Jeffrey Epstein got away for years with raping underage girls, and the public is properly outraged that powerful people seemed to shrug and let him off easy.
But the problem isn’t one tycoon but many tens of thousands of men who pay for sex with underage girls across the country. And society as a whole reacts with the same indifference that the authorities showed in the Epstein scandal.
“We see it as this singular narrative about this one guy,” said Rachel Lloyd, who wrote a superb book, “Girls Like Us,” about her own experience being sexually trafficked as a teenager. “There’s a much larger narrative out there about girls, often girls of color, who are commercially sexually exploited, often with impunity.”
“It’s part of the same behavior, part of what we allow as a society,” Lloyd added. “He got away with it because society said he could, and that’s what other johns think as well.”
Lloyd now runs a first-rate program, GEMS, in New York for girls and young women who have been trafficked. The people she helps haven’t been whisked off to Caribbean islands on private jets, but the pattern is the same: sordid exploitation of vulnerable girls by older and more affluent men who get away with it.
Indeed, girls across America are often treated even worse than in the Epstein case: Some end up arrested for prostitution while their rapists get off scot-free.
If we want to channel our outrage at the Epstein case in a productive way, we could: A) ramp up prosecution of pimps who traffic children; B) prosecute johns who rape girls and boys; C) assist programs for survivors of trafficking; and D) support initiatives that help vulnerable youths avoid being victimized by predators.
To read the full story by Nicholas Kristof on The New York Times: Click HereTags: Epstein
Category: Investigative Reporting