected that the judge would go along with the prosecutor’s deal and his sentence would involve no further jail time. However, the judge balked. To the judge’s credit, he opted not to sign off on the deal and planned to set it aside. That meant that Polanski could have faced several years in prison. Polanski bolted and fled to France where he has remained under French protection.
Several years ago the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office stepped up its efforts to extradite Polanski. Prosecutors knew that Polanski traveled frequently to his ski lodge in Switzerland, so in 2010 they arranged for Swiss authorities to arrest him and hold him for an extradition hearing. Unfortunately, because of the failure by our own U.S. Justice Department to supply information requested by the Swiss authorities, the Swiss courts released Polanski.
Now the Polish courts have a chance to make the right move. Let’s see what they do. Keep an eye on this one.
As 2014 comes to a close, think about this. Between three and four million children have been sexually abused this year in the United States. But only about 100,000 of these cases have been reported to the police. Most children who are sexually abused never tell anyone about it.
Whether you realize it or not, your children and grandchildren and nieces and nephews are in danger.
• One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18
• Ten percent of these children will be abused by an adult they encounter in their own school sometime between kindergarten and their graduation.
• At a minimum, six percent of sexually abused children will go on to become abusers, themselves.
Most of us know that child sexual predators gravitate toward organizations that serve children—schools, churches, scouts, sports teams, and so on. And we also know that within the last decade most of these organizations have implemented a background investigation requirement for anyone who works with children. Those of us who have served in child oriented organizations know this because we’ve experienced undergoing such investigations.
What most of us don’t know is that these background investigations provide virtually no deterrence whatsoever to the child sexual predator. Predators blow right through these barriers because most have never been caught.
One of the pioneers in the investigation of child sexual predators, Dr. Gene Abel, has identified four categories of child molesters:
1. Children or teenagers who are sexually curious or experimenting
2. Children or adults who have a medical or mental problem that needs treatment
3. Opportunists who lack feelings for others and who have an antisocial personality disorder
4. Those who have an ongoing sexual interest in children
The fourth group is responsible for 95% of the case of child sexual abuse and 88% of the victims. In their lifetime, this group abuses an average of 150 children each.
Background investigations screen out less than 2% of the child molesters—only one in fifty—who attempt to infiltrate child service organizations.
The Truth Alliance Foundation (www.truthalliancefoundation.org) has developed a method of identifying, and screening out, most if not all child sexual predators who attempt to work with child service organizations. But we need your help to get the word out and to educate as many people and organizations as possible.
Please contribute whatever you can to support our effort. Help save our future generations. Give generously.
We are an IRS approved public charity under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, contributions are tax deductible under section 170 of the code. EIN 90-0447768
Like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Truth-Alliance-Foundation/193578780732153?ref=hl)
Follow us on Twitter (@TRHampson)
Follow our blog (TRHampson@wordpress.com)
Truth Alliance Foundation, Inc.
869 E. Schaumburg Road, #139
Schaumburg, IL 60169
This is disturbing and disheartening. The murder of this young child is beyond horrible. My heart breaks for the girl and her family. But what should also be disturbing to us all is the characterization of the relationship between the murderer and his victim.
She was NOT a girlfriend. She was a child victim of sexual abuse. She was 14, he is 22.
To characterize the relationship as anything other than abusive is evil. Normalizing adult/child sexual activity is wrong. Period. The killer should not be facing 25 to life. There should be no possibility for him to walk free ever again. #childsexabuse http://ow.ly/Fg1Xx
Throughout the world, in every nation, there are subcultures where the sexual exploitation of children is an everyday occurrence, where the use of children by adults for their sexual gratification is considered acceptable and has become routine. This is true not only for economically backward third world countries, this is true even here in the United States. Most of us just don’t see it.
It’s not that we’re blind or that we are indifferent. Rather, I think it’s due to our inability to see things we don’t think are possible. The famous “Invisible Gorilla” experiment demonstrates this phenomenon.
Our inability to see or fully appreciate the depravity of some of the subcultures we encounter might help to explain how recently convicted human trafficker, Malik McKee, grew from an innocent infant into a monster who enslaved, used, abused and exploited others.
McKee’s mother was a prostitute who raised Malik in a whorehouse and drug emporium run by the Four Corner Hustlers, a black West Side Chicago street gang, where Malik was drugged and sexually abused throughout his youth, beginning at age six. He was taught to exploit through his own experience of exploitation.
Malik recently pled guilty to the sex trafficking of minors in federal court and received an 8 ½ year sentence. He could have received much more. He should have. While I feel compassion toward him for the abuse he suffered, as we all should, he long ago moved from victim to rabid predator. His character is now beyond repair.
The only hope Malik ever had was lost more than 20 years ago when the state failed to remove him from his mother’s “care.” McKee’s lawyer blamed McKee’s mother for how Malik turned out. No doubt she bears most of the responsibility for twisting the character of her son. Today, though, McKee is an adult who made his own choices.
The lawyer said “because McKee never went to school, his problems weren’t picked up on by teachers or doctors — adding that DCFS involvement in McKee’s life was conspicuously missing.” The implication is that the mother kept Malik hidden away from the sight of any government workers, or health professionals or teachers. This is ludicrous, and perhaps the most outrageous mischaracterization in this case.
Malik’s mother, Charlene, is virtually certain to have scammed the welfare system, a practice that is common among all gang members and the gang affiliated. They seek out every opportunity to profit from the welfare system—Medicaid, food stamps, WIC program, aid for dependent children, and a hundred other programs most of us have never heard about. Government workers, health care specialists, contract government services agencies, all have continuing contact with people like Charlene and Malik. Any one of dozens of government workers or government contractors had contact with Charlene and Malik over the years. Every one of them is a mandated reporter and every one of them knows the depravity of the gang subculture intimately. They know what’s possible. They didn’t take action because they could not see it, they simply turned a blind eye to it.
This kind of willful blindness has to stop. Now.
The kind of abuse alleged at this Florida facility should come as no surprise to anyone. This is going on at similar facilities all over the country. Predators seek out the most vulnerable, and the disabled certainly fit that category. In fact this group suffers abuse at a rate 2 ½ times greater than all other targets of abuse.
Better screening of the workers at these facilities is the only hope of reducing the abuse. It’s not enough to conduct criminal or sex offender registry checks which is all that most organizations do. These methods screen out less than 2% of the predators. Additional measures such as conducting interviews and reference checks most often do little to screen out the potentially dangerous.
Perhaps requiring prospective workers to undergo a battery of lengthy psychological tests might weed out those who pose a danger. But such testing would be far too costly and impractical.
A better way, a practical way, is to make use of profiling. While this term has collected a garbage heap of bad connotations, when used properly, when multiple valid variables are included in the process, profiling can be a simple and effective way to prevent most of the worst predators from gaining access to the vulnerable.
For more information on how to use this method in your organization contact me at ThomasHampsonTAF@gmail.com. If you want to become part of our effort to reduce child sexual abuse, consider sponsoring our work. While helping organizations set up child protection programs is not complex, it doesn’t come without cost.
Become part of the effort to stop child sexual predators.
Visit our website (www.truthalliancefoundation.org) and click on the “donate” button to contribute using paypal, or mail your donation to the Truth Alliance Foundation, 869 East Schaumburg Road, Unit 139, Schaumburg, IL 60194. We are an IRS approved 501(c)3 charity. Consider becoming a regular, monthly, supporter.
Encourage your friends to support our work also.
The average person, sheltered from knowledge about the most evil segments of our culture, are shocked when they hear of such cases as this. The idea that a woman would adopt children for the specific purpose of sexually abusing them and renting them out for others to abuse, is inconceivable. These kinds of cases seem to be increasing, but I don’t have any statistics to back up my impressions.
Whether or not the numbers of the depraved is increasing, this kind of abuse by adoptive parents reveals a catastrophic failure of the child protective services in this country. This is inexcusable. #childsexualabuse http://ow.ly/B13Xk