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Archive for September 17th, 2008

This week, I have been writing about Senate Bill 1738, also known as the Combating Child Exploitation Act of 2008, which Oprah profiled on her show on Monday. To me, it was such a no-brainer to pass this bill, so I have been taken aback by all of the controversy surrounding Senate Bill 1738 and the Oprah show.

Apparently, the Democrats and Republicans have decided to get into a p@$$ing match over whose version of the bill will be passed into law. People are pointing out that Oprah supports Senate Bill 1738, Barak Obama, and Joe Biden.

Let me be clear – I am a card-carrying Republican, so nobody can make those claims about me. However, that is going to change if the Republicans vote down Senate Bill 1738 as part of their political agenda. I cannot and will not support a party that sacrifices our children for their own political agenda.

According to Oprah Criticized for Senate Bill 1738, Unrelated to GOP Boycott, the Democrats are trying to bundle Senate Bill 1738 (which was submitted by Senator Joe Biden) with a bunch of unrelated legislation that the Republicans will not support. Meanwhile, Senator Tom Colburn M.D. worked with Senator John McCain to write a similar bill, Senate Bill 3344, called the Securing Adolescents from Exploitation-Online (SAFE) Act of 2007, which was also voted down. So, we have both parties sacrificing our country’s children for the sake of their own political agendas.

Abused children are not pawns in the big political game – they are children whose lives are a living hell, and it is apparently going to stay that way as the Democrats and Republicans are using abused children’s very deep pain to further their own political agendas. This makes me nauseous. Voters need to take a very strong stand that we will not sacrifice our children for their political posturing.

I did not need to watch the Oprah show to know how abused and exploited children are treated. I lived it.

++++ graphic sexual abuse and animal rape triggers ++++

I was eight years old. I was taken from my bed at night and driven to a remote location. I was stripped naked and laid down on a table under the stars in the woods. I was shivering, not only from the cold but from sheer terror. These people had already slaughtered my dog right in front of me and threatened to do the same to my sister if I ever told. I was not going to resist, especially with my sister present that night.

They brought out a dog – a tan boxer. They pulled my legs apart and invited the dog to rape me vaginally. It did. Cameras were clicking as the dog did this to me. I couldn’t see past the flashbulbs in the dark.

Who knows how many perverts saw those pictures? For all I know, they are still in circulation today. Nobody saved me from these people, and that was far from the only time I was photographed being sexually assaulted.

According to Oprah’s guest, he only has the manpower to follow up on 2% of the leads. He chooses the 2% by those that law enforcement is most likely to catch. My photographs were taken in the dark, not in a bedroom like the man discussed on Oprah’s show. My picture would have fallen in the 98% pile.

And, thanks to the Republicans and Democrats, that is where my picture would stay. While they pointed finger at each other and ultimately accomplished nothing, I would be pulled out of my bed at night again … and again … and again to be raped, tortured, and exploited on camera for perverts all over the world to view and use in their own sick fantasies.

The children who are being exploited daily cannot speak for themselves, but I can speak for them. Those children need to be saved. I don’t care if it costs $6.30 or $89.59 for a family of four, depending upon which version of the bill is voted into law. (See Oprah Criticized for Senate Bill 1738, Unrelated to GOP Boycott.) We need to save our children.

I was only eight years old when that dog raped me on camera. Isn’t saving an eight-year-old little girl from years of exploitation worth $100 a family? If it was your child being raped on camera, wouldn’t you pay $100 to save him or her?

Please write to your congressmen and tell them to pass a bill to enable law enforcement to stop child predators. I don’t care if they pass Senate Bill 1738 or Senate Bill 3344 – I just want one passed.

Hey, here’s a novel concept. How about working together for once and focusing on saving the children? I will be watching my Congressmen. If a child exploitation bill is not passed into law this year, I will be voting no to every single representative of mine who is running for reelection, regardless of party affiliation.

*** Updated 9/23/08 — See Update on the Protect Our Children Act for a way to help pressure the Senate into passing the legislation to protect children without having to get into party politics. We need to act fast. ***

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Photo Credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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