After decades of minimal accountability for those with wealth and influence who have abused vulnerable and marginalized people, our country may finally be at a turning point in which all perpetrators of sexual violence – no matter their social standing, wealth or power – are beginning to be held accountable for their exploitation and abuse of others. No one is above the law and no one should be allowed to engage in systematic abuse for decades without being held responsible for the harm caused by their actions.
NPEIV applauds New York state for their continued investigation into the sexual abuse of minors involving Jeffrey Epstein which culminated in formal charges on July 7. While all persons are innocent until proven guilty, the substandard prosecution of the prior allegations against Mr. Epstein involving over 30 identified victims in Florida was a stark example of how the devastating consequences of child sex trafficking are often minimized or dismissed not only by society, but by those in charge of prosecuting such cases.
Child sex trafficking is a silent epidemic that is largely invisible within a society that is reluctant to acknowledge both the crime and its victims. This is often evidenced by media descriptions of adolescent victims of sex trafficking as “underage women” versus what they are – children – and dismissal of accountability due to the public image or prestige of the alleged perpetrator. If our shared goal is prevention of sexual abuse, as well as all forms of interpersonal violence, then it is upon us all to acknowledge the breadth and complexity of this public health epidemic. NPEIV calls upon Congress to develop stronger evidence-based approaches for the prevention, investigation and prosecution of interpersonal violence across the lifespan, while also holding anyone who exploits children for sexual purposes - no matter how wealthy or powerful - fully accountable for their abusive actions.
The National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan (NPEIV) is an overarching group of individuals, organizations, agencies, coalitions, and groups that embrace a national, multi-disciplinary and multicultural commitment to violence prevention across the lifespan.
NPEIV is committed to reducing interpersonal violence and its consequences through scientific research and application of empirical findings. It is our mission to make the prevention of interpersonal violence a national and international priority and to encourage healthy relationships by linking science, practice, policy and advocacy.
Through our many partnerships and collaborations, it is our vision to end all types of interpersonal violence, for all people, in all communities, at all stages of life. For more information, please visit www.npeiv.org