Tails of the Exploited

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010



I stayed gripping my chair as I watched this true tale of exploitation that happens right under our noise. A&E’s new reality drama, RUNAWAY SQUAD is about NYC’s PI Joe Mazzilli and his team rounding up runaway’s. The show starts with a gripping intro: “1.6 million kids runaway each year. Thousands will be exploited or killed,” and unfortunately that is a hard number we face.

Too many young women are washed away and forgotten, only to be picked up by a pack of tyrannically cruel wolves. One instance in the episode that stuck with me was when the mother (Yenita) was fortunate to get her daughter (Jayvela) back. Yenita expressed how distraught she was at having a solitary Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tayvela shed a single tear as she said, “I remember where I was and what I was doing on Thanksgiving.”

What I find extremely gratifying is a sense of completeness after watching the episode. We have a real beginning , middle and an end—complete with interviews of how this happened and what could have been done to prevent it. What I find a little unsettling is, Tayvela needs healing from what happened. I do not know if it’s a good idea for her to actually be on camera after the situation happened so swiftly.

Let me know your thoughts.

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