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    "When many cures are offered for a disease, it means the disease is not curable" -Anton Chekhov

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    Sunday, February 16, 2003

    Condoms Are Our Mantra: The Weekly Standard has a piece this week on the sexploitation of young girls, and the response of the public health to it - give out condoms:

    In January, the Mexican paper El Universal published a three-part series on the trafficking of Mexican girls to brothels--rape camps, really--near San Diego. Over a 10-year period, hundreds of girls, 12 to 18 years old, from southern Mexico were either kidnapped or tricked by three brothers into coming to the United States. The girls were sold to farm workers--between 100 and 300 at a time--in small "caves" made of reeds in the fields. Many of the girls had babies, who were used as hostages with death threats against them, so their mothers would not try to escape.

    An anonymous American doctor who worked for a community health clinic that provided health care to migrant workers said, "The first time I went to the camps I didn't vomit only because I had nothing in my stomach. It was truly grotesque and unimaginable." Over time, the girls got younger; a number were 9 and 10 years old. One time, the doctor counted 35 men using a girl in one hour. When the police raided the brothels, they found dozens of empty boxes of condoms, each box having held a thousand condoms. Calculate how many rapes that represents.

    Yet for five years, under instruction from her supervisor, the doctor worked with the pimps "to prevent HIV/AIDS and other venereal diseases in the exploited minor girls." When she reported the horrific activities, she was told prostitution was not a migrant health concern. She said, "I fought a lot with the U.S. government and they told me that I shouldn't do anything, that I had signed a federal agreement of confidentiality." She said, "If I wanted to help these girls I had to develop a relationship with the pimps. . . . I had to convert myself into someone who doesn't judge, who doesn't express opinions."

    Heaven forbid we make any moral judgements. Especially when it involves other cultures. And it should be noted, reporting sexual abuse of this sort is mandatory when it happens to a child who also happens to be a US citizen. But the policy of the community health clinic was to give out condoms for protection instead. Condoms may protect against sexually transmitted diseases, but they sure won't protect against the emotional trauma of being a child sex slave.

    posted by Sydney on 2/16/2003 08:31:00 AM 0 comments


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