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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.

Protect New York Children with Erin’s Law

Washington, June 29, 2013 — Twenty-eight year old Erin Merryn is in the fight of her life to protect the children of New York State from predators. She is armed with an unmatched courage and bottomless compassion in her effort to pass Erin’s Law which provides child abuse education for grades pre-K thru eighth grade. ...

A Survivor of the Magdalene Laundries speaks out: Bonnie’s story

Washington, May 1, 2013 – Bonnie Armijo awoke from the warm embrace of a dream and grimaced as she realized she was back in her bed on the third floor of St. Anne’s Institute in Albany, New York. St. Anne’s was a Magdalene asylum for girls who had been labeled by either the courts or ...

A Magdalene Laundry survivor speaks out

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2013 — It was December of 1946 as the harsh winds of a Baltimore winter howled outside of the ancient dining hall where twelve year-old Patricia Noel sat struggling to hold back the tears rising up inside her. She felt abandoned and alone in the world as she tried to hold back ...

Magdalene Laundries: An American survivor’s interview (Exclusive)

Washington,  February 9, 2013 – Courage has a name: It is Diana O’Hara. Diana is a survivor of the Magdalene Laundries operated in the United States by the Good Shepherd Sisters, a Roman Catholic religious institute for women. The order is among those that are being charged with the enslavement and abuse of thousands of ...

Natural disaster throws children into the arms of pedophiles

Washington, December 31, 2012 – It was the morning of December 26,2004, and a quiet calm rested over the city of Banda Aceh, Indonesia. A short distance away, pristine beaches decorated the coast of this traveler’s paradise as they cradled myriads of tourists soaking in the splendor of the tropical haven. A sudden collective gasp ...

Anti-trafficking vigil December 14 by the Project for Healing Humanity

Washington, December 13, 2012 – In every child’s eyes we see the light and hope for a future brighter than the one we now live in. We nurture and love our children and teach them to open their hearts as we draw small handfuls from the well of our compassion to aid those who are ...

The prayer of a sex trafficked child

Washington, November 8, 2012 – I could feel my life slipping away as I lay down among the neatly arranged rows of flowers that populated my mother’s garden. I had chosen a place on top of her favorite bed of antique roses, and the smell of their fresh bloom flooded my senses like a blanket of ...

The prayer of a sex trafficked child: Escaping the abuse

Washington, November 8, 2012 – My mother’s boyfriend Neale used threats against her life to gain my complete surrender to him and his pedophile sex trafficking ring. Once my surrender was complete, Neale began to unleash his perversions and allowed them to seek full bloom. He began to use me for child pornography and accumulated filing ...

Bullied to death: The tragic story of Amanda Todd

Washington, October 17, 2012 – Amanda Todd was only one month away from her sixteenth birthday when she took her own life. Bullied to the point where she believed her life no longer had meaning, she succumbed to the insurmountable pain that her life had become and released her grasp on the world that had ...

Children of Alcoholics: A fairy tale on the rocks

Washington, September 29, 2012 ― As far back as I can remember, my mother was an alcoholic. When she died several years ago I found myself cycling between anger and grief. I kept trying to find the reason I had spent most of my childhood and adult life trying to find redemption for my mother ...

When child trafficking wears a disguise: The case of Madeleine McCann

Washington, September 22, 2012 – As we struggle each day against the rising tide of indifference that clouds the depths of society’s conscience, there are many whose very existence is fueled by the promise of hope. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, every day in this country 2,185 children younger than 18 are reported ...

Cheyenne and me: The true story of children lost

Washington, August 22, 2012 – For many of us, the life that we lead falls short of our expectations but for many the dream of holding a loved one just one more time trumps all others. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, in the United States 800,000 children are reported missing ...

Exploring the mind of James Holmes, the tragedy in Colorado

Washington, August 1, 2012 – In the early morning hours of July 20, the darkness of one man’s soul ended the lives of twelve people and wounded dozens more in a Colorado theatre. James Eagen Holmes set out on a murderous rampage and left the world searching for answers as to what changed this one ...

Will the NCAA penalty against Penn State end the culture of silence?

Washington , July 28, 2012 – The recent report by former FBI director Louis Freeh on the cover up of sexual abuse of young boys at Penn State lays partial blame for the scandal squarely at the feet of Penn State. Detailing a clear lack of empathy, the report by Freeh showed how Penn State ...

James Eagen Holmes and the search for answers

Washington,  July 27, 2012 – As families mourn the loss of twelve innocent lives in a darkened Aurora, Colorado, theatre, the world struggles to look into the mind of the alleged killer, James Eagen Holmes. A bewildered-looking Holmes made his first court appearance on Monday as his expression shifted between confused and wide-eyed beneath the ...

James Eagen Holmes joins roster of mass murderers, why?

Washington,  July 21, 2012 — In the early morning hours of Friday, July 20 the town of Aurora, Colorado, became the epicenter of heartbreak as a murderous rampage left twelve dead and fifty-eight injured. Life horrifically changed for the small town as 24 year old James Eagan Holmes, a former Ph.D. student in the Department ...

Guarding the monster’s lair: Jerry Sandusky and the Penn State cover up

Washington , July 9, 2012 – The Penn State cover up of Jerry Sandusky’s repeated molestation of young boys has been revealed in stunning detail. Convicted on 45 of 48 counts of child sexual molestation of 10 victims, Sandusky will serve up to 442 years in jail. Saying is paying a price for his actions. ...

Jerry Sandusky guilty: Justice for victims and an end to silence

Washington July 5, 2012 – As the trial of Jerry Sandusky began, I was determined to write about how justice would unfold for ten victims of child abuse in the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa. As the jury settled in on Monday morning and testimony began, I immersed myself in the details of the ...

Awareness is our best defense against pedophiles like Jerry Sandusky

Washington,  June 21, 2012 – Imagine for a moment that through some cruel twist of fate Jerry Sandusky is freed from prison by an unforeseen legal technicality. Then imagine that he shows up living in the house next door to you. I have no doubt that after the initial shock subsided swift and decisive action ...

Jerry Sandusky: A child’s innocence on trial

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2012 — As the trial of Jerry Sandusky begins, I am filled with both hope and fear of what twelve jurors will decide the innocence of a child is worth. Whether justice can erase a lifetime of suffering and restore the invaluable nature of a childhood recklessly vandalized. The implications of this ...