WARNING: This is a no-edit zone...
I've been thinking a lot about Marjorie Jones and her daughter. And how an Amber Alert couldn't be issued because it wasn't known if her daughter had left willingly or been lured (forced) away.
I've been thinking about the young honor student who took off for a foreign country, lured away by a foreigner on the Internet.
I've been thinking about the number of teens who are missing and wondering how many of those have become victims--of street crimes, of neglect, of such horrific crimes as sex-slavery.
And in case you think that sex-slave business isn't near you... Best think again. Like drugs, it's everywhere. Two groups were arrested in my immediate vicinity within the past few weeks and we're a small town. Two rings, not individuals.
See, drugs are consumable. People buy them, use them, and the asset is gone. Sex slaves, (younger ones bring in higher money than older ones), can be sold again and again. It's despicable, it's disgusting, but it's also fact.
Many of these kids are trapped with no way out, or they see no way out, and are so despondent at their circumstance that they end up committing suicide. Most of them die very young; either by their own hand, or at the hand of an abuser.
The thing is these kids are all kids. They're victims and minors and they're somebody's baby. We have a collective responsibility to not just sit and lament when pondering their plight. We have an obligation to get off our duffs and actually do something.
A few days ago I posted on Marjorie's daughter. In her post, Marjorie said the AMBER ALERT system couldn't be used because there was doubt about whether or not her daughter left willingly.
My contention is, what's the difference? She's a minor.
But the established rule is that it does make a difference. I have no idea why, but in my humble opinion, there is no valid reason for it. The bottom line was that the AMBER ALERT, a successful tool, was denied in the case of Marjorie and her daughter. That's just not right.
Yet the circumstance won't change and it will stay "not right" unless someone refuses to accept it, calls the question, and offers a solution to change that circumstance.
Trying to help that effort, I wrote my Congressman, Jeff Miller, and requested that he sponsor a bill to institute an AMETHYST ALERT. A mirror system to the AMBER ALERT but tagged differently to differentiate the different types of cases. I've received notice of his receipt and that he's "looking into the matter" and will respond to it specifically within ten days.
My fingers are crossed that he's inspired to act. But encouragement wouldn't hurt and could help.
I hope that others will write their elected officials and request this bill, too. If we get enough people to write and make the request, then this challenge will change--and it should.
Marjorie's child was in jeopardy. What did this experience do to her? What are the long-term effects? And what of Marjorie? Does anyone for a second believe she was any less worried than any other loving parent of any other missing child? Of course not. She was a wreck--a frustrated, hindered by a system that is supposed to be helpful wreck.
Yes, something definitely needs to be done about this.
Please, use the link below and write to your elected official today. Ask that s/he sponsor bill to create the AMETHYST ALERT, or if one has been sponsored by the time your representative gets to it, ask him/her to support it.
Timing is good. Mid-term elections are coming, and that can be a prosperous time of action, especially on issues important to families and children. Let's don't waste the opportunity!
Here's the link:
And that's what's on my mind this morning... Kids. How we're fooling ourselves, believing we are protecting them when we're failing them, and what we can do to not fail them. On this, we've just got to succeed...
P.S. Permission is given to forward this post or a link to it at will.