Download Mike Reagan Mug Photo Michael Reagan, 2/1/2011 [Archive]

Super Bowl:The Untold Story

Super Bowl: The Untold Story

Making Sense, by Michael Reagan

There has been a lot of media buzz about the thousands of prostitutes, strippers and pole dancers streaming into the Dallas area for the Super Bowl weekend. But what rarely gets reported is the alarming fact that hiding behind the push-up bras, false eyelashes and stilettos are children, some as young as 12 years of age, who are victims of human sex trafficking.

Human trafficking is as much a part of Texas as cowboys and oil. The business flourishes because of the state's geographic location, long stretches of interstate highways, international airports, numerous bus stations, the large shipping industry, and its shared border with Mexico. This border is North America's number one supply site for young children used in sex and labor trafficking. In the last quarter of 2007, 30 percent of the calls received by the National Human Trafficking Hotline were out of Texas and 25 percent of all international victims certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services were in Texas.

The problem doesn't just affect children from outside U.S. borders. Domestic child sex trafficking is on the rise. According to National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Throwaway Children, an estimated one out of every three children that run away is lured into sex trafficking within 48 hours of leaving home. Research indicates that one in five girls and one in ten boys will be sexually victimized before adulthood.

I know first-hand the pain of sexual exploitation. As a child, I was sexually abused for a year by a trusted summer camp counselor. I was molested and I was a victim of child pornography. No child ever completely recovers from this form of abuse.

I kept this awful secret for 32 years. Then in 1987, during my father's second term as president, I finally spoke. I told the horrible truth to my father Ronald Reagan and Nancy, my mother Jane Wyman and my wife Colleen, and then I told the world in a book I penned called 'On the Outside Looking In.' I was no longer fearful of how my experience would affect the image of one of America's most beloved actors and presidents. I found purpose in the pain.

Long before my father was an actor, he was an accomplished swimmer and he worked as a lifeguard at Rock River in Illinois. He was always proud of the fact that he saved 77 lives there. It occurred to me that children caught in the waters of abuse and neglect are drowning too. They need a lifeguard. Time for another Reagan to jump in the water.

In 2005, I joined with Arrow Child & Families Ministries of Houston, Texas to create The Michael Reagan Center for Advocacy & Research.The center conducts research in order to effectively advocate nationally for public policies that benefit the safety, stability and well-being of children and families, particularly those served by public and private child welfare systems. Currently, we are focused on providing a fresh voice for children and families affected by deficiencies in the foster care system and those victimized by sex trafficking.

I applaud the efforts of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and members of the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force, who are working to identify and assist children trafficked in for the Super Bowl. But come Monday morning, there will be thousands of children still living in the darkness of the sex trade.

Our research shows that although the federal government provides some funding to support victims of human trafficking, the vast majority of that money is directed to foreign nationals.Funding and services are especially scarce for the domestic minor victims of human trafficking. Nationwide there are fewer than 70 beds for the safe recovery of victims.

Now more than ever, government funds must be directed toward the victims of this horrendous crime. I urge you to contact your local representatives to ask their support of the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act which could provide critical funds needed to support our children who are lured into this sick world.But of course government cannot do it alone. I am also calling upon churches and members of the faith community to visit www.Arrow.org/mrc and indicate your desire to be educated and equipped to address this issue and make an impact in your community.

Arrow Child & Family Ministries and the Michael Reagan Center are participating in the Safe House Now Taskforce -- a model program that brings together representatives of the FBI, local law enforcement, the courts, the United States and District Attorneys, Child Protective Services and Juvenile Probation, women's groups, non-profits and faith organizations to develop a program that will provide therapeutic, educational, and housing to children caught up in sex trafficking.

The task force has identified Arrow Child & Family Ministries as the organization that will house and provide the program needed for these children. We have developed a therapeutic and educational model that can be replicated nationwide.

There's nothing magical about the Super Bowl. Predatory monsters who destroy the innocent lives of children are everywhere. It's time that caring adults take a strong stand against those who sexually exploit and abuse children.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of 'The New Reagan Revolution' (St. Martin's Press, 2011). He is the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his website at www.reagan.com.

© 2011 Mike Reagan. Mike's column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate. For info contact Sales. E-mail Sales@cagle.com, (805) 969-2829.

Download Michael Reagan's color photo - Download Michael Reagan's black and white mug shot photo
Why not run a cartoon with the column? We recommend the cartoons below as a good compliment to Michael Reagan's topic.
Click on the thumbnail images to preview and download the cartoons.

Related Cartoons

Merchandise
By: Ares

January 19, 2006

Merchandise
By: Ares

January 19, 2006

La mujer de mi corazón / COLOR
By: Angel Boligan

November 13, 2010

Child Abuse
By: Angel Boligan

March 23, 2009

White Collar Crime COLOR
By: Martin Sutovec

July 2, 2010

White Collar Crime
By: Martin Sutovec

July 2, 2010

Pedophiles
By: Cameron Cardow
The Ottawa Citizen
August 20, 2006

Pedophiles COLOR
By: Cameron Cardow
The Ottawa Citizen
August 20, 2006

Prostitution COLOR
By: Mike Lester

March 13, 2008

Prostitution
By: Mike Lester

March 13, 2008

We do not accept and will not review unsolicited submissions from cartoonists.
Sales & Information: (805) 969-2829 sales@cagle.com
Billing Information: (805) 969-2829billing@cagle.com
Technical Support: support@cagle.com

FREE cartoons for your website if you're already a paying print subscriber!
Artwork and columns are copyrighted by each creator. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. [Privacy Policy]