Why I Went to Compton

Okay so after my last post, I’ve been getting this question a lot.  “Why would you go to Compton?”  And my answer is “Why wouldn’t I?” 

Why wouldn’t any of us want to see things firsthand?  I’ve grown skeptical of the media’s portrayal of social issues over the years.  I’m weary of agendas and slanted political stories.  I just wanted the truth and I wanted to see it for myself. I wanted to challenge the cultural and often judgmental view against girls and women caught up in the sex industry (prostitution, trafficking, exotic dancing).

I wanted to believe that somewhere out there were watchmen on the wall, people taking action to rescue these girls or at least report the victimization.  I hoped to find that strip club owners were being trained (or at least aware) of how many pimps force their trafficked girls to dance in their clubs. 

Basically, I did it because I care – because my heart breaks over the devastating, life-long ramifications of sex abuse.  We cannot turn our heads and pretend it doesn’t personally affect us, because it does.  It affects our entire society.  Many of these girls will grow up and marry and have families of their own.  And their brokenness will greatly impact their marriages and their children.  I’m not philosophizing.  I’ve seen it up close and worked with these women in recovery/restoration programs.  Sex abuse shatters lives in ways that are impossible to measure.

And that’s why I was compelled to go to Compton and to write a book about the travesty. Because in the end, if we aren’t connected to the plight and suffering of others, then why would we ever be moved with compassion to help them?