Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

press@now.org, (202) 628-8669

Press Release

The Trump Administration Is Complicit - We Must Speak Up For Migrant Children Who Have Been Sexually Abused

Statement by National NOW President Toni Van Pelt
WASHINGTON -

The National Organization for Women (NOW) strongly condemns the Trump administration for their inhumane immigration and detention policies that have allowed thousands of migrant children to suffer from sexual abuse. Detaining children and separating them from their families is already traumatic enough, but the extent of these numerous sexual abuse allegations is terrifying, immoral and unconscionable.

Media has reported that from October 2014 to July 2018, the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) received 4,556 complaints, and the Department of Justice received 1,303 complaints, including 178 allegations of sexual abuse by adult staff of the facilities.

These numbers are a heinous fact, but Donald Trump would probably call them “fake news.” His administration has even responded by saying the majority of allegations weren’t substantiated. This is the same excuse sexual abusers and their enablers use to dismiss #MeToo survivors. They say if no one saw it happen, it must not have happened.

But survivors everywhere know better. And we know that sexual assault in immigration detention centers is real—and it must be stopped, with abusers held accountable.

NOW calls on the Trump administration to ensure that the legal protections to which migrant children are entitled are explained and made available. Procedures and rules must be put into place to prevent abuse, and there must be immediate investigation and safety measures enacted in response to these complaints. Survivors must also be provided with health and support services to help them heal. The U.S. government must make every effort to ensure the safety and health of the thousands of migrant children in their custody.

#EnoughIsEnough.

###

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

'This Is Insane': Search Warrant Indicates FBI Investigating Trump for Espionage Act Violation

"If you're not fed up," said watchdog group Public Citizen, "you're not paying enough attention."

Jessica Corbett ·


Anti-War Veterans Group Asks Biden to 'Read Our Nuclear Posture Review Before Releasing Yours'

"Are you willing to risk a civilization-ending apocalypse by playing nuclear chicken with other nuclear-armed nations? Or will you lead us toward a planet that is free of nuclear weapons?"

Jessica Corbett ·


94% of Pre-Packaged and Homemade US Baby Foods Contain Toxic Heavy Metals: Study

"FDA must go beyond the baby food aisle and set strong standards for these contaminants," said the national director of Healthy Babies Bright Futures.

Kenny Stancil ·


Arctic Warming Nearly Four Times Faster Than Earth as a Whole, Study Finds

"Scientific data keeps showing that the situation is more urgent than we had previously thought."

Julia Conley ·


Watchdogs Say FTC Must Foster Internet 'Free from Unwanted Surveillance'

Privacy advocates want the agency to safeguard "personal data from misuse by big companies like Alphabet, Amazon, and Meta, as well as smaller but no less nefarious data brokers."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo