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Stories by Jerome_Elam

Jerome Elam is President and CEO of Trafficking in America Task Force. Raised in a broken home by an alcoholic parent, he is a survivor of child abuse/domestic violence, child sex trafficking, and child pornography. Brought up in the South, Jerome enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the age of seventeen. The decision to serve was made, in part, as an effort to escape the tragic circumstances he was trapped in. Through the experience of serving his country, Jerome found a new beginning and embarked upon a journey that showed him the world. This opened his eyes to the strength of the human spirit. After his completion of eight years in the United States Marine Corps, Mr. Elam attended the University of Florida, earning a Bachelor of Science degree. He went on to spend several years working in the Biotechnology sector. Motivated by the painful memories of his past, Jerome found his inner strength and began to speak out about his abuse. Through this journey, he found the healing force of God's unconditional love and discovered the joy of starting his own family. Today, Mr. Elam is a fierce Advocate for all children deprived of their voice. He is a public speaker, a staff writer, and known columnist for Communities Digital News. Recently featured as one of New York's New Abolitionists, he remains dedicated to the protection and empowerment of trafficked people. Staying true to values he learned in the Marine Corps continues to provide a safe harbor for all, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual identity, or immigration status. When asked to describe his life experiences Mr. Elam stated, "I have struggled against many things in my life and somehow I found a way to survive. Writing is my passion and it keeps me in touch with the wealth everyone holds deep inside their hearts and minds. I share my experiences in the hope that those suffering in silence will find the courage to speak out and share their voices. I have been blessed to have God reveal His purpose to me in saving innocent children from predators." Jerome has received the Award for Courage presented by the National Council of Jewish Women for his work in the advocacy arena and has been appointed a Special Advisor to the Attorney General of Utah.

Call me Collin: The diary of a sex trafficked boy

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2015 – It was June of 1971 as the light of an afternoon sun filtered through dingy yellow curtains and shadows danced across the light blue walls of the second story room. Dressed in faded blue jeans and a tattered white t-shirt, my eight-year old body lay slumped on the dark wooden ...

Finding hope: The story of a child sex trafficking victim

WASHINGTON, January 8, 2015 — As a trafficked child, I clung to hope, and the light deep inside me may have flickered but could never be extinguished. I never accepted what was happening to me as normal. Even though those who trafficked me denigrated me in every way shape and form, I always knew it was not ...

For victims of child sex trafficking there is no Christmas

Washington, January 8, 2015 — It was December 24, 1970 as the faint glow of Christmas lights reflected on the window of the cheap hotel room, and darkness fell on the outskirts of the large southern town. The dingy yellow carpet raked across my bare feet as I nervously drew pictures of Santa and his reindeer on ...

Beyond the mask of grief: Rachel Crawford teaches us how to heal by choice

WASHINGTON, September 26, 2014 — It was 2008 and Rachel Crawford and her husband anxiously awaited the arrival of their twin girls Aubrey and Ellie. They had wanted so desperately to have more children and were thrilled at the thought of having twins. Their story would turn tragic, however, when complications arose and the twins would ...

Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton: A Vietnamese Prison and the Triumph of the Human Spirit

DALLAS, March 27, 2014 — “Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton” is the poignant, sometimes heartbreaking, and awe-inspiring story of the American POW’s who survived Hoa Lao prison in Vietnam. Hoa Lao prison, otherwise known as “the Hanoi Hilton,” was the notorious North Vietnamese prison where more than 650 American servicemen were held during the Vietnam ...

Teamotions: A cup of tea filled with compassion

WASHINGTON, October 25, 2013 — The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have claimed the lives of many U.S. service members and left thousands of others wounded. Many suffer both from the physical trauma of war and the invisible trauma that haunts their minds. Rachel Crawford has dedicated her life to helping heal the pain of ...

Short Term 12: A heartbreaking and inspiring window into at-risk teens

Washington, August 26, 2013 — After college, filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton set out in search of a job. What he found would not only change his life but also the lives of many others. Short Term 12 is a captivating film based on Cretton’s experiences working in a California group home for “at risk” teenagers. The ...

Michael Reagan speaks out about child abuse

WASHINGTON, August 9, 2013 — Michael Reagan is the adopted son of former president Ronald Reagan and actress Jane Wyman. He is also a survivor of child abuse and child pornography. After he was adopted in 1945 by former president Ronald Reagan and actress Jane Wyman, Michael Reagan fell victim to circumstances that defy our ...

Childhelp, Erin Merryn and Michael Reagan team up to protect children

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2013 — There is a coalition of heroes who have dedicated their lives to protecting the innocence of children and to rescuing the vulnerable from predators like Jerry Sandusky. That coalition includes the organization Childhelp, the son of former president Ronald Reagan and child abuse survivor Michael Reagan, and the author, child ...