The Cause and Consequence of Human Trafficking: Human Rights Violations

By Jacquelyn C. A. Meshelemiah, PhD & Raven E. Lynch, MSW
The Ohio State University Pressbooks, August 2019
Read the book online on The Ohio State University Pressbooks’ site

Dr. Meshelemiah uses her voice to amplify others. Dr. Meshelemiah’s recently published book The Cause and Consequence of Human Trafficking: Human Rights Violations is co-authored with Raven E. Lynch, MSW.  The book is published by The Ohio State University Pressbooks through an Affordable Learning Exchange (ALX) grant. As stated by The Ohio State University President Drake, “Affordable excellence is fundamental to who we are as a land-grant university.” The book is available with free access on the The Ohio State University Pressbooks’ website. View the author’s Preface How Queen Changed My Career Trajectory, and all book chapters beginning with Chapter 1: Social Work, Social Justice, Human Rights and Human Trafficking on the The Ohio State University Pressbooks’ website. Read an interview with Dr. Meshelemiah about the book in an article by The Ohio State University Office of Distance Education and eLearning.

From the Preface

Jacquelyn C. A. Meshelemiah, PhD
While living in Buffalo, I met a woman in 1996 who I will call, “Queen”. She was a 26-year African American female who had been forced into prostitution for 10 years prior to our meeting. Although I met her when she was 26, her story goes back to when she was 16, however. Back then, minors like Queen were called child prostitutes. They were viewed as promiscuous girls, incorrigible youth, and kids who were “too grown for their own good”. Well, Queen was not any of those things. She was a child who met a man in his 20s, fell in love for the first time and was manipulated into believing whatever he said. When Queen met and started to date “Marcus”, he gave her everything that she was not getting at home— security, attention, material things, a clean place to live, peace, good food and more importantly—love. She fell hard and fast for Marcus. Their first few months together were a honeymoon. Marcus was the best “boyfriend” that Queen could have. She could not believe her good fortune. Her life was now going to be better. And it was—for a while. Then Marcus slowly started to criticize her, then he verbally abused her and then he progressed to the point of physically abusing her. Queen was lost, confused and madly in love with Marcus. Her world did not make sense. Her home life made even less sense—returning there was not an option. So she stayed hoping and praying that the old Marcus would surface again. Little did she know or understand that the emotional and physical abuse she was enduring were about to be compounded with sexual violence. Marcus violently raped her to let her that she had better not “try” him. Then he started to “loan” her out to his relatives and friends. He convinced her that if she really loved him, that she would “do this” for their family. After all, she had to “contribute” to the family too—as he put it. The sexual violence progressed quickly over a short period of time—she was later instructed to entertain his “boys” in groups at a time. Now, she was a victim of gang rape. Queen became depressed and hopeless after a period of time. 

As I sat in the audience as Queen told this story, I could feel my blood pressure rising. I was furious. I was outraged and I wanted to give Marcus a piece of mind. No…wait, I wanted him in prison for life. But wait, Queen was not done. She was not done telling her story…

[Read the entire story in the Preface.]