Are you aware that a documentary about sex trafficking was in the top 10 trending shows on Netflix? As a result, this concerning issue is finally receiving some much needed mainstream media attention.
The documentary features Jeffery Epstein, a wealthy and powerful billionaire hedge fund manager, and exposes the role he played in trafficking countless young women. Many may know his name or may be familiar with his persona, but this 4-part documentary dives deeper into the dark parts of his life. It shines a light on the manipulation and exploitation that is occurring in our world and country today.
In this filmed expose, we hear how he coerced his victims, about his circle of friends that included former presidents and British royals, the process of investigation that uncovered much of the evidence, and the heart wrenching interviews with many of the survivors.
The compelling stories of these strong women highlight an important perspective that this non- profit organization is committed to emphasizing. As a ministry, King’s Treasure Box is dedicated to the healing of sexual abuse survivors; therefore, we want to focus attention on the strength and healing of the survivors that can be witnessed in this documentary. Though many adults have benefitted from our material, it is tailored for children so their healing journey can begin as early as possible.
Each of these women is an individual and never would have crossed paths with the others, but their shared abuse and trauma now connects them. Beautiful supportive relationships have developed out of these tragedies. They have helped each other through the healing process and together have battled the challenge of obtaining justice for their abuse.
For years, Epstein was able to get away with his trafficking crimes despite multiple accusations that had been made against him. Finally, after an investigation conducted in Florida, he was arrested in 2008, but ultimately was given a less than harsh plea deal. He was sentenced to only 13 months in prison and was permitted to work in a private office 6 days a week. The lenience he was given caused unimaginable pain for the survivors as they sought justice. They were hurt and betrayed by the system and many still feared for their safety. These circumstances made it extremely difficult for many of them to begin the healing process.
In 2019, Epstein was arrested again. This time the survivors anticipated their day in court where they would face Epstein once and for all. They hoped for true justice and some closure to their struggles. However, a month after his arrest, he was found dead in his cell and the survivors lost all hope of getting the justice they were seeking.
Graciously, the presiding Judge decided to go forth with the trial despite Epstein’s death and the pressure from others to let it go. Many people criticized him for using valuable resources to continue prosecution. In their opinion, a large sum of money was spent on a pointless trial against a dead man. But the judge made it clear that his priority and intention was to give the survivors a chance to share their story. In the documentary, many of these women expressed how their day in court gave them back a piece of themselves and was the opportunity they needed to truly begin their healing process. After so many traumatic events including their abuse, Epstein’s plea deal, and his ultimate escape from accountability, the finality of this symbolic trial not only helped them heal but also reflects a change in our society. Painful secrets need to come out of the closet and our broken and corrupt system needs to change dramatically. The judge’s decision will hopefully validate the pain for survivors all over the world and help them see their pain is valid and decrease the shame attached to sexual abuse.
Each survivor has her own personal story and each has found her own way of healing. Maria Farmer is one of these courageous survivors. Farmer has used her art to sort through her emotions and find a way to heal. She has created a series of paintings of the survivors to demonstrate that they are stronger together and to represent their network of support and healing.
Although many of these survivors have found ways to move forward with their lives, their battle is not over. While Epstein was arrested, his co-conspirators still walked free as a result of his 2008 plea deal. At the end of the documentary, survivor Virginia Roberts Guiffre notes that while Epstein has met his fate and she has thankfully found ways to heal, her journey is far from over.
Since the release of the documentary, Epstein’s partner in crime, Ghislaine Maxwell has been arrested. This is a significant victory and a step in the direction of justice; however, the fight is not over for Epstein’s survivors and the fight is not over for us.
The story of these remarkable women is one that has received media attention and brought awareness to this issue, but the unfortunate reality is that trafficking is an epidemic. It is not limited to the circles of the rich and famous. This crime is occurring at every socio-economic level, in both urban and suburban areas across the country and worldwide. The trauma does not discriminate, leaving survivors of every race and gender in its wake.
Together we have to fight for survivors of sexual abuse and support them in their healing. This is the mission of King’s Treasure Box. We provide resources for survivors and for loved ones who care and support a survivor. The conversation about sexual abuse is not an easy one. People are fearful, but our society desperately needs to develop a willingness to have more open dialogue. The reality is that one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused by 18 years of age and the Epstein survivors are just the tip of the iceberg. It is time to talk about sexual abuse and to fight for healing and justice for survivors.