It was an effort that took as much as three days in 57 cities.
The exact numbers of the results in arrests vary. But it appears as if over 100 people have been arrested and over 70 teenagers taken off of the streets. This coming from nearly 2,000 law enforcement and FBI officials to take this operation and put it into action.
But again, the actual numbers vary from article to article. So I honestly don’t know how many were arrested in all, and how many teenagers were taken away from the streets.
When I first started reading about it, I was outraged. But as I kept reading other articles, I was becoming more and more disenchanted with the vocabulary.
A majority of the articles were using the term that they “rescued these children”. And yes, these child prostitutes are no longer out on the streets. They are no longer exposed to the dangers of criminal society. But are they truly rescued?
For some of these children, they have been abused and forced to work in the streets. In other cases, these children have run away from home and just are looking for a quick way to earn some money so that they have a place to stay and something to eat. And that too, is also sad.
After hearing some stories from other people… adults now… who have suffered sexual abuse as a child, I can tell that the scars are still with them. And it is a constant struggle for them to carry on day to day. And I stop to think about these children who were involved in this operation, and the abuse and scars that they carry and will carry for the rest of their lives. And that is why the term “rescued” bothers me.
There are two topics (or subjects) that we as a functioning society get so angry when we hear that they have been abused. And that is children and animals.
I feel so bad for these children who have been involved in all of this. And whether or not it was because of their own choice or that they have been forced into the lifestyle or put into sex slavery, its still wrong!
The scary thing is that even that this operation is beginning to celebrate its efforts and their hard work, the question remains of the teenagers that were taken into custody- what will law enforcement do with them?
Will they be arrested or will they just be sent off to live under someone else’s custody? And the scariest question of all: Will they only go back to the streets and continue on with their lives of prostitution?
I certainly do not have the answers to all of this. I cannot even say that I have much of an idea or opinion of how I feel this situation now should be handled when it comes to the health and welfare of these children.
The other thing about this operation that caught my attention is that it was referred to as “Operation Cross Country VI”. That means, this operation has happened six times! And I do not know what the results of the previous five investigations were. It is however, sad that this kind of thing seems to be one of those ugly crimes that will never go away, no matter how many people are arrested and put into jail.
Just before I began to write this post, I read commentary from someone that their opinion to fight this crime against children was to legalize prostitution. It is already legal in the states of Nevada and Rhode Island (with some circumstances surrounding it), but their opinion was to go across the board. And if that was done, then there would no longer be a need to prey on the innocent and young because sex could happen between two adults and those who become more or less “customers” won’t feel the need to search out these children. I do not know how that entirely works however.
But our children are out there. Those who are actual missing children & runaways. I can only hope that we as adults and parents can take care of our children to do the best that we can to protect them. Because honestly, if we were to find out that OUR children were involved in such a lifestyle- we would be pissed off!