Kavanaugh: Did Anything Really Change When It Comes To Sexual Exploitation?

As I watched the Senate confirmation saga last week with the rest of the country, I wondered how it would affect the efforts of advocates like myself, who are dedicated to ending human sex trafficking and stem the sexualization of our kids.

During the Kavanaugh confirmation process, we watched politicians exploit a victim in their political war. We watched politicians throw out due process and try to destroy a Supreme Court nominee and his reputation, his family, and anyone who had ever been a friend of his.

Although we now have a new Supreme Court Justice who some might say “won;” we lost a bigger battle last week.

How do we get society to change current practices regarding victims of sexual exploitation and the rampant sale of minors for sex? Sexual assault is a serious matter, but it is against of backdrop of pornography, massage parlors, strip clubs, cam girls, kid on kid sex. Where do we begin to address the complex issues if we really care about what we said we cared about last week?

Clearly what happened made no difference for current victims. Allegations were equated with having committed the crime and guilty was a matter of public opinion  as opposed to a reasoned judgment after a legal process.

Harvey Weinstein ,Bill Cosby, and Larry Nassar preyed on victims for years before being stopped. I hope last week serves as a wake-up call for those on both sides. We cannot turn a blind eye to exploitation and victims who have been exploited, harmed, endangered, sexually assaulted, raped need to come forward and be heard.

We must do a better job determining what we do when a claim of abuse is made. We must also do a better job of training our young men and women about boundaries. Boundaries are acceptable, needed, and have been obliterated. All men are not sexual predators and all women are not victim survivors.

Going forward, we must challenge group think, protect our children and encourage respect from all sides. In the mean time we are still exploiting children and there is much work to be done. My hope is when victims come forward they are heard and not re-exploited and their perpetrators are exposed and punished.

Kathleen Winn
Project 25 – Ending Sexual Exploitation by 2025