Tapestry of Love...
Save the Life of a Child.
As the criminal case against Petrona comes to an end,
and the gag order that was imposed is thus lifted- this website
is again sent out with a message for freedom- of all types.
With Petrona, we are dealing with the most basic human
right. The right to your own person. The right not to be sold by
your father- at age eleven- to a man. Petrona's story, legally,
falls within the definition of sexual trafficking. She was given
at age eleven, by force or coercion, by her own father, and borders
within Guatemala were crossed.
Petrona fled Guatemala at around age 13 or 14- we
are not sure of her age yet- escaping serious domestic abuse. She
was raped crossing the border to her freedom- the United States
The tragic criminal case began four months after
Petrona survived the treacherous crossing of borders at such a
tender age. On October 9, 2002, in an apartment in Lake Worth,
Florida, she gives birth to a premature 2.77 pound baby in a highly
compromised breeched delivery where she almost died. Petrona
found out she was pregnant that same day, for the first time. Less
than 48 hours after almost loosing her life- with statements she
made in a language she did not understand- she is charged as an
adult to first degree murder for the death of her baby whose viability
is questionable even in the best circumstances. A grand jury indictment
follows, based on the same statements, taken in violation of her
most basic due process rights. The lack of understanding of the
child before them is what has surprised us all. Hopefully from
this struggle- much can be learned.
VICTIM OF TRAFFICKING AND VIOLENCE PROTECTION ACT
OF 2000 http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/10492.pdf
OFFICE OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN- VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING
AND VIOLENCE PREVENTION http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo/laws/vawa/vawa.htm
PUBLIC RELEASE OF THE 2004 "Trafficking in Persons
On the topic of Forced Marriage as a basic human rights
violation there are many sites, particularly from interesting initiatives
in the UK.