WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2014/2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/410492

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Page 49 of 227

is not fully funded? Contributing to her fund would indeed fulfill her dream, supporting a cher- ished neighbor who beat back the worst life has to offer. But it is far more than that, and I urge the many charities in Wellesley and Weston, especially those dominated by moms, to consider donating. Kate's site can be found at www.gofundme.com/ supportkpadvocacy. This is about raising awareness that survivors need support well beyond the "crisis" point of their exploitation. And Kate's research directly bolsters the safety and welfare of our daughters and sons. Her thesis would include the first long-term evaluation of a mentor initiative involv- ing survivors of commercial sexual exploitation of children. Poor children are disproportionately affected by this scourge, which I personally think, living in an affluent community, is all the more reason to contribute. As Kate points out, the cyclical violence often found in impoverished places is what needs to be broken. And yet don't be deluded that wealthier children are somehow totally safe from predators. Any child who gets involved in drugs, for instance, or has mental illness, is at risk. Apparently, as a society, we've decided we just don't have the tax dollars or institutional will to fully fund life-saving social science research like this. But I would hope the Wellesley/Weston com- munity, with all of its more-than-ample advantages, would hold itself to a far higher standard. It so happened that Kate's "coming out" occurred around the same time as the Ice Bucket challenge to support research in ALS. I know a vastly underpaid Ph.D. student researching the disease and of course he was thrilled to see money coming in because, even fully-funded, he barely scrapes by. And he doesn't have a family to help support, as Kate does. I urge my neigh- bors and especially our local charities to join the fight that grievously threatens thousands of kids here and abroad so that Kate's research, and dream, is able to blossom. Vulnerable kids like Emily, and survivors like Kate, deserve no less. As I said, Kate is the exception. We need her trajectory, her success, to be the rule. Was Emily being targeted by predators? We will probably never know. But I do know one orphaned girl is just a little safer, thanks to Kate's knowing words. Please support KATE'S CAMPAIGN at www.gofundme.com/supportkpadvocacy. 48 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 4 / 2 0 1 5 my turn op-ed issues speak up opinion sound off town green my turn op-ed issues "I urge my neighbors and especially our local charities to join the fight that grievously threatens thousands of kids here and abroad so that Kate's research, and dream, is able to blossom."

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