The rotten Tree of Child Exploitation

Nearly 80% of our top social Issues in the United States are rooted in child exploitation. Child exploitation is a rotten tree growing rotten fruit. The bad fruit is often addressed, but the corrupt tree continues to grow. Think about how much energy and resources we spend addressing the fruit. Despite all the efforts, the statistics keep growing at staggering rates. Jesus said it best: “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 7:18-19).

The reactive destruction of society starts when we fail to protect children.

Katie Fetzer, Founder of Empower The Fight

Decades of ignored exploitation have produced the societal RAGE of a drug-addicted, sexually broken, and mentally sick generation. The fruit of this rotten tree confirms that the moral decay of America is in large part rooted in a crushed spirit. There are many ways to exploit children in our modern times and more will be coming. Because evil has NO limits. At Empower The Fight, we are doing our best to follow the directives of Jesus and address the TREE called child exploitation. We don’t fit the typical non-profit “boxes” because we are not focusing on the effects or the fruit. We are focused on prevention by unmasking and uprooting this rotten tree.

  • Approx. 23 million people in the U.S.A. struggle with some form of substance abuse.
  • 2/3 of all addicts report being abused. ​
  • 78% of all new child maltreatment cases are due to severe neglect which is a direct result of drug use and addictions.
  • Children who grow up around substance abuse, are three times more likely to experience physical or sexual abuse.
  • They are also four times more likely to experience severe neglect over their piers.
  • 1.2 million cases of violent crime occur each year.
  • Child exploitation doubles the probability that victims will engage in some form of crime as an adult. ​
  • Nearly 80% of all incarcerated male felons reported some form of early childhood abuse.
  • Most reported that abuses occurred before the age of 12. But, the most common form of exploitation was physical abuse. ​
  • Children within 5+ foster homes or a stay of 6+ months in a group home are 90% likely to become incarcerated as adults.
  • Approx. 13.1 million in the U.S.A. struggle with mental illness.
  • Over 80% of individuals with an adverse mental health diagnosis were victims of exploitation. ​
  • The younger the child is during severe exploitation the more devastating the effects on their brain & emotional development.
  • Emotional abuse causes psychological & nervous system damage like physical abuse.
  • Up to 250,000 human trafficking victims are within the U.S.A.
  • Approximately 85% of human trafficking victims have a history of abuse.
  • 100% of convicted traffickers experienced extreme physical violence in their childhood.
  • Over 60% of all human trafficking victims rescued by the FBI within the U.S.A. have a history in foster care. ​ Many are runaways with a severe exploitation history. With no family to return to once rescued. ​
  • Over 14% of all missing children nationwide are suspected to be trafficked.
  • There are 3 million domestic violence reports / year.
  • 1-in-3 children exposed to prolonged abuse will grow up to abuse their own children.
  • Girls who grow up in a violent home are 200% more likely to be victimized as adults.
  • Boys who grow up in a violent home are more than twice as likely to become a perpetrator of abuse
  • 69 to 91% of men who experience present homelessness have a history of childhood trauma.
  • 84% of homeless women have experienced severe physical or sexual abuse
  • According to brain scans, abused children are twice more likely to suffer from PTSD than U.S. war veterans.
  • Also, they are twelve times more likely to commit suicide.

A Solution | Power of

ONE caring adult

In review of thousands of victim’s gripping stories, several common key points emerged:

2. CPS Involvement was Rare

Over 95% of victims reported that Child Protective Services was NOT involved during or after exploitation.

3. Exploitation is Reoccurring

In America, physical exploitation of children is common and reoccurring. It’s not a single act, but a mentality that justifies the harm to children.