Melanie Cholish’s father put her in a child trafficking ring, and unknown men were taking her places without attracting too much attention. No one noticed.
Child trafficking is one of the worst problems society has to deal with, and authorities have yet to break the rings of horror. Children are kept in dark and cold houses, and their “owners” tie them up. Instead of having decent meals, the poor kids are beaten. Sadly, sometimes this owner is actually a close family member. The story of Melanie Cholish will give you chills.
Melanie shared her story in a Facebook post, encouraging people to put an end to the horrors these kids go through. A survivor herself, Melanie got the courage to do her best and protect other children.
Melanie Cholish was once included in a child trafficking ring
In July, Melanie spotted a poster of a crying girl who was lying naked and tied up in someone’s basement. There’s a big shadow in the background of the poster and the message is chilling.
“The real pandemic is child sex trafficking,” the poster read.
Melanie took to Facebook to share her story. She wanted to educate others on child trafficking and the real situation in countries.
(7/20 Edit: I can not tell you how much these comments mean to me, I am blown away by the compassion. Thank you. I’ve…
Melanie was trafficked by her father
The evil dad first trafficked Melanie when she was 5-6. She was forced to do this until she was a teen. He didn’t hit her and didn’t even yell at her. Poor Melanie trusted her dad and thought she was doing a normal thing.
“While that sounds awful, it’s important to know, trafficking children in the US is not all of that,” Melanie wrote in her post. “I can’t say it never is, I don’t know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren’t sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone, usually in their family, is trafficking them.
I’m pretty open about my story and am writing my book, so most of you who follow me close know that father trafficked me from the ages of about 5 or 6 until I was a teenager. Knowing this, I can say, I was never once tied up in a dark place such as this picture. It’s important for people to educate themselves on what trafficking can really look like.”
Child trafficking is “made easy”
In her post, Melanie detailed how the “drops” were made. Her father would usually leave her somewhere “for a min,” and then an unknown man would come taking her hand and walking away.
These men were pretending to be her uncles, fathers, and family friends. No one suspected a thing, and Melanie never said anything. She was just holding men’s hands and going wherever they wanted her to go. The drops were made in dressing rooms, amusement parks, airports, pools, Hershey, Dorney, etc. Some men even bought her ice cream or sweets.
“How many vacations we went on where I was left for a min at the pool until a man came and I left with him for a while. Airports where I’m passed over to another man in a crowd, looking like any girl going from her dad, uncle, to her dad or uncle. Again, a public drop and nothing suspicious.”
According to Melanie, children in the US are so “conditioned,” they don’t know anything about the outside world. Their “owners” teaches them that this is normal. There’s nothing normal about passing a kid to an unknown filthy man.
“I say all of this to simply say, it’s really important we bring attention to child trafficking in the US. VERY important. And posters like this can get the conversation going, but we also need to educate people that it doesn’t all look like this.
I lived in Robesonia, a tiny nothing town. My father was a little league coach. My mother knew and helped some with these happenings, and she was just a stay at home small town mom. These things happen everywhere and can look very normal.”
Evil was “kind”
Men were kind. Melanie was never beaten. But this fake kindness was hiding a dark truth.
Physical violation was horrible, but “fake kindness” alters children’s brains, teaching them that they can easily trust anyone they meet.
Normal everyday life
Melanie never made a scene. She wasn’t aware of the real problem. She thought it was a normal thing. Children don’t know that what they do is actually wrong.
Melanie’s father was a little league coach and her mother was a stay-at-home mom. The worst part? She knew about this and even helped some of the situations. To the rest of the world, Melanie’s family looked just normal.
Child sex trafficking in the US
UNICEF USA reports that child trafficking is “the recruitment, coercion, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of children under the age of 18 for the purpose of exploitation. It is a violation of their rights and their well-being and denies them the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
It’s everywhere. Our kids are not safe.
UNICEF notes that:
- Child trafficking is common in every state
- 77% of victims are exploited within their native countries
- Most victims are American citizens
- 1 in 7 “runaways” was actually a victim
Stop the horror
Proper education is really important. Melanie advises parents to talk to their kids.
“We don’t need to be graphic; but teachers, schools, need to talk to children about things like this in a child-safe way. Assume these children aren’t being taken to doctors. Teachers can make a huge difference. Talk to children. Go with your gut.
Schools need to not be scared to act on what they feel. Conrad Wesier had a social worker in the elementary school who pulled me out of class on more than one occasion after teachers noticed “things” and it went nowhere. Social services were never notified. And they should have been.”
Open your eyes every time you go out. Child trafficking happens right in front of you.
“If you’re waiting in line at a park, notice who goes in and out with what child. If you see something; speak up. If you’re wrong, fine you ruined someone’s day, apologies. If you’re right, you saved someone’s life.”
UNICEF listed the ways of helping their cause:
- Send an email to your local elected officials urging them to keep traffickers and trafficking victims top of mind
- Join UNICEF UNITE
- Become a monthly donor
- Spread the word by sharing this article or posting on your own social media accounts using the UNICEF USA Social Press Kit and the hashtag #EndTrafficking
It’s time to put an end to the horrors kids go through. They need someone to protect them from the unknown men who just grab their hand at the pool and take them somewhere.