r By Katie Cook
What if your whole childhood was different. What if you never saw your family, or played with your favorite toys, or slept in a nice bed. What if that was all real. Worldwide, over 40 million children are subjected to violence and abuse. This includes Physically, Mentally, Socially, Emotionally and Sexually (UNICEF 2018).
With 1.2 million children being kidnapped and abused, people of the world have tried so hard to resolve this issue. Sexual abuse has gone up by over a 3rd around the world. That is 37% higher since only last year. 33% of physical abuse alone has gone up since last year, and over 67,000 hate crimes occur in our community each year.
The cause of violence against children is allowing people to do it. Allowing people to forget the innocence and vulnerability of children. Another cause would be people forgetting the power of influence and effect that things have on children. Some of it is people not respecting people, culture, the way they were raised (generation to generation), or organized crime.
Tim Ballard of Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) compares child trafficking and violence to modern-day slavery because of the effects that the abuse has on the victims.
The effects of violence against children are just sickening and cruel. Nobody should ever experience the purposeful abuse of mental, physical or emotional pain caused by someone else’s damage. The effects of the violence are horrifying and affect not just the people involved but also future generations to do the same.
The effects against the victims is where it hits the hardest because they have to live with the years of nightmares and trauma. The victims often feel hopeless and lost. Some grow up to become perpetrators themselves because of how they were treated and how they grew up. For some of the victims as they grow up, the cycle will keep going because the victims are weak and don’t have power to resist from hurting others.
They were taught what a perpetrator did to them so the cycle repeats. One major problem with violence against children is repetition. The effects of a perpetrator is that they will be an example to future generations to educate them that violence is not a good thing. Some of the perpetrators re-commit the crime after they are punished. Some of the effects of the perpetrators who got away with the crime are never learning from mistakes and that is what causes repetition throughout the system.
An effect that perpetrators have is the influence that they have on the world.
So what has been done to stop all of this from happening so far? There are so many organizations and foundations fighting for our children. One major organization worldwide is UNICEF (1946). The United Nations International Children’s Fund is a program headquartered in New York City that provides humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in over 190 countries.
They help over 90 million children and mothers each year. UNICEF helps fight and raise awareness for these children by rescuing them, feeding them, sheltering them and helping them.
Operation Underground Railroad helps rescue children that are being kidnapped and sexually abused. O.U.R. is based in California and was founded by Tim Ballard in 2013. Operation Underground Railroad is a non-profit which assists governments around the world in the rescue of human trafficking and child trafficking victims, with a special focus on children. They are releasing a documentary and a movie sometime in the next 2 years.
I recently went to one of a O.U.R. volunteer appreciation party in Salt Lake City. At the party they wanted to recognize how hard their volunteers work for them to help spread this operation. Tim Ballard spoke at the party and shared with the audience some of his experiences going to rescue these kids. One of the victims was at the party and spoke to the audience as well.
She shared some very great things about her life and as well as how she recovered from trauma. “I felt hopeless. There was no hope left for me. When I was rescued by Tim and his team, he gave me hope. He brought me in and taught me values. He gave me faith.” This victim found hope, love and things to value. I believe that is how victims will recover.rThis brings us into a solution to this world problem. Victims will face trauma for the rest of their lives, the only thing to help them is opening up. One of many solutions would be support groups around the world but not just physically, but also through social media. We have so many connections now that it’s a press of a button we can communicate with people. Another solution for the victims is to help them stop possible future actions and becoming a perpetrator themselves. “What we learned from history: No great evil goes away without the masses.” -Tim Ballard. Victims will find hope and peace.
The two major things that victims can do to heal is focusing on values, religion, beliefs or laws. The solutions for our perpetrators is to arrest them. O.U.R. is helping re-arrest child traffickers around the world. The perpetrators will be made examples of for future generations to see how horrible their actions were. THAT IS GOING TO HELP STOP PROBLEMS IN THE FUTURE.
Fighting for our children is fighting for our future. Our children now are the world’s future. We need to start strengthening and uplifting our youth for whatever is to come in the future. STRENGTHEN OUR CHILDREN, FIGHT FOR OUR FUTURE.