Hello Core Mag Readers,
Warning: This blog contains a mature subject matter that your parents might not want you to read. The subject matter is child sex trafficking. This month’s blog may save a life or prevent a child from being abused. Younger readers check with your parents before going further. Core Magazine is the best website out there for young ladies, and I don’t want to jeopardize their standing of wholesome and clean contents.
Since my last blog, I have turned 13. I’m a teenager! I don’t know why I thought something magical would happen when I turned 13. I heard “Happy Birthday” in the morning and “take out the garbage” at night. My 13th birthday was the same as my 12th birthday. Nothing has changed except I’m expected to be wiser because I’m older. Being wise comes from life experiences and not age as I discovered on Monday, July 9th. Like most teenagers, I disagree with my mom about things I can and cannot do and what age I can do them. The main two are dating and makeup. She said dating at 16, but I don’t believe it. I know dating will be after my high school graduation. She said makeup can be used at age 15. I totally disagreed with 15 for makeup and almost ended up being homeless after getting into a verbal altercation with my mom. Let me start from the beginning.
As some of you may know, I have been working on a campaign asking Village Voice Media to take down their adult on line section. Their adult section is used to sexually traffic children as young as 10. Adult males and couples go to the backpage of Village Voice Media and with the click of a mouse buy male and female children. According to published reports, as much as 80% of on line trafficking comes from Village Voice Media on line adult section.
On July 9th, I was scheduled to appear on the MSNBC show, The Cycle, with Krystal Ball to talk about the campaign. A public service announcement that I did for Fairgirls.org was also going to be shown. Fairgirls is a great organization that help girls take back their life when rescued from trafficking. I recorded the PSA for Fairgirls in June. While shooting the ad, I was emotional because I was thinking about a friend that may have been sexually abused. I also thought about the 13 year old girl I was portraying but had not met. Two weeks later my mom and I went to meet the girl I portrayed in the ad. She cried upon viewing the ad. When I first met Monica (false name) it was hard for me to stop thinking about what she had gone through. That made it difficult for me to talk to her for about 15 minutes. Showing me pictures of her 7 month old son broke the ice. Yes, Monica, age 13, the survivor I portrays in the ad, has a son. I wanted to know if the baby was from one of the rapists, but I didn’t dare ask. I wasn’t there to invade her privacy, but I wanted to know. She smiles broadly when talking about her little boy. I wanted to hurt the evil males, especially the one that had gotten Monica pregnant and taken away her childhood. See why I go to therapy?
While at the Fairgirls office, I heard about the sisters that tested positive for HIV. They had been infected from the males that brought them on line at backpage.org. The lowlife johns do not wear anything to protect the girls from pregnancy or transmitted diseases. One survivor that I met, who had a huge impact on me, was Jessica. Jessica is 25 and was trafficked at age 16. She is so pretty. Because she is witty and brilliant, it is easy not to notice the scar on the right side of her face. Her pimp scraped her face with a potato peeler and than ate the skin. You can see Jessica’s story on this Nightline special. http://abcnews.go.com/US/
I saw girls that had just arrived in the United States after being rescued from trafficking in other countries. Some look lost and forlorn. Other girls were excited to show me the jewelry they had made. I saw the pride that the survivors had in their jewelry program. They make beautiful jewelry to sell and use the money to support themselves. I was blessed to have been given three gorgeous pieces from my new friends. Because it was my birthday, the survivors had a cupcake party for me right before my departure. “Survivors” is the name given to people that have been rescued from human trafficking. I left Washington knowing I was going to do whatever I could do to help these survivors. I have also read enough to know what I and all the organizations combined are up against. Village Voice Media makes over 27 million dollars a year on their on line ads. They have money for lawyers that do not have a conscious. They have steadfast refused to take down their ads and pretty much laugh at the various organizations, state attorney generals, politicians and clergy that have tried to terminate their on line adult section.
How did I get off track from Monday, July 9th? That afternoon I was happy to see my new friend Andrea Powell, the executive director for Fairgirls. She was sad because a male was trying to intimidate one of the young ladies that had been trafficked years before. I felt bad for my friend and helpless. I knew the only way to help Andrea and the girls was to spread awareness about child sex trafficking and expose the company behind the on line ads. My on line petition asking Village Voice Media to take down it’s adult section was put on Fairgirls’ web site the same day of the TV interview. I met Andrea at her hotel to talk over the campaign and the best way to conduct the interview. I was comfortable with what I had on. I had on a nice top with black slacks. My hair had just been washed and was put up in a nice ponytail. Upon our arrival to MSNBC , Andrea and I were taken to hair and makeup. I’m used to hair and makeup from commercial shoots, so I didn’t think anything of it on this particular day. When I got up from the chair, it was like a new person had taken over. My hair had been taken down, and heavy makeup was on me. I loved it!
I went to do the interview with Andrea. I was not nervous at all. I was feeling too confident to be nervous. I sit down beside Andrea ready for my serious interview with Krystal Ball. When I finished, I ran to my mom and asked her opinion. People that know my mother can tell you that her emotions always show on her face, unless she is playing cards. I could tell something was wrong. She told me she did not like my slouch, too much make up, and it was too much about me and not the victims. I was very defensive. I thought I did a great job. I cared about the victims so what was she talking about? I told her I wanted to wear makeup at 15 and what else I wanted to do at what ages. I was so mad at her criticism that I wanted to start an argument. When I think about July 9th, I realize I’m still lucky to have a home. My mom doesn’t play talking back. Well anyway, we couldn’t see eye to eye on anything for the next 3 hours. She couldn’t believe I was talking about makeup while some child at that very moment was getting raped. I was suppose to be a spokesperson for children, so I was suppose to look my age. I didn’t want to hear anything. I just wanted her to leave me alone. How bad could my interview be? Why couldn’t she just be supportive of me?
I later went on facebook, and Andrea had posted the interview. I watched the tape. http://video.msnbc.msn.com/
When I got the call to do this ad, I was so excited about this “booking”. I had not done any acting work since April’s episode of ABC’s “What Would You Do?”. My manager had not called me for an audition since April 2nd. I was taping again. Acting is a real passion for me. Well, later in that same week, is when I found out about my friend being abused. When the day arrived for me to tape the ad, it was no longer a job but a mission. I will not lose focus again from my mission, which is to see all human trafficking stop.
Village Voice Media feels as if they are untouchable. Read this excellent article with facts about child trafficking and the huge role Village Voice Media plays in it. Pay attention to the last line which is a statement from Village Voice Media. This is a very arrogant company with a very arrogant lawyer. http://dallasmorningviewsblog.
I believe we as young people have the ability to change the world. We can change our parents hair color to grey overnight so we have power. Let’s take that same energy and put it to good use by shutting down Village Voice Media on line adult site.
Please sign this petition to stop child sex trafficking. After watching my ad, click the sign petition link and sign, http://www.fairgirls.org/page/
I hope organizations start suing Village Voice Media on behalf of the survivors. Click on the links at the end of the blog to learn more about how to protect yourself from trafficking, survivors stories, investigative reporting, and to learn more about fairgirls.org jewelry which you can buy online. Thank you for your help. I will keep you updated on our progress. To sum up what I have learned, I will end with a quote from @urbprofessional on twitter, “If at first you don’t succeed, do it like your mother told you”. Now if I just remember that when I think I know it all. You can hit me up on Facebook, Victoria L Pannell, or on Twitter @victoriapannell. Thank you so much for reading. Stay cool and don’t forget to sign. http://www.fairgirls.org/page/
To buy Fairgirls jewelry
Village Voice Media Advertisers
Fairgirls that have been trafficked in the news
Website talks about Victoria Pannell Fairgirls public service announcement http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/
The End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act of 2012
Protect Your Safety
Organizations Trying to Stop Human Trafficking