Each year the legislative community attempts to “do the right thing” for us Incest Survivors. As the Legislation Director, I find it very important to change the laws to protect/rehabilitate the children suffering through Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA). A new term has come about to describe child prostitution and kiddy porn.
You will notice that the majority of the bills reference trafficking. Most if not all of the children that are raped up to 10 times a day for money were Incest Survivors. The shift is a good sign that we are now visible. The average trafficking victim was sexually assaulted as a child, groomed (trained to be a sex worker), introduced to drugs and alcohol, ran away from the abuse and into the streets. Here the Predafile (Predator/Pedophile) recognized the beat down soul and lack of self-esteem. Men and women (recruiters) put them through another grooming process where they are tore down and drugged to prepare them for sell. The first contact with help is when they are arrested. They may be placed into foster care. However, well-intentioned but here too they may be exposed to further abuse. There are not many specific recovery homes for them to recover their childhood. At all three stages money exchanges hand for that child. The Trafficker, Foster Care, and even the recovery home. It is a broken or yet to be developed system. The link below are the federal bills being considered. The website www.opencongress.org allows you to track the bills you feel strongly about. Should you feel motivated to take action, Open Congress allows you to write your congress person anonymously through their website and sends it directly to the appropriate congress member.
by Heather Markert, Volunteer Legislative Director, ISSB of CA
For both abused children and adult survivors of childhood abuse, access to quality, affordable physical and mental health care is vital to the healing process. While, for example, the city of San Francisco and the state of Massachusetts offer aform of universal care, this is the exception and not the rule.
In the past few months, I have repeatedly crossed paths with representatives of SEIU (Service Employees International Union). SEIU represents many state workers and is the fastest growing union in the nation. Both SEIU and ISSB of CA share the common goals of protecting children and families. As part of accomplishing these goals, we both support the creation of a reformed health care system which delivers high quality, affordable health care. We also agree that allindividuals, regardless of employment status or income, should have access to health care.
This summer is very important to the health care reform movement, as President Obama’s health care reform plan will soon be voted on by our legislators. Organizing for America, the grassroots campaign based out of the Democratic National Committee that helped elect Obama (http://www.barackobama.com), has a special project called “Organizing for Health Care.” As part of this project, Obama has asked the American public to submit their “Health Care Stories” online, sharing their experiences and opinions with both the administration and general public through publication on the website and through print, radio, and television ads.
As Legislative Director of ISSB of CA, a member of the Safe Child Coalition, I have been volunteering this summer with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as a liaison between my SEIU friends and Organizing for America, collecting and reviewing the stories of union members, as well of hundreds of others submitted from across the nation, and helping to select the most poignant and representative for the DNC’s promotion of health care reform.
In addition to that role, as part of our partnership with SEIU, I have also been lobbying CA representatives, including Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, and Barbara Boxer; attending health care reform rallies; and spreading our message of hope and healingvarious social functions.
My friends at SEIU are thankful for our support. We will continue to work towards our common goals of protecting children and familiesby advocating for such policies as health care reform and preventing further cuts to state services.
Heather Markert Volunteer Legislative Director ISSB of CA, a member of the Safe Child Coalition P.O. Box 74366 Davis, CA 95616
Heather Markert lobbying at Senator Dianne Feinstein's birthday breakfast in 2009.
Heather Markert with Dianne Feinstein in Washington, DC, June 2009
Heather met Anna Burger, SEIU, left, at the health care rally after she spoke. Most recently cited in the Wall Street Journal's 2007 Top 50 Women to Watch and hailed by Fortune Magazine as "the most powerful woman in the labor movement," Anna Burger is both a top ranking officer at SEIU, the nation's largest and fastest growing union, and the first chair of America's newest labor federation, Change to Win.