7 ways to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children

7 ways to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children

Introduction  When I wrote a post during Human Trafficking Awareness Month, I was exasperated once again with the “slavery” rhetoric of the trafficking movement (to catch up new readers on my opinion on slavery rhetoric, see the post, The trouble with trafficking). In last month’s post, I dumped the emotional weight of seeing young people every day who are abused and … Continue reading

Knees

Knees

Dispossess the kitchen floor, wipe up the skin, your chin will fade with a smile that way. What is the word for “do what you want to me”? for eighteen months, in the dark, dark streets, where bold, bold, bold is you— now, I have people I love again, and I worry about terrorist attacks, … Continue reading

cracks at the seams

cracks at the seams

In the rush of water crushed against rocks, the men grab the edges of children, spilling from the press of bodies in the boat, water up to the knees, no hands thrown up in joy. Arrival like its own new fear, every step a strange push forward. Desperate people will always find a way. In … Continue reading

No room for grief

No room for grief

It is almost Christmas, and my mother is standing in the kitchen, between things. “What am I doing?” her question resounds, but it’s not because she’s forgotten. She looks lost in the room. I’ve never seen her like this before, absent. I hold the shell of her in long hugs when she can’t decide what … Continue reading

The space I occupy

The space I occupy

Spring break 2016 I fold up the pages of case law I’m reading on the C train uptown and put it away as I climb off the train and out of the underground onto a sidewalk in Harlem. I emerge along St. Nicholas park where I used to run on mornings before work on my … Continue reading

Fraud

Fraud

The Hudson River slips calmly by my Harlem apartment, flat in the evenings with the red Western sunsets. A fourteen-year-old trusted me today. She, with her dark hair and terrified eyes, opened up one sentence at a time. Eventually, she asks me if I will be her mom. Her glossy, wide eyes are serious. I … Continue reading

Sexual assault in the media

Sexual assault in the media

There is no one certain way to be a sexual assault survivor and no perfect narrative when it comes to trauma. Even if it seems like dramatic trauma stories are the only way to spotlight the issue, promoting media-created “celebrity stories” can actually hurt outreach to sexual assault survivors and counter healing. Continue reading