ABUSE—IT’S HAPPENING WHERE YOU LIVE AND GODLY PEOPLE MUST STOP IT

**“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Proverbs 31:8-9

**“The Spirit of the Lord…has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,..that the oppressed will be set free.” Luke 4:18

SUMMARY:
~5,500,000 children are trafficked around the world and experience violence, exploitation abuse, forced marriage, prostitution, begging and forced military service. ~80 million children are forced to work in hazardous jobs which harm them. Between 300-800,000 children in the USA are trafficked every year.
See: America’s Daughters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTAVZChvLR4, Sex Trafficking in the U.S.: Young Lives, Insane Profit | Yolanda Schlabach  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNq2WS-QFcchttps://theirworld.org/explainers/child-trafficking, https://www.worldschildren.org/child-trafficking-statistics/

SOME CAUSES: Greed by a few causes poverty for many. Poverty makes it very hard for parents to watch/train their children as they need to and often causes broken/dysfunctional families. This leaves children much more vulnerable to abuse/trafficking. Some media puts profit over the welfare of human beings, treats women and children (but also in some cases boys/men) as sexual objects and commodities and makes people feel inferior. Treating a person as an object or inferior is almost always the first step to many kinds of exploitation and abuse.  Dr. Jean Kilbourne has lectured on how some media opens the door to abuse and how we can stop that.  
See:   https://blog.theexodusroad.com/causes-effects-of-human-trafficking, https://borgenproject.org/5-causes-of-human-trafficking/, https://www.unicefusa.org/stories/what-fuels-human-trafficking/31692, https://www.humanrightscareers.com/issues/10-causes-of-human-trafficking/,
Dr. Kilbourne’s lectures: Still Killing Us Softly – Advertisings Image of Women: https://archive.org/details/stillkillingussoftlyadvertisingsimageofwomen,
#4: Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women https://thoughtmaybe.com/killing-us-softly/.

ACTIONS:

  1. Learn/get trained about the injustice of trafficking: https://www.cfr.org/interactives/modern-slavery, https://ourrescue.org/traininghttps://exoduscry.com/abolition/, https://www.ijm.org/slavery https://courses.endslaverytn.org/collections, https://www.endslaverytn.org/learn
  2. Know the red flags associated with trafficking and hotlines to call: https://www.endslaverytn.org/redflags. National Human Trafficking Hotline at 233733. NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678) TIP HOTLINE: 1-888-373-7888. TN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE 1-855-55-TNHTH 
  3. Join protests and tell friends/family about them.  See our future actions here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SaveTheChildrenSTC
  4. Sign petitions: https://www.unicefusa.org/stories/innocent-victims-fight-against-online-child-sex-trafficking/33866, https://www.endslaverynow.org/act/action-library/sign-this-petition-against-child-sex-trafficking
  5. Confront people when you see them supporting greed, policies or choices that harm families, supporting media that sexualizes people, etc.

INTRODUCTION

The Bible tells us that there will be terrible times in the period before Jesus comes because of greed, pride and other evils (2 Tim. 3:1-5). But just like all godly people in the Bible, including the early Christians, worked diligently against the structures of abuse, slavery and oppression of their time, so too biblical Christians must oppose and work against every evil, esp. the major ones in our society in order to be like our example Jesus who said, “The Spirit of the Lord…has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,..that the oppressed will be set free.” Luke 4:18

This is not just some nice thing to do if we feel like it. Our choices to learn and act against abuse and other injustices decides whether we are godly or not (Prov. 29:7), whether we are following the real meaning of the golden rule or not, whether we are on the side of reducing evil or increasing it by our silence and inaction (see also: Isaiah 1:17, Matthew 5:6, Matthew 23:23, Galatians 6:7, Hebrews 1:8-9, Romans 1:28-2:8, Eph. 5:1, Titus 2:14).

A number of cultures in history never heard of the slavery of children, esp. sexual slavery, while others such as the Roman and Greek cultures didn’t even consider children people and slavery and sexual abuse of children was rampant. One terrible example of the evil of abuse is the sexual abuse of children. In the documentary “Stolen Innocence” (2002), a young teenage girl Sunremita tells a tragic story

“Everyone in our family was sick and we didn’t have any money.” [My mother] said, “Let’s go and sing in karaoke [for money]. So I agreed to go to get money for our sick family. But instead I was taken to the brothel. My mother asked my step father to take me there.”[1]

She says she tried to ask men to use condoms to protect herself, but she would be hit, kicked and beaten by men who did not want to use one. She amazingly says she does not hate her mother who lied to her about where she was going, because she knows they were in desperate poverty and she thinks her step father manipulated her mother to do this.

But this tragedy does not just happen overseas. It has existed in America for centuries, but is becoming more common now since to paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr. if we don’t protest injustice in far away places, those injustices will in time usually come to our country and location as well. Many experts, police, judges, prostitutes, reporters like Amy Collins have noticed much higher rates of sex trafficking in recent years[2]

“[They] have all simultaneously and independently noted the same disturbing phenomenon. There are more young American girls entering the commercial sex industry—an estimated 300,000 [per year] at this moment—and their ages have been dropping drastically…There are basically two business models: manipulating girls through violence—that’s called ‘gorilla’ pimping—and controlling them with drugs,” says Krishna Patel, who prosecuted the case of New York–based trafficker Corey Davis, a.k.a. “Magnificent.”…Patel [said], “I’d always dismissed the idea of human trafficking in the United States. I’m Indian, and when I went to Mumbai and saw children sold openly, I wondered, Why isn’t anything being done about it? But now I know—it’s no different here. I never would have believed it, but I’ve seen it. Human trafficking—the commercial sexual exploitation of American children and women, via the Internet, strip clubs, escort services, or street prostitution—is on its way to becoming one of the worst crimes in the U.S…

…[An] unlikely trafficking-abolitionist coalition—consisting of secular social-justice advocates, faith-based groups, black activists, second- and fourth-wave feminists, liberals, conservatives, Democrats, and Republicans

[agree]

“All the numbers we have on trafficking are inaccurate,” avows Deirdre Bialo-Padin, chief of the domestic-violence bureau of the Brooklyn D.A.’s office. “They’re too low. It’s an underreported crime. Who is going to raise her hand and say, ‘Hi, I’m a trafficking victim!’ when her family has been threatened? With the right laws in place, we will get harder numbers.” For victim advocates, saying that trafficking in America isn’t a problem is akin to J. Edgar Hoover saying the Mafia doesn’t exist. Melissa Farley believes “we’re still in the Dark Ages with trafficking because, unlike incest, rape, and domestic battering, trafficking generates massive revenues—$32 billion a year worldwide.”

Collins full article above is heartbreaking and insightful, but covers the stories of just a few of the vulnerable girls who were forced into the most degrading levels of addiction and prostitution by men whose top motivation in life was greed and I encourage you to read it, but esp. to become educated on the main causes of these evils, the best ways to stop them and oppose them in every way possible because abuse is one of the most virulent and destructive evils that exists on the planet, especially in its long term effects.

Every year there are billions of cases of abuse that cause many deaths, damage people emotionally, physically and financially lifelong and which damage/ruin many relationships. Quantifying all the damage done does not begin to describe the pain of experiencing abuse. But researchers say that abuse of children in America alone costs ~$750 billion every year[3]. That’s enough to solve poverty worldwide ~3-4 times which would in turn eliminate the myriad other problems poverty causes including a lot of abuse, bad health, lack of access to education, enormous amounts of crime, terrorism, war and much more.

We need to do all we can to acknowledge, expose and stop all cases of abuse that we can since as SDA leaders in our “End it Now” campaign have rightly said even one case is too much. Ending every case of abuse that we possibly can should be one of the highest priorities for those who love God and the people He created and anyone with moral sensibilities regardless of worldview.

Many people are blaming many sources for this problem. But to stop and eradicate as much abuse as we possibly can, we must

A) IDENTIFY PERPETRATORS/DIRECT CAUSES & WHERE IT IS HAPPENING MOST OFTEN ACCURATELY
It’s really important to identify where children are abused most accurately so we know where to focus our resources to best reduce it and protect children best and to keep them from the most risky places of abuse happening. If we wrongly identify the main causes or where it is happening most, we could cause people to send children into even more dangerous environments with higher risks of abuse.

Many sincere Christian/SDA pastors, leaders and even some academics have made statements that aren’t accurate and can actually lead to even more problems. For example, many Christian pastors/leaders have reported that rates of divorce and abuse are similar in the world and the church.  But Shaunti Feldhahn did extensive research for over 8 years and found that belief in God reduces divorce 25-50%.[4] This was very helpful to many pastors who had felt they couldn’t show any benefit to marriages from belief in God.

Similarly, many claim that abuse is happening at about the same rate in the church as in secular families/nations. But many studies show that this is simply not true. Abuse rates are much higher in many other environments. Getting the facts wrong here is extremely serious because:

1) Making wrong claims about rates of abuse (and divorce) can cause people to think that it’s a good idea to leave belief in God or send their children to non-religious environments. But the risk of abuse is actually much higher in many non-religious environments. This is especially true long term because as societies drift farther and farther away from God, the types of abuses and the rates of abuse grow very much worse due to greed getting worse.

2)  Making wrong claims about rates of abuse can make certain people think that this is something normal, that many are doing it, and so it’s no big deal if they do it too. This is especially true with divorce (which has devastating effects on children) but also about abuse. When people see many famous people engaging in it, it tends to desensitize some people to how destructive it is and think it’s no big problem if they engage in it.

3) Probably most importantly, placing all the blame on religion lets the real biggest causes and culprits of abuse go scott free.   God says greed is the “the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim. 6:10), “Greed brings grief to the whole family” (Prov. 15:27). There are secondary factors that should be opposed, but when you study science, esp. economics, human rights and psychology, you find that every evil traces back to greed.

Many news reports have exposed and rightly condemned the sexual abuse of children that happens in Catholic churches. Research has found that tragically, ~4-5% or so of priests have abused young people under their care (~81% of their victims are male). Research has shown similar rates by Protestant church leaders, Jewish temple leaders and other religious institutions (although the research is not as comprehensive there).  That is terrible and we must work to reduce/stop every case of abuse in churches.  

But research shows that rates of abuse are far higher in secular/non-religious environments. ~9.6% (and in some studies up to 50% of students have been abused by teachers/staff in public schools.[5]) Up to 7 times more are abused by other students.[6] Up to 90% are abused in atheist countries like North Korea.[7] And up to   94% of women in Hollywood report being sexually harassed/abused. [8]  Youth sports teams (gymnastics in particular), also have very high rates of abuse. 


B) EDUCATE PEOPLE ABOUT ALL MAJOR CAUSES THE LONG TERM EFFECTS OF ABUSE
It’s really important to educate people about the major causes of abuse, the disastrous lifelong consequences of abuse, how the media uses propaganda to insert harmful ideas in their minds, how to defeat abusive urges, what to do if they are in abusive situations or if they see others in abusive situations, etc.  Most people don’t realize that research has shown that greed/wealth/major amounts of power, media and narcissism, atheism, theistic lack of confidence in eternal life, childhood abuse, insecurity/shame and a desire for power, are major factors of abuse. These will be described below more.


C) IDENTIFY ROOT CAUSES
Identify the primary causes of abuse. God says greed is the “the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim. 6:10), “Greed brings grief to the whole family” (Prov. 15:27), “Greed causes fighting” (Prov. 28:25), greed causes violence (Ez. 45:9, Is. 5:7,8), “Greedy people are…like death itself…never satisfied…they conquer nation after nation for themselves.” (Hab. 2:5) and ~20 specific evils. God say it will cause very difficult times (2 Tim. 3:1,2). Pride is of course a twin root cause of evil because both greed and pride make people think they are above the law. The modern materialist economic systems and culture has made a few people very rich and billions poorer than ever before in history while media has for a century been promoting the #1 propaganda concept “Gain wealth. Forget all but self.” in a myriad of ways. For these reasons and others rates of exploitation of many kinds have skyrocketed.


Science is providing strong confirmation that when people have enormous amounts of wealth and/or power they more often think they are above the law and can follow whatever abusive fantasies they wish as the case of the atheist billionaire Jeffrey Epstein sexually abusing many young girls has recently shown. But many other factors including immoral media, atheism and lack of confidence in eternal life in theists (so people think they have to get all they pleasure they can now) and other factors play significant roles too. We should focus our energy on the primary causes of abuse, but also put effort into reducing/stopping the secondary factors).

The Bible also is quite clear that greed causes the abuse and slavery of children and that all levels of society should be used to stop it, from individuals to the community/church to governments. When governor Nehemiah found out children were being abused/enslaved, he immediately placed the blame on the wealthiest people of his time, which is where God, prophets and apostles have always placed the primary blame for evil. God and godly people do not ignore personal responsibility and encourage people to make wise choices so as not to be exploited or participate in exploitation. But they consistently place the primary blame for all evil on the greed of the super wealthy (see the above link for many examples of this).

5 About this time some of the men and their wives raised a cry of protest against their fellow Jews. They were saying…”We belong to the same family as those who are wealthy, and our children are just like theirs. Yet we must sell our children into slavery just to get enough money to live. We have already sold some of our daughters, and we are helpless to do anything about it, for our fields and vineyards are already mortgaged to others.” 6 When I heard their complaints, I was very angry…Then I called a public meeting to deal with the problem.  “We are doing all we can to redeem our Jewish relatives who have had to sell themselves to pagan foreigners, but you are selling them back into slavery again…Then I pressed further, “What you are doing is not right! 11 You must restore their fields, vineyards, olive groves, and homes to them this very day. And repay the interest you charged when you lent them money, grain, new wine, and olive oil.”Nehemiah 5:1,2,5,6,8,9,11

In the area of sexual abuse, research shows that people in poverty and debt are the easiest to force/pressure into sexually abusive situations. One study says about sexual trafficking:

“The most common tactic of coercion used among victims is debt bondage, an illegal practice where the victim has to pledge personal services in order to repay some form of debt, such as transportation into a foreign country or living expenses.3” 
Neha A Deshpande,   Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls, 2013. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3651545/

See also: Hodge DR. Sexual trafficking in the United States: a domestic problem with transnational dimensions. Soc Work. 2008;53:143–152. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18595448

FACTS ABOUT ABUSE

What does research say about where abuse happens most and what are the biggest causes of abuse? If we don’t get this question right and very accurate, it can enable more tragic abuse and damage more people’s lives with our lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Research tragically shows that most children in the world are being abused in various ways.

 “Over half of all children in the world – 1 billion children ages 2-17 years – experience violence every year.”[9]

https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/vacs/onebillion-children.html


And it has devastating consequences.

“10 forms of childhood trauma [physical, emotional or sexual abuse, physical or emotional neglect, mental illness, violence towards mother, divorce, substance abuse, incarcerated relative] dramatically increase the risk of 7 out of 10 of the leading causes of death in the United States…The CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences study shows us 10 childhood traumas permanently affects the physical, mental, social, and financial health of people who experience them. The ACEs fit in 3 categories; abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. Each type of maltreatment you have suffered counts as 1 ACE.”
https://stopabusecampaign.org/faq-the-ace-study/adverse-childhood-experiences-study/


It’s impossible to quantify the pain and suffering from abuse in numbers, but researchers have estimated that child abuse in America alone costs over $750 billion a year.[10] That’s literally enough to end poverty worldwide at least 3-4 times according to best estimates (It would take only ~$150-250 billion/year depending on which experts you consult).

One of the worst forms of child abuse is sexual abuse. Unfortunately, there has been a significant rise in the rate of sexual abuse (of all ages and sexes) around the world. It is a global problem and a terribly abusive epidemic around the world and in the USA (rates of rape in America have fallen significant during some years, but have recently been spiking).

“Incidents of sexual harassment are increasing exponentially…sexual harassment is a global problem.” 
Progress of Sexual Harassment Law in India, China and Hong Kong https://harvardilj.org/2010/08/online_51_srivastava/ 

It is a sad but objective fact of modern reality that terrible forms of abuse are happening in almost every facet of US society (and many others around the world).

“Sexual harassment and assault is a normalized, commonplace offense that occurs regularly in every facet of U.S. society—in Hollywood, in Silicon Valley, among journalists, comedians, politicians, and professors.” [11]

FACT #1: ~4-5% OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS ENGAGE IN ABUSE
“According to the best available data (which is pretty good mostly coming from a comprehensive report by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2004 as well as several other studies), 4% of Catholic priests in the USA sexually victimized minors during the past half century…The 4% figure appears lower than school teachers during the same time frame and certainly less than offenders in the general population of men. Sexual victimization is tragically fairly common in the general population…”
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/do-the-right-thing/201003/six-important-points-you-dont-hear-about-regarding-clergy-sexual


FACT #2: ABUSE IN SCHOOLS MAY BE ~100 TIMES WORSE THAN BY PRIESTS

Levels of abuse in secular public school environments than religious environments. It depends on what studies you are comparing, but Hofstra University researcher Charol Shakeshaft said,

“In 2002 the Department of Education carried out a study of sexual abuse in the school system. Hofstra University researcher Charol Shakeshaft looked into the problem [and said], “[T]hink the Catholic Church has a problem?” she said. ‘The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.’ [But] media outlets [didn’t] start hounding the worse menace of the school systems…”[12]


The government report she read said,

“More than 1,000 researchers, educators and policymakers were contacted to identify current studies of educator sexual misconduct…As a group, these studies present a wide range of estimates of the percentage of U.S. students subject to sexual misconduct by school staff and vary from 3.7 to 50.3 percent (Table 5). Because of its carefully drawn sample and survey methodology, the AAUW report that nearly 9.6 percent of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career presents the most accurate data available at this time.”[13]


And sexual assaults by students of other students is about 7 times higher.

“Our schools are in crisis,” says Warkov, who founded the Stop Sexual Assault in Schools (SSAIS) organization….While occasions of adult-on-child sexual assaults on school property claim headlines—and rightfully so—the problem of student-on-student sexual attacks is much more common. For every adult-on-child sexual assault, there were seven such assaults by students, according to an Associated Press (AP) analysis of federal crime data….From 2011 to 2015, about 17,000 sexual assaults were committed by U.S. students, AP found, although the number is likely much higher because assaults are under-reported or mislabeled as bullying, particularly among young victims.

 About 5 percent of the victims AP reported on were 5- and 6-year-olds…The younger the victim, the more devastating the impact, and the greater the vulnerability to repeated assault. It’s a disturbing trend and one that some educators and parents are reluctant to acknowledge, especially when it involves kids so young. It’s easier to label the acts as bullying or hazing than to call them sex crimes—and violations of federal Title IX safety protections—but advocates say the only way to eliminate these offenses is to face them head on….Sexual harassment and assault is a normalized, commonplace offense that occurs regularly in every facet of U.S. society—in Hollywood, in Silicon Valley, among journalists, comedians, politicians, and professors.” [14]



FACT #3: ABUSE LEVELS IN SPORTS RE VERY HIGH

One study found that

“youth sports teams returned the largest results out of any youth organization [regarding abuse]”
www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-and-Deacons-in-the-United-States-1950-2002.pdf

FACT #4 80-90% OF WOMEN ARE ABUSED IN ATHEIST STATES (NORTH KOREA & CHINA)

Up to 90% of women in atheistic North Korea have been subjected to sexual abuse. “A former police officer from North Korea, herself a victim of sexual abuse, Heo Jong-hae told CNN that 90% of the women she knew had been sexually assaulted.” [15] 

China has very high levels of abuse.  Some surveys say that ~80% of women have been harassed or abused sexually and there are very few rules against sexual harassment.

“the problem is prevalent [in Chinese media]…according to a recent survey by Guangzhou journalist and activist Huang Xueqin…Of the more than 400 women journalists she polled, over 80 per cent said they had been subjected to varying degrees of sexual harassment in the workplace.”[16]   


There is quite a lot of abuse of children in China as there is in other countries.  A scientific study on children in China said that:

“26.6% of children under 18 years of age have suffered physical abuse, 19.6% emotional abuse, 8.7% sexual abuse and 26.0% neglect.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4371492/

FACT #5: UP TO 81% OF WOMEN AND 43% OF MEN ARE ABUSED AT WORK

Various studies indicate that from 25-50% of women have experienced sexual harassment, pressure to have sex in order to keep their jobs in their lifetimes.
https://iwpr.org/publications/sexual-harassment-work-cost/ 
https://i-sight.com/resources/sexual-harassment-statistics-the-numbers-behind-the-problem/

A large survey by Stop Street Harassment found “that 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men had experienced some form of sexual harassment during their lifetime.” https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/02/21/587671849/a-new-survey-finds-eighty-percent-of-women-have-experienced-sexual-harassment 

More Than Third of Female Lawyers Harassed at Work, Survey Shows  https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/more-than-third-of-female-lawyers-harassed-at-work-survey-shows

1 in 7 men have also felt sexually harassed or pressured by women with power above them to engage in sexual encounters they didn’t want or risk losing their jobs, as the story of Paul here illustrates.
https://www.marketplace.org/2018/03/09/we-asked-if-youd-been-sexually-harassed-work-one-7-men-said-yes/


FACT #6: UP TO 94% OF WOMEN ARE ABUSED IN SECULAR HOLLYWOOD

Hollywood is well known for its secular environment, one that quite often has attacked and vilified Christianity. Surveys have shown that ~94% of women there have experienced some kind of sexual abuse in this largely anti-Christian environment.[17] 

These and other examples show a failure of secular thinkers and many sincere Christians and SDAs to be able to identify and figure out truth fairly. When Christians/SDAs don’t know the facts and they sincerely say things that are misguided and based on incorrect data in these and other areas, it can have very serious consequences, including crippling the spread of God’s truths, influencing some to leave the church and causing much higher and more serious levels of abuse as I and others have personally seen.


CAUSES OF SEXUAL ABUSE
GREED/POWER
God says that greed is the “the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim. 6:10), “Greed brings grief to the whole family” (Prov. 15:27) “Greed causes fighting” (Prov. 28:25) “Greedy people are…like death itself…never satisfied…they conquer nation after nation for themselves.” (Hab. 2:5).  And he wasn’t just flapping his jaws. Countless scientific studies agree that it is the primary factor behind ruining many families/relationships, causing poverty, addictions, disease, propaganda in schools, crimes ranging from theft to sexual abuse to murder, abortion, and a myriad of other problems in our society.

At present we have the highest levels of greed in history with the top 1% richest controlling more wealth than the 99% worldwide. In America, the top .1% own more wealth than the 90% combined.*** That’s twice as bad as the economic injustice that happened under Rome and by 2030 it will be 3 times as bad. This causes enormous amounts of misery just as it did under Rome.

See many cases of how greed and high levels of inequality are the root of every evil imaginable here:
“Greed—The Root of All Evil (Literally).”
blog.truth-is-life.org/rights/greed/ (see esp. the section “THE RIPPLE EFFECT CONSEQUENCES OF GREED.)
and

Equality & Peace or Inequality the Root of All Evil…That is the Question
http://blog.truth-is-life.org/rights/equality/
and

What Greed has Done
Chris Hedges, a former war correspondent, spent decades overseas reporting what American wars were doing to innocent people there as many other honest reporters have done (and was eventually fired like many other honest reporters for doing so after he realized that most American wars are not really waged for freedom, but for greed, profit and empire). But just as the Bible, Martin Luther King Jr., ancient sages like Thucydides and others warned, when people don’t protest justice and tyranny done to others, in time it will be done to you or your loved ones, friends or descendants as well. Hedges shows that the tyranny that has been imposed on people in many other countries by America’s corporations/government/CIA and their allies is now being imposed on millions of Americans, in some different ways, but still with many tactics of injustice and abuse.
What Greed has Done
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w-DVGWVhIw
(I can’t recommend strongly enough watching this link. It is very powerful and insightful. The full interview is here :https://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-capitalisms-sacrifice-zones/)

Greed causes evil for many reasons. But briefly, vast amounts of wealth have frequently been used to buy or control power throughout history. When a few people have enormous amounts of wealth and power, a great deal of research shows that these people can:
1) Manipulate the government to rewrite laws in their favor, loopholes so that they can follow their exploitative and abusive desires.

2) develop the thinking that they are above the law and can “get away with murder” or other crimes they wish to perpetrate (and their money and influence often does mean they can get away with many crimes)

3) Poverty forces many people into desperation and conditions where they can easily be exploited and taken advantage of by those with power and wealth.

A textbook case of this was Jeffrey Epstein. Many women testified that he sexually abused or raped them, often as teenagers.  But time after time, Epstein escaped punishment or got off with a slap on the wrist because he was rich and knew powerful friends who could influence courts in his favor. Here’s an example.
“Epstein’s deal, called a “non-prosecution agreement,” granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators,” meaning that if any of Epstein’s powerful friends were involved in his crimes, they would face no consequences. And Acosta agreed that the deal would be kept secret from the victims, preventing them from showing up in court to try to challenge it.”
https://www.vox.com/2018/12/3/18116351/jeffrey-epstein-case-indictment-arrested-trump-clinton 

Trump signed policies that gave trillions of dollars to billionaires. And it’s no accident that a consequence of this was that these people with power influenced government laws on sex trafficking so that the prosecutions of this evil fell dramatically by ~26.7%
“…federal prosecutions of those who trafficked children for sex dropped 26.7% over the last year.”

Prosecution of Child-Sex Traffickers Plummeted Under Trump
https://www.courthousenews.com/prosecution-of-kiddie-traffickers-plummeted-under-trump/amp/

See a summary of the research here:
Prosecution of Sex Trafficking of Children is Down Nationwide https://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/crim/565/ from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

See many more cases of how greed and high levels of inequality are the root of every evil imaginable here:
“Greed—The Root of All Evil (Literally).”
blog.truth-is-life.org/rights/greed/ (see esp. the section “THE RIPPLE EFFECT CONSEQUENCES OF GREED.)

and here:
http://blog.truth-is-life.org/rights/equality/

MEDIA & NARCISSISM
~90% of media is now controlled by 5 corporations***. Those corporations main purpose is profit, aka greed. This is why they habitually portray harmful ideas as solutions to problems in life.  If they can break a family apart, then the spouses will usually have to buy 2 houses, 2 cars, 2 washing machines, 2 TVs and on and on. This is why TV portrays so many affairs, so many types of crime, so many types of abuse, so much narcissism and so on. The big propaganda almost constantly promoted on secular media is “Gain wealth. Forget all but self.” This narcissism is one of the most abusive ideas ever, an idea that has fractured countless relationships all over history.

ATHEISM/LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN ETERNAL LIFE/RELIGIONS THAT SEPARATE REWARDS AND ACTIONS
When people don’t have confidence in eternal life, many will think that this life is all they have and so they better get all the pleasure they can in this life in any way they can no matter who or how many they hurt. This is why abuse is highest in atheist environments. There are for sure some moral atheists. But it’s almost impossible to get large numbers of atheists to be highly ethical in all areas of life when they don’t have confidence in eternal life.

Similarly, religious people who don’t have confidence in eternal life can easily act in similar ways. In addition, religious people who think they will go to heaven no matter how much sin, evil and abuse they engage in are more likely to engage in various types of abuse precisely because of this disconnect between rewards and actions. The anti-nomian belief of once saved always saved is a particularly heinous example of this.

A Christian ministry says,
“As we at Evangelical Outreach have been teaching for years, Calvinism leads to broken homes through adultery, criminal acts and suicides. Sadly, we have again been proven right.”
https://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/rick_knapp_george_sodini.htm

Another man who was convinced of OSAS went into doing drugs, then selling them, then prostituting both himself and his wife out to others said that he did it due to think that no amount of sin would change his eternal life and destiny.
www.evangelicaloutreach.org/james-testimony.htm

CYCLE OF ABUSE

When a person grows up in an environment of abuse, it’s very easy to fall into the same patterns throughout life. To escape this cycle of abuse usually people need God’s example of sacrifice, His power to change bad habits to good and His example of always doing good to others. It often takes a lot of hard work as well as dedicated effort to live by the golden rule and to break this pattern and live in a new way and other things. But to break the cycle of abuse is one of the most admirable things a person can do.


INSECURITY/SHAME & A DESIRE FOR POWER
Most people who engage in abuse are doing it out of a will for power, feelings of being disempowered, feelings of insecurity and shame. A reporter said:

“I once interviewed a prison psychiatrist, James Gilligan, who told me that every murderer he treated was harbouring a central secret – which was that they felt humiliated. “I have yet to see a serious act of violence that was not provoked by the experience of feeling shamed or humiliated, disrespected and ridiculed,” he said. His conclusion: “All violence is an attempt to replace shame with self-esteem.” 
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/jul/18/katie-hopkins-jon-ronson-interview


Psychologists have shown that the power that usually comes from enormous wealth often makes these people think that they are above the law and they set up laws with loopholes for themselves. This undermines/destroys thoughts of equality. Throughout history, those who think they are above others have often engaged in abuse towards those that they think are inferior to them.  Psychology also shows that wealthy/powerful people often think that they are much more desirable to others than they are and in addition, those under their power often feel a sense of control/oppression which it reduces attraction. 

Why do so many powerful men behave like Harvey Weinstein? Dr. Dacher Keltner has some conclusions from research.
“Psychologist Dacher Keltner has studied men who abuse people for 25 years.  He agrees with Lord Acton that power corrupts people and in quite a few cases, this can lead to them preying on or abusing women and others under them. “Power also distorts and blinds some who hold it to the real feelings of those around them. Powerful men, studies show, overestimate the sexual interest of others and erroneously believe that the women around them are more attracted to them than is actually the case. Powerful men also sexualize their work, looking for opportunities for sexual trysts and affairs, and along the way leer inappropriately, stand too close, and touch for too long on a daily basis…and worse.”

From Keltner’s research, one takeaway is clear: A feeling of power can transform people’s behavior, making them more impulsive and less empathetic to others’ needs. It “turns up the volume on your preexisting tendencies,” Keltner said. If a person previously gambled or swore, a feeling of power will cause them to gamble or swear even more, Keltner said….This impulsive nature also extends to sexual advances, Keltner said. Hierarchies “free up males in power to do what they want sexually,” he said. Keltner referenced studies showing that when a man feels powerful, the empathy regions in his brain are less active… His findings indicate a pattern of entitlement among some powerful people. Keltner writes in the Harvard Business Review,
“We have to recognize the banality of Harvey Weinstein, and turn our attention to changing the social context in ways that make the human tendency to abuse power a thing of the past.”


“Why do so many powerful men behave like Harvey Weinstein? This psychologist has some theories.”

Samantha Schmidt October 17, 2017

https://beta.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/10/17/why-do-so-many-powerful-men-behave-like-harvey-weinstein-this-psychologist-has-some-theories/


See also:

https://hbr.org/2017/10/sex-power-and-the-systems-that-enable-men-like-harvey-weinstein


CONCLUSIONS
So if we really want to reduce and stop the terrible epidemic of abuse, there are many things we can do. We should educate people about the horrible effects if they engage in abuse. We should educate people how to avoid risky situations where abuse is more likely to happen. We should educate people that secular/atheist environments/countries are places where abuse is more likely to occur as well as religious ideologies which don’t give confidence of eternal life or which make people think that their actions have no impact on rewards in this life or eternal life.

But the biggest cause by far of all abuse is greed. This produces hierarchies that have a few people with a lot of power who are literally brainwashed by their privilege to be less empathetic and compassionate to those under them. It forces a lot of people into desperation and situations where they can easily be abused and sometimes will not report it for fear of losing a job, being shamed, not believed or possibly abused even worse. It corrupts the judicial and police institutions that are supposed to stop abuse and makes it much easier for them to be bribed and influenced by monetary rewards or political influence of powerful people to protect their own careers or advancement. It influences politicians to rewrite laws or make loopholes for those who are powerful to enable them to escape justice.

In short, for these reasons and many more, greed is the root of all evil, just as God wisely said so many times so long ago. When we ignore this fact, we will continue to see many abuses perpetrated and experience many losses in many areas as well as being largely incompetent or ineffective to stop this problem. We will doom ourselves to just playing whack-a-mole, not with a machine, but with the lives of people and innocent children who will get whacked time and time again by the abusers that we have created by supporting a society of greed and economic injustice.  But just as Saul of Tarsus and many others throughout history changed from being complicit in abuse to being an enemy of abuse, one who fought against its foundations, we too can become agents of changes, the defenders of the oppressed. Let’s put all efforts we can into doing that because God tells us to:

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. 9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Proverbs 31:8-9

If people don’t get informed on this topic and learn how to prevent abuse and take action to stop it when we see signs of it, there is a much higher chance that we or our children or friends or descendants will face abuse in the future. And at that time, there will be no one to speak up for us or them because we did not speak up for others before.  Always remember that
“injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King Jr.


LINKS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION/EDUCATION (ADVENTIST)
The Women’s Ministries for Adventists page with many links on many topics and issues related to women.
https://women.adventist.org/

The End It now Summit
https://www.enditnownorthamerica.org/summitonabuse

End It Now Campaign materials (check under the resources menu option)
https://www.enditnownorthamerica.org/media


LINKS TO CONTACT FOR PEOPLE IN TROUBLE
Domestic Abuse Hotline:
Need help now? National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1−800−799−7233 or visit thehotline.org

Justice for Children:
Justice for Children’s Call Center helps when the child protection system fails to protect a child.  https://justiceforchildren.org



[1] Stolen Innocence (2002). https://youtu.be/9_O_AP9b4Q0 (around minute 7)

[2] Collins, Amy Fine. “Sex Trafficking of Americans: The Girls next door.” May 24, 2011. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2011/05/sex-trafficking-201105.

[3] Goldstein, Barry. “Warnings to Judges, Evaluators, Caseworkers and Legislators.” July 15, 2018.  https://stopabusecampaign.org/2018/07/15/warning-to-judges-evaluators-caseworkers-and-legislators/

[4] Feldhahn, Shaunti. “Busting Cultural Myths About Marriage and Divorce.” May 29, 2014  https://shaunti.com/2014/05/busting-cultural-myths-marriage-divorce/.

[5] Shakeshaft, Charol. “Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature.”  June 2004, https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/misconductreview/report.pdf.

[6] Long, Cindy.  “The Secret of Sexual Assault in Schools.” Dec. 4, 2017, http://neatoday.org/2017/12/04/sexual-assault-in-schools/

[7] McKirdy, Euan; Kwon, Jake.  “’We are at the mercy of men’: Reports of rape and sexual abuse in North Korea.” November 1, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/31/asia/hrw-north-korea-rape-sexual-assault-report-intl/index.html.

[8] Puente, Maria; Kelly, Cara. “How common is sexual misconduct in Hollywood? A USA TODAY SURVEY OF 843 WOMEN IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY FOUND 94% SAY THEY’VE EXPERIENCED HARASSMENT OR ASSAULT.” Feb. 23, 2018.  https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2018/02/20/how-common-sexual-misconduct-hollywood/1083964001/.

[9] Center for Disease Control.“Research Brief: One billion children across the world are exposed to violence in childhood each year.” November 8, 2018, https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/vacs/onebillion-children.html.

[10] Goldstein, Barry. “Warnings to Judges, Evaluators, Caseworkers and Legislators.” July 15, 2018.  https://stopabusecampaign.org/2018/07/15/warning-to-judges-evaluators-caseworkers-and-legislators/

[11] Long, Cindy.  “The Secret of Sexual Assault in Schools.” Dec. 4, 2017, http://neatoday.org/2017/12/04/sexual-assault-in-schools/

[12] Profita, Hillary. “Has Media Ignored Sex Abuse In School?”  Aug. 24, 2006. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/has-media-ignored-sex-abuse-in-school/. (See also: https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2004/03/10/26abuse.h23.html

[13] Shakeshaft, Charol. “Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature.”  June 2004, https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/misconductreview/report.pdf.

[14] Long, Cindy.  “The Secret of Sexual Assault in Schools.” Dec. 4, 2017, http://neatoday.org/2017/12/04/sexual-assault-in-schools/

[15] McKirdy, Euan; Kwon, Jake.  “’We are at the mercy of men’: Reports of rape and sexual abuse in North Korea.” November 1, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/31/asia/hrw-north-korea-rape-sexual-assault-report-intl/index.html.

[16] Zuo, Mandy. Apr. 21, 2018. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2142703/why-chinese-women-dont-speak-out-about-sexual-harassment

[17] Puente, Maria; Kelly, Cara. “How common is sexual misconduct in Hollywood? A USA TODAY SURVEY OF 843 WOMEN IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY FOUND 94% SAY THEY’VE EXPERIENCED HARASSMENT OR ASSAULT.” Feb. 23, 2018.  https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2018/02/20/how-common-sexual-misconduct-hollywood/1083964001/.

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