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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 14, 2013 at 7:33 AM

Ohio kidnappings

Call it what it is: human trafficking

Balloons surround the porch at the home of Gina DeJesus in Cleveland. DeJesus was freed Monday from the home of Ariel Castro where she and two other women had been held captive for nearly a decade. (AP Photo / Mark Duncan)

Balloons surround the porch at the home of Gina DeJesus in Cleveland. DeJesus was freed Monday from the home of Ariel Castro where she and two other women had been held captive for nearly a decade. (Mark Duncan / The Associated Press)

Thank you for covering the story of the Ohio missing-women case and shedding light on an issue that is considered high-risk here in the state of Washington — the modern-day slavery of human trafficking [“Kidnap cases could bring death penalty,” News, May 12].While you did not directly refer to this circumstance as human trafficking, we believe it imperative for individuals to recognize this situation for what it truly is.

Despite the fact that Washington is considered a high-risk state for human trafficking, it is also known to be the national leader in battling this crime. Not only was Washington the first state to pass a law outlawing human trafficking, but it also carries the most rigid law in the entire country, including a March 2013 amendment focusing directly on child trafficking.

Under the 2003 anti-trafficking law, it is a felony to use force, fraud or coercion to recruit, harbor, transport, and/or obtain any individual into labor, services and/or commercial sex acts against their will. This includes sex trafficking and other forms of forced labor, ranging from domestic enslavement, industrial servitude, to place of work bondage. And, with awareness toward this crime, Seattle community members can help both identify and report cases of human trafficking in our local community.

Kelsey Awford and Kanani Goodwin, Antioch University, Seattle

Society celebrates men like Castro

Have you taken a look at the mega-best-selling book “Fifty Shades of Grey?” Our “hero” is a man for whom “total control over another human being (sexually) is what stimulates (him)”.

Our society both celebrates and reviles this kind of man [“Gruesome Cleveland tale of abduction is sadly not unique,” Opinion, May 12]. Ariel Castro is alive and well in the sexual fantasies of American women.

Oh, by the way, the “total-control” hero in “Fifty Shades of Grey” is a billionaire. If Castro had been a billionaire, his story would likely be much different.

Also, I object to your use of the terms “psychotic” and “psychosis.” Psychosis is a medical condition. It is an imbalance in brain chemicals caused by dementia, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia and creates an inability to perceive reality appropriately. Psychosis does not normally cause people to commit crimes or keep women prisoners in their basements.

The more appropriate diagnosis for Ariel Castro is anti-social personality disorder. While that is not a diagnosis to be thrown around lightly (neither is psychosis), it is certainly a more accurate description than “psychosis.”

My best advice to you: If you want to continue diagnosing public figures in your columns, pick up a copy of the new “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” that is being published this month. It’s a good read.

Isabel D’Ambrosia, Seattle

Comments | Topics: Ariel Castro, Human trafficking, Ohio kidnapping

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