Children of the Night has rescued more than 10,000 American children from prostitution right here in the United States -- that is more children than all of the other sex trafficking programs combined.
Child prostitution starts at home, and most child prostitutes were sexually abused as young children -- often by their first caregivers. In response, the child learns to shut down feelings and not let anyone inside -- they learn to disassociate their feelings from their bodies. These children have had to learn how to manipulate people, how to read people, how to size up situations and how to outsmart others to survive.
This behavior presents a challenge to current social work practices and traditional cognitive therapists. The child who has suffered at the hands of vile, vicious pimps and sex predators often demeans or pushes away the do-gooder or person who is trying to help because the child does not believe there are "good" people in the world.
The child prostitute "acts out" to prove to the "do-gooder" they are not worth helping.
Providing America's child prostitutes with a stable, loving home, an education and nurturing staff is critical to their recovery. Teaching our children that there are good people in the world is essential to their recovery from horrific childhoods and requires their ability to realize they are not responsible for their own victimization.
Through Transcendental Meditation children victimized by prostitution begin to feel their inner strength and shed bad memories. The initial process often involves cognitive skills, but not like traditional cognitive therapy, where the child is required to relive trauma. By reaching inside their inner core the child experiences peacefulness, goodness and a childlike innocence that radiates out, much like a concentric circle.
When an abuser threatens a child prostitute with mean words or violence the child automatically runs toward the danger or acts out in a way that is harmful to the child. Through regular practice of Transcendental Meditation -- twice a day for 15 minutes -- the child learns to pause and process the abusive behavior and therefore is no longer vulnerable to the emotional manipulations of the abuser/manipulator.
The radiation of goodness from within the child creates an awareness of who is good and who is bad. The child, sometimes for the first time in his/her life, learns to "act" rather than "react" in response to harmful people. By reaching into the depths of their souls they find love, happiness and peace, and they attract more of the same.
My success with boys and girls who have been victimized by prostitution has come from a set of skills that allowed me to "share their reality" and accept that everyone in the world is not good. That process took a toll on me, as it does with others in the "caring profession," and it is often too easy to feel isolated and alone in attempts to change the world for those who are less fortunate.
Through my two years of practice of Transcendental Meditation I too have learned to accept the goodness from others who want to help me change the world for sex-trafficked children. Transcendental Meditation led me to abandon my restricted thinking that limited Children of the Night's services to American children across our nation who are under 18 years of age and live in the Children of the Night home.
Through my daily, routine meditations I realized that with my 33 years of experience and expertise could be shared with drop-in centers, outreach programs and other shelters throughout America to provide educational and mental health services to young people trapped on the streets.
Transcendental Meditation led me to an exciting and challenging cost-effective plan that will leave a permanent and indelible mark on the standard of care for young people forced to live outside their natural homes.
For other caregivers who want to help those less fortunate, whether it be with children who are sex-trafficked or victims of domestic violence, we must first heal ourselves and discover our inner strength and peacefulness from which all creativity, love and nurturing resides. Caregivers who have become so busy and stressed in their efforts to help others often block their own feelings in an effort to protect themselves, and they should not be overlooked in the process of helping others.
God gave me the gift to reach into the hearts of children and help them change their futures. That gift was both a gift and a burden until Emily Lynch reached out to me to tell me about the work of the David Lynch Foundation -- a foundation founded by David Lynch (a multitalented American filmmaker, television director, visual artist) and established to ensure that any child in America who wants to learn and practice the Transcendental Meditation program can do so.
The David Lynch Foundation has taught me that Transcendental Meditation can be taught to children -- children that so many people believe are unreachable and unchangeable.
For more by Dr. Lois Lee, click here.
For more on meditation, click here.
Follow Dr. Lois Lee on Twitter: www.twitter.com/drloislee