Upon collaboration with several passionate and intelligent minds, I present to you the title of this post, which also has an acronym - ESCAPE - and is the name of my newest endeavor in my crusade to end the way our society legislates and teaches about sex crime. For the moment, it's just a page on Facebook (which you are MORE than welcomed and encouraged to "like", HERE). However, I have big plans for this group. I'm hoping to use this approach, which calls for legislation reform in the name of effectively protecting our communities and families, to better gain the attention and respect it needs. I firmly believe that this is what I was born to do, and I plan to do it until it isn't physically possible. Hopefully in the near future there will be an official website, a growing member list and tax-exempt status. I am willing to do anything to get closer to a future where our laws reflect facts and everyone - from victims to former offenders and everyone in between - is truly safe.
This is the from the description on ESCAPE's Facebook page: "Our goal is to reform current sex crime legislation, which is not fact-based and provides no preventative measures for current or future victims. Because politicians, legislators, and even law enforcement are unfortunately ignorant to this, it's up to the public to learn and demand laws that effectively protect our communities. Here, we provide the information and tools you need to become educated on sex crime and how we can achieve change." My latest post, where I used recidivism rates and other statistics to calculate just how little current legislation does to prevent sex crime and how many victims it CREATES, rather than protects, has been on my mind since I wrote it. There is no way for me to "un-know" this information, and frankly I believe it would be wrong of me not to do anything about it now that I do.
This thought was reaffirmed this morning, when I had the pleasure of playing TWO church services back-to-back and listened to the pastor's sermon twice. On the eve of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, she chose to focus on the idea of answering God's call. The scripture readings were both examples of prophets who were asked by God to spread His word to others, and how the prophets were thought of to be great leaders who brought about unthinkable change in their societies. She equated MLK to said prophets, who answered a call that was impossible for them to ignore, even though it inevitably led to serious backlash - and in the case of MLK, death. These are people who were not speaking out under the assumption that someday, Bible books and national holidays would be named after them. They were doing it because it was their calling, despite the consequences and setbacks.
The pastor also cautioned that even though we aren't living in ancient Jerusalem, or the 1960's - prejudice, discrimination and bias still exists in our daily lives, even though our bathrooms aren't segregated and we don't prosecute individuals based on their religion. Our world still needs leaders and teachers like Samuel and MLK, and those leaders need followers. Without people to teach, there is no message. She challenged us to answer God's call, whatever individual request God has of us, and accept it wholeheartedly. I have!