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Captive: The Sex Slave Girl

February 6, 2013

As a follow-up to my last post, I just watched a documentary on a girl held as a sex slave in a rural Pennsylvanian town for ten years. “Captive: The Sex Slave Girl” is a film that interviews many of the people involved in a case of grooming and sexual abuse in a small town and presents the facts in a very unbiased manner. As the story progresses, we meet the parents of the young woman, the neighbors and associates of her captor, the social worker who helped her and the lawyer who represented her in court and later co-authored her book: “Memoir of a Milk Carton Kid.” While watching the film and listening to the people involved, one can easily pick sides and find support for their beliefs both in the words of the people speaking and their actions, or lack of, with respect to the events that occurred.

In my opinion, this is the sad story of yet another young woman let down by society in every way. A 13 and 14 years old, children are still very vulnerable and easily manipulated. They are still learning who they are and where they fit into society. What happened to Tanya is a cumulation of unfortunate events and sadly, it still seems like she is being manipulated by those people whom she trusts; for example, the lawyer who saw dollar signs and co-wrote her book, but then insists he won’t go down with it if they get sued.

What we need to learn as a society is to look out for the warning signs and to put aside our own selfish needs and recognize when a person is looking for help. It is wrong to sell a young girl into marriage and it is wrong to allow a relationship to develop between a minor and an adult. Just because a girl is married to a man does not mean he has the right to abuse her, and just because Tanya went willingly with her abuser does not mean that he had the right to groom her and take advantage of her vulnerability. Sadly, her story is not the only one, and there are thousands of young women and children in situations like hers and even worse. Hopefully, by presenting her story, people will learn to recognize the signs of abuse and will not hesitate to act on it.



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