Don’t Charge Victim Of Child Abuse
Petitioner April Childs Watkinsville, GA
Earlier this month, Georgia Police busted a prostitution ring involving 11 men and a 14-year-old girl. Not only do they plan to prosecute the child predators, but they have charged the 14-year-old victim with prostitution as well. Sixteen is the age of sexual consent in Georgia. District Attorney Fred Bright is charging a statutory rape victim with a crime she’s not legally old enough to commit. Help me tell him child prostitution victims need help, not prison.
My name is April Childs. I am a parent and Georgian, and I work as a forensic interviewer of children. My job entails interviewing victims of child abuse and sexual assault. I can take their testimony and transmit it to prosecutors so the victims don’t have to endure the stress and humiliation of taking the stand and seeing their accuser. I have worked with more than 500 children and helped them tell their story to officials so their abusers could be duly prosecuted. That’s why I was so shocked when I heard about Chief Kent Lawrence and District Attorney’s Bright’s plan to charge this young girl with prostitution, further victimizing her and punishing her for an act she couldn’t have legally consented to.
What the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuitplans to do with this young girl goes against any legal, therapeutic or even common sense protocol. The law–both federal and state–recognizes that children do not have the emotional capability to consent to sexual activity. As a vulnerable population, children should be protected from predatory adults, as well as helped to heal from traumas inflicted upon them. Charging a victim of statutory rape does exactly the opposite. It places blame on the victim which is counterproductive to the healing process.
Join me and tell DA Fred Bright to respect state law and human decency and refuse to prosecute the victim.