The Annual General Meeting of the Josephine Butler Society held on the 12th Oct, 2011 at St. Peter's Church Eaton Square, London.
I left with Valerie who is the chairman of the society at 1.30pm to board a train at Faversham. She began by looking into the minutes of their last meeting which were approved by the members.
Valerie Gore, Chairing the Meeting
After that, there was refreshment of sandwiches, soft drinks and tea which was followed by an input by a retired Chief Constable who has always worked hard against human trafficking,
Dr. Timothy Brain.
The Josephine Butler Society is a society of people who work hard to stop human trafficking and help those who are victims, whether they chose to do that or they have been forced into it. Much mention was made of children, and he praised THE CHILDREN'S SOCIETY for raising awareness of children on the street prostituting and BARNARDO'S for doing a report with recommendations. Both charities are organisations whose work is to help children involved in any kind of abuse. Dr. Brain said that human trafficking and prostitution has been an issue in this country and that they have been working hard on it. Any kind of work relating to that should always be dealt with and not be ignored. He said that one of the major problems police face today concerning prostitution is that some police look at it as if it is a distraction to their work. They feel that they have to pay more attention to burglers, or any other offence more than that of prostitution.
He said that in recent years, it has increased and decreased. The number of those who are brought into Britain for this always gets higher in number. They come mostly from Asia, Eastern Europe, South America and Africa. Though some of these ladies are forced into it, when they have a way to escape and get the help they need, they can care for themselves. He said that children of 16+ should not be treated the same way as adults. Though it is a crime, there should be some consideration, because these children are victims. Therefore the best thing for them when they are caught is not to subject them to more punishment but to help them find a better way of life.
Some of these 16+ might have had difficult relationships, and then gone away from home, eventually getting involved with 'friends' who pretend to love them. They then teach them to drink, take drugs, keep secrets from adults, go to pubs and stay out late at night. Then these 'friends' will start selling them to men for money.
The meeting finished at about 8:20 pm. We helped to clean and put things in order and then headed for the train station.
By Sr. Innocentia