Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The hard life

Last Friday, Dr. Donna Akers, and associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Nebraska came by my office to visit about research she is undertaking. Dr. Akers is interested in human trafficking. We discussed the potential for using Lincoln data as part of her research.

Hard though it may be for most Lincoln residents to believe, we indeed have some cases involving human trafficking in our city. These are situations where women are being coerced into prostitution, or where runaway girls are being forced to participate in “survival sex.” The crimes that come to police attention are rare, but not unknown.

While Dr. Akers was here, I was showing her how we might gather some information. I clicked on a couple of prostitution arrests, and showed her the police contact history on these two subjects. After she left, I did a little research of my own. I selected ten women arrested within the past decade for prostitution who are now between the ages of 20 and 35 and who have resided in Lincoln for at least ten years.

These women have lived the hard life. The ten subjects have a combined record of 105 runaway reports, 44 child abuse/neglect cases, and 35 sexual assaults prior to their 19th birthday. Those are only the reported incidents that came to the attention of the Lincoln Police Department.


Steve said...

It is saddening to know that there are people seemingly trapped by circumstances such as those you describe. Still, I doubt if humanity will ever be without these divisions in society: the haves and have nots, the easy life and the hard life, good and evil.

We can try, though, to help these people from the "other" side achieve at least the semblence of a good life by doing what we can to stop their victimization.

From your figures, I suspect that many of these girls/women were subjected to abuse, neglect, assault, etc., by the same person (father, husband, boyfriend, neighbor, relative) multiple times. This goes back to previous postings regarding our failure to keep "bad people" from continuing to prey on the rest of society.

Until we figure out a way to truly rehabilitate people (and I'm not sure we ever will), we need to take whatever means necessary to put an end to their habitual criminal behavior.

Grundle King said...

Anybody who thinks they've got it rough needs to read this.

Yeah, work may not always be fun, we may run short of money...but by God, we've got it good.