Friday, January 29, 2010

Way Too Young

So, I’ve been doing some research on teen prostitution. Did you know that the AVERAGE age of teens getting into prostitution is 14??? And that a girl on the street will be approached by a “pimp” within 48 hours of her arrival on the streets? And, that the age of girls that “johns” want is getting lower??? And, that teen prostitution crosses all socio-economic levels, all races? And, that 99% of girls who get into prostitution were sexually abused as a child? And, that law enforcement was arresting these girls, but not the pimps or johns? And, that it takes less than a week for a girl to believe she has no alternative but to stay with her “pimp”? And, that although the average age is 14, it is not unusual for 12 year olds to be picked up for prostituting? And that many of the girls who come into PH directly from the street are prostituting?

The good news? There is finally some attention being paid to the fact that these girls are VICTIMS, not criminals. Law enforcement has begun to change their philosophy on arrest of these young girls. Youth-serving agencies are becoming educated on best practice treatment for these kids and on attending to their critical needs. One of the most immediate needs of these girls is medical attention; most have some kind of STD, could be pregnant, or HIV positive.

As long as law enforcement fails to focus on the perpetrators of these girls, NO progress will be made. Unfortunately, historically, the perpetrator was the LAST to be arrested. However, I've yet to meet a girl who entered prostitution willingly. I don't think they wake up one morning and say, "Hmmm, I think I'll become a prostitute". Let's change the focus to where it will have an impact--on the perpetrators of these young women.

Don’t mean to be a downer on Friday, but these are our kids…..they are lost children. It behooves us at PH and as a community to know all we can about this issue, and embrace these teens just as we do others.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What I Learned on My Christmas Vacation

My holiday is almost over, and since I like to have everything wrapped up in nice packages, I thought I'd do the same with my time off. So, here is what I learned this holiday season:
  1. If you sit around all day and watch T.V. and/or movies, you WILL gain weight.
  2. As I said in my pre-holiday missive, all families are dysfunctional--and mine certainly is--but I had a blast with them this year.
  3. Snuggies were the top White Elephant gift.
  4. Milk Duds call to me at ANY movie theatre at ANY time, day or night.
  5. One can tire of going to movies.
  6. Promise House CAN survive without me.
  7. Great surprises are in store if you're open to them.
  8. I LOVE being around my and my friends' grown children.
  9. I'm over New Year's Eve.
  10. NEVER go to a movie at North Park right after Christmas unless you have a limousine and a driver.
  11. My father is a real person.
  12. My brother is a younger my father.
  13. My oldest sister has been transformed.
  14. My twin sisters should be in a movie.
  15. Old, and I do mean chronologically, family friends are delightful.
  16. I LOVE being in my house alone.
  17. Amelia has to have been sent from heaven.
  18. I'm probably going to end up with Hermit Crabs that should be going to Austin with my youngest.
  19. My dogs are great people to talk to--they don't talk back.
  20. I still love my almost step-kids madly--but not as much as I love my fabulous, gorgeous, brilliant, funny, daughters.
  21. My son-in-law is fabulous.
  22. I make dynamite black-eyed peas and cornbread.
  23. I'm with the bears--we should hibernate til spring, which I could do very easily.
  24. Meryl Streep is a goddess.
  25. I'm newly in love with Alec Baldwin and re-in love with Robert Downy, Jr..

So, all in all, I think this holiday season was a hit. It's back to organized life on Monday, but surely all that I have learned over the last 2 1/2 weeks will keep me in good stead as I struggle to get back in the harness.

I turn 59 Wednesday (Epiphany for those of you who are Christian), and my own Epiphany for this season is that fun lurks everywhere--you just have to be open to it.

Happy New Year. May you have your own Epiphanies throughout this new decade.