New Documentary Highlights Georgia’s Sexually Exploited Children.

May 2, 2010 23:13 pm

by Buzz Brockway · 43 comments

Tonight a friend and I went to a screening of a documentary called ‘Playground.’ ‘Playground’ covers the unpleasant topic of the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Sadly, Atlanta is a hub for teenage prostitution and features prominently in the film. You may recall other posts I and others have written on this topic during this year’s Legislative session (here, here, here, here, and here.)

As you might imagine the film was not exactly warm and cuddly. However, it was extremely informative and told several heartbreaking stories of girls and their experiences in this seedy world. One girl from Atlanta told her story. Her parents were divorced and she lived with her Father. He seemed to be a good father, hard working, not on drugs, and doing the best he could as a single parent. One day, hoping to see her Mom, the girl found her Mom’s address and set out to Metropolitan Ave. to find her. She got lost and was befriended by a pimp who promised to help her. Instead he took her into a hotel room, raped her, and forced her to become a prostitute. Her story was tragic but by no means the only such story.

After the film, a panel discussion took place. Among the panelist was Alex Trouteaud who has studied the size and scope of this problem in Georgia. His most recent study estimates that almost 500 girls under the age of 16 are prostituted every month in Georgia. Approximately 7,200 men in Georgia seek out young girls to have paid sex with – the younger the better in many cases. 42% of these men come from the northern suburbs. These numbers are shocking, and growing rapidly.

Thankfully, there are private groups attempting to help these young girls. Street Grace, the group which sponsored the screening of ‘Playground,’ is one such group. This year they organized an event at the Capitol to highlight the problem and call for legislative action. They plan to be back next year. Hopefully their voices will be heard.

Pine Knot May 2, 2010 at 11:30 pm

It is a very sad story, and something that we can gather together and fix. We can force this crime out of the state with pressure to our legislature. Thanks for your work Buzz, and good luck on your run!

MightyPencil May 2, 2010 at 11:41 pm

http://www.innocenceatlanta.org/content/about

Thanks for posting. Innocence Atlanta is another org that focuses on this problem.

“Atlanta, Georgia is home to phrases like “child rape”, “8 year old prostitution” and “cigarette burns on her back.” Phrases that most would never think to hear nor utter are the reality of thousands of small children forced to sexually service up to 15 to 20 men/women a day in Atlanta, Georgia — in our suburbs, cities, apartments and bars.”

B Balz May 4, 2010 at 6:52 am

Good post, MP. We are awash in a sea of events too horrible to contemplate, everyone should be outraged. Silence = Consent.

Republican Lady May 4, 2010 at 10:20 am

True, silence = consent, but when Rene Untermann tried to push her bill to protect the victims, she was shouted down by groups fearing child prostitutes would get a free pass because they think kids get into it for fun. There is nothing fun about this.

If the victims get pregnant from these rapes, a second or maybe the same group, demands the victim carry the fetus and give it up for adoption victimizing these kids a second time because they claim abortion is wrong for any reason.

Why should these victims suffer more abuse for something they never asked for in the first place?

Here are two previous blogs about the issue. How soon we forget.

A Bill To Help Child Prostitutes Incorrectly Called “Legalization” By “Christian” Opponents.
February 1, 2010 16:18 pm
by Buzz Brockway • 75 comments

Unterman Drops Bill To Reclassify Child Prostitutes; Seeks Counseling And Therapy For Those Under Consent Age
January 21, 2010 9:53 am
by Icarus • 26 comments

Dave May 3, 2010 at 4:01 am

It’s stories like this that make folks wish for a father of one of these girls to have a Charles Bronson-like moment and go in and “fix” the problem sans law enforcement. Where can I contribute to a defense fund?

B Balz May 3, 2010 at 6:56 am

Good write up on a topic that is often met with snarky misogyny in various venues. This is a great example of how the Peach Pundit community can help make a difference.

benevolus May 3, 2010 at 7:42 am

I’m not sure they specifically target this area, but Chris Kids tries to help homeless kids, as well as those within the justice system.
http://www.chriskids.org/

Ambernappe May 3, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Before moving to Atlanta, I read an article in ATLANTA magazine that mentioned that the Atlanta Aquarium is a major spot for men to meet boys. Absolutely Godless !!

Ludwig Von Beachbum May 3, 2010 at 7:59 am

You need a license to drive a car but not to have kids. And now kids are having kids. When they arnt getting tattoos

Chris May 3, 2010 at 8:33 am

But thankfully, the General Assembly has solved the non-existant problem of forced implantation of microchips.

and yes, I’d contribute to the defense fund if some father went all Chuck Norris on them too.

David Staples May 3, 2010 at 1:11 pm

+1

Game Fan May 4, 2010 at 7:02 pm

A human microchip implant is an integrated circuit device or RFID transponder encased in silicate glass and implanted into a human’s body. A subdermal implant typically contains a unique ID number that can be linked to information contained in an external database, such as personal identification, medical history, medications, allergies, and contact information.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microchip_implant_(human)

Game Fan May 4, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Once again, if you’re part of the grassroots, and ya like exploring issues, not necessarily worrying about what your friends at the cocktail party think, then there’s a good chance that ya won’t feel it’s your duty to belittle the so-called “fringe” quite so often.
or…
Google: it’s an amazing thing.

When is a medical experiment in which you implant microchips in 200 old people with Alzheimer’s disease not a medical experiment? According to PositiveID (PSID), it’s when you forget to get permission from an institutional review board, which oversees medical experiments on humans.

The omission will be seized upon by the company’s legion of critics, writing yet another gloomy PR chapter for a company that can’t do anything without triggering negative headlines.
http://tinyurl.com/2648m8u

ByteMe May 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm

But in Georgia, it’s only a misdemeanor!.

benevolus May 5, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Well if we are going to start passing laws against things that are already against the law- or at least against professional ethics standards- the legislature is going to be very busy! Maybe we need another law saying that dentists can’t practice open heart surgery!

jlynn May 3, 2010 at 11:39 am

Whatever happened to the legislation to recognize the kid as a victim and go after the real exploiters, adults who buy and sell them like chattel?

Romegaguy May 3, 2010 at 1:13 pm

didnt pass because of the nutjobs that said it was actually going to decriminalize prostitution

polisavvy May 3, 2010 at 1:38 pm

That is very sad to hear, Romegaguy. Is there anything that we can do?

John Konop May 3, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I agree!

Romegaguy May 3, 2010 at 2:09 pm

demand better from our legislators next year polisavvy

polisavvy May 3, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Well, I just wonder what kept it from passing this year? Wording of the bill? What? Any idea what could possibly be improved to help it pass? We all should make sure that something is done in January. This bill shouldn’t sit on the back burner.

polisavvy May 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm

As an aside, please don’t tell me that the so-called Christians are not the reason this didn’t pass. I’ll be very sad to learn this.

John Konop May 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm

How much you want to bet it is the same group that does want local areas to vote liquor laws. They always seem to think they know what is best for all of us. I think they should focus more on self-improvement than others!

polisavvy May 3, 2010 at 3:52 pm

You are probably dead on, John. I don’t know about you; but, I am more than perfectly capable of knowing what is best for me. I don’t need a certain group deciding my fate. I just wonder whatever happened to “Christian kindness and compassion.” If those children don’t need Christian kindness and compassion, then no one does. JMHO. Oh, that’s right, their idea of help is to mentor them. How foolish of me to forget that! (Said with great sarcasm).

benevolus May 3, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Of course you know what is best for you, but as John said, the issue is “what is best for all of us”. A much more difficult question to answer.

polisavvy May 3, 2010 at 6:25 pm

I don’t think that finding an answer to help those children is all that difficult. I didn’t mean to insinuate that whatever was right for me was necessarily right for someone else. I simply stated that I don’t particularly care for people who profess to be “Christians” to have no Christian compassion and kindness, much less understanding of the problems that these children face. I really don’t think that my comment warranted a snide comeback. JMHO.

John Konop May 3, 2010 at 6:40 pm

I agree that is my hot button on issues like this!

….I don’t particularly care for people who profess to be “Christians” to have no Christian compassion and kindness, much less understanding of the problems that these children face……

polisavvy May 3, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Oh, but don’t forget, they wanted to provide their services as mentors. These children do not need the only answer to their problems to be mentors — mentors could help, don’t get me wrong; however, they need a whole lot more help than that. I have always been under the impression that if you don’t have a real good solution to a problem, then step aside and let people who do try. I feel the same as you about “Christians,” too. Sometimes they can actually be the cog in the wheel (maybe they were this past legislative session).

Seriously, let’s get the ball rolling on this so when January rolls around we are ready to go and get something accomplished for these children. It would really be a great issue for us to turn our attention to and the sooner the better. You game??

John Konop May 3, 2010 at 7:08 pm

I will help anyway i can!

Ambernappe May 3, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Not this Christian who believes that every life is authored by God1, to be raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

polisavvy May 3, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Amen and perfectly stated. I feel the same as you. Thanks for your post.

Ambernappe May 3, 2010 at 5:48 pm

I may have shed some tears over the humor in some posts, but this is one that makes me cry myself to sleep very often. I have spent hours as a volunteer with children who have no hope. Someone has to help! Let it be me.

Ambernappe May 3, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Finally –

This is an area in which I want to involved in helping children. If you will leave a telephone number, I will call you for more information. In her latter days, I was fortunate to discuss this problem with the late Nancy Schaefer.

I will not bore you with more – please leave a number.

polisavvy May 3, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Check with Republican Lady — she has my number. I’d really like to work with you on this. I hope that we can convince others to help so that when January rolls around, we are more than ready to go.

Ambernappe May 3, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Polisavvy,

Isn’t it just remarkable that an initial contact can be so negative and lead to a wonderful association? Nothing concerns me more than what is happening to children who have no voice. I
pray for a contact to help create a voice for children which has no political affiliation to those who would quite them.

John Konop May 3, 2010 at 8:27 pm

I will also help!

polisavvy May 3, 2010 at 8:39 pm

We are going to make this happen. I really feel that we can!

polisavvy May 3, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Well, as I said to John earlier, I’m all in! I will get started tomorrow doing some research and contacting Austin Scott about where and how to get started and everything that will probably be needed. I feel pretty sure that he would most definitely know how to go about making sure that all “t’s are crossed, and i’s are dotted.” Being a father himself, I’m also sure that he would be more than happy to advise me. This would also be a cause that Vivien would be interested in helping, too.

As an aside, Ambernappe — I agree about the wonderful association. We can make this happen if we really put all our efforts in it. (Yes, seeing that I live in the 8th, I’ll be helping Austin’s Congressional campaign as much as possible; but, in my free time, this will be priority one). I hope that others on here will really get behind us and make suggestions or pass along ideas so we can implement them in the wording. I look forward to working with you and also anyone else interested in helping. Thanks in advance all of you.

Ambernappe May 4, 2010 at 10:37 am

I talked to someone from StreetGrace this morning and have volunteered. The website is connect.streetgrace.org.
They currently have about forty local organizations (including churches) signed up. They also need individuals.

polisavvy May 4, 2010 at 10:41 am

I’ll go and visit their website in just a few minutes. I’ll be more than happy to volunteer my time and will also like to visit with the organizers about what we can do to move a bill protecting these children forward. Thanks for the post!

Ambernappe May 4, 2010 at 4:23 pm

I have lobbied elected representatives before (another state) for children and families. Looks as though the time has come to put those skills back to work !

Maybe Republican Lady will leave her phone number with a mutual acquaintance so that we can talk about this.

polisavvy May 4, 2010 at 4:28 pm

I am going to get in touch with Austin Scott in the next day or so and find out what we could do to assure that this will pass next year. He may be able to give us some pointers.

JasonW May 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm

As a person who serves on the board for another non-profit dedicated to raising awareness of sex trafficking in Atlanta, the country, and abroad, I can tell you they won’t be the only ones marching to the capitol and taking the fight with them. Please support the organizations like this and write to your legislators urging them to support Sen. Unterman’s bill. I don’t normally do this on PP, but this is an important issue to me.

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