Gangs, teenage girls and truth

Gangs and prostitution were forced to the headlines in Montréal over the past few weeks. 3 girls went missing from a group home; they had taken off and have, since, been found but this did bring to the fore, the hidden problem in our city and outlying boroughs – gangs, teenage prostitution and the risk factors.

One of the problems I see, at any rate, is the lack of truthfulness in the media; god forbid someone’s sensibilities should be assaulted by truth. Better to gloss it over than have angry e-mails or Tweets about “appropriate content” – better that truth is not exposed to the kids who will fall victim to the gangs. We can’t disrupt the chi of the willfully blind.  Even this video doesn’t show the truth; its rougher than we usually see but still glosses the reality.

Here is the truth; these guys know their business. These guys are professionals. They can pick their potential herd just by watching a girl. They don’t focus on just one – they are always grooming. Always scheming. They know how to make a young girl believe she is in love, that’s she’s the bomb – the one who will change his life, ad nauseum. Young girls are easy to fool; they all want to be loved, to fall in love. This is the gang bangers’ deal. They have their game down to a black art. Find the girl looking to be loved, to be set above her friends and they have their fish. Not long before she’s baited, hooked and in the boat. Jewellery, clothes, the current “in” club – free and abundant drugs, compliments, sweet words, a hug, a stroke of the hair and the murmurs of how beautiful she is – how very special. Meeting semi-famous or semi-infamous people; allowing the girl to feel she is part of something above their friends’ lives. Maybe a professional athlete or a has-been entertainer or two – letting that girl believe that this will be her life.

It isn’t long before girl who thought she was streetwise is caught up in the oldest gang trick on the books. She’s “his” special girl.

Then things begin to turn; depending on the gang’s methods – maybe those free and abundant drugs are addictive and when you are addicted, you will do anything to get those drugs. Or maybe, he asks her for a favour – to be “extra” nice for a friend. Sounds very implausible but when you are young and in love, up against a master manipulator? You’ll agree to anything. Believe it – it’s true. Then there are those gang members who don’t have the time or the will do work things slowly; these guys use violence. Beatings that their victims could not even imagine, in their darkest nightmares. Electric shock, punches, kicks, baseball bats – torture. It doesn’t take long to turn a teenager when pain and fear is the motivator.

Forget the movies or the glamourized pictures on the web; hooking for a gang member isn’t like that. You don’t choose your customers. You have a quota and you have to meet it or be beaten. Imagine having to perform oral sex on this guy after he hasn’t bathed or showered for a couple of days. Imagine being forced into anal sex with something like him.

Imagine the slimiest of men, drooling on you – pawing at your body and you, having to pretend you love it.

Men don’t use hookers because they are looking for love. They use hookers in the same way that toilet paper is used and thrown away. You will be that shit sticking to the paper and circling the bowl. There are no exceptions. There are no real “Pretty Woman” types out there who were turned out by a gang. There are, however, a lot of unidentified female corpses. Desperate drug users, teeth gone – knocked out by johns or maybe a pimp to whom the girl has been sold.

Gangs do sell the girls – to other pimps. As the girl becomes less and less of an asset; due to beatings, the quick and devastating impact of drugs on the face and body or she’s just used up (doesn’t take long).

A gangs’ property and that’s what the girl becomes, doesn’t have the option to say “No. Don’t feel like it tonight.” It doesn’t matter if you’re sick – it doesn’t matter if it is raining or freezing cold. It doesn’t matter if you have your period. You go out, on the street, or risk a beating or drugs withheld, probably both. The girl is no longer special – she is just a cash cow with orifices that can be sold to anyone. Maybe that gross old man down the street or some guy that reeks of body odour. Or maybe one of those guys that gets off on biting you, punching you in the teeth. Maybe the one who will use you and walk away, without paying; forcing you to work double. Taking whoever will pay or risk getting beaten up for not having your quota met.

The lifestyle is the lure and that’s all it is, a lure. Its bait. It isn’t real. The above is the truth. Get involved with a gang member and this will be your future. Guaranteed. Choice is always individual but the choice should be taken with the facts in hand.

Here’s a real life story. Jessie is still missing. A beautiful girl. Potential. Lured and taken to the U.S. – never to be seen or heard from again.

Jessie Foster is my daughter. You may have heard of the disappearance of her, but if not, I will tell you a bit here.

Jessie is the 2nd of my 4 daughters. Her bio-dad is the father of my 2 older children and my husband Jim is their step-dad and father of my 2 younger ones. Jessie’s 2 little sisters are both mothers now, and she does not even know she has 3 nieces, 2 nephews … and when she went missing 1 of her 2 step-sisters had 1 child, she now has 4 and her other step-sister has 2.

She has missed so much of her life … from 21 (age when missing) to 29 (current age), as we have missed her.

Jessie was (lured/taken/recruited … so many words to say what happened to her) to the USA on 2 separate “trips”. And yes, I put quotation marks around the word, as it was not what you and I would consider a real trip or vacation is.

The 2nd trip ended up with her in Las Vegas where she went missing from 10 months later.

During those months Jessie told us how happy she was. She met someone, fallen in love, moved in with him, got engaged. To a person we found out after she went missing was known to the Las Vegas Metro Police as a violent pimp.

After Jessie went missing we hired a PI who found out that Jessie had been beaten and hospitalized with a broken jaw. He also found out that she had been forced to work at an escort agency, even arrested for solicitation. And who do you think posted bail (using his regular bail bonds service)?

I have personally talked to the manager of the escort agency several times, most recently last year. She cared for Jessie very much when she was there and she told me that she was always concerned about her. She told me she saw bruised on her and would talk to her in private (something she had never done before) and ask her if she was okay. She told me she would say to her “GO HOME LITTLE GIRL, YOU DON’T BELONG DOWN HERE” and Jessie would tell her she was too afraid to leave.

And because of Jessie (well, she called her Taylor) she had a way she worked with new women coming to work for her. She would talk to them all in private (like I said, before Jessie, she never did this) to ensure they were not being forced to be there. If she saw signs of violence to any of them, she would buy them a ticket to fly home.

Jessie’s case has changed how Canadians …. how people around the world …. look at the crime of human trafficking. Of modern-day sex-slavery.

I have taken Jessie’s case in a direction that I had no idea what would happen. It started at the mother in me, and now it is the lead detective in me.

You see … the police have also discounted Jessie’s case as WELL, SHE PUT HERSELF IN THIS SITUATION, AND SO IT IS HER FAULT. They are blaming the victim. They do not see it as it really is.

Jessie did not GO TO THE US. Jessie was TAKEN TO THE US.

Jessie did not RUN OFF TO START A NEW LIFE AWAY FROM HER FAMILY. Jessie was ALREADY IN A DIFFERENT COUNTRY, SHE DID NOT NEED TO “RUN OFF” TO START A NEW LIFE.

Jessie’s case has been told in many books, including the well-known human trafficking book in Canada called INVISIBLE CHAINS: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking by (Professor of Law) Benjamin Perrin. Ben is now working as an adviser to Prime Minister Harper.

Jessie’s disappearance has prompted many officials to keep up their good fight, and these people have made a difference. People like MP Joy Smith who has had 2 new laws on human trafficking entered into our criminal code and whose own “Connecting the Dots” helped get PM Harper to do a National Action Plan against human trafficking in Canada. I was so honoured to be invited by MP Smith to the announcement of the NAP in 2012.

For me to be able to cope with this living nightmare I went vocal. I travel around Canada giving human trafficking education and awareness presentations. I also give them locally with the head of the Kamloops & District Crime Stoppers. When they are asked, they take me, as I am the “expert” on this subject, in their opinion.

Sincerely, Glendene Grant.

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