Human Trafficking Facts – Barrow Case Continues

Human Trafficking Problem Not Always, “Somewhere Else.”
human trafficking barrow

200,000 American youth are at risk of becoming human trafficking victims each year.

In Madison and Marshall counties, former Guntersville High School volleyball coach David Barrow faces over 25 sexual abuse-related charges including human trafficking. Under H.R. 972 (109th): Trafficking Victims Reauthorization Act of 2005, anyone under the age of 18 who is used for a commercial sex act is automatically a victim of human trafficking, regardless of whether he or she is a “willing” participant.

On Aug. 13, multiple charges were levied against Barrow for production of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and aggravated criminal surveillance.  According to the Marshall County District Attorney, Steve Marshall, warrants were filed Aug. 13 after computers and other storage items taken from Barrow’s home yielded video and photos of children under 17 in various states of undress.

26% of all human trafficking victims are children according to the International Labour Organization,(2012).human trafficking 26 percent children

According to estimates reported in The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U. S., Canada and Mexico (CSEC) approximately 200,000 American youth are at risk of becoming human trafficking victims each year.  While the majority of these children are either runaways, throwaways or homeless youth, a substantial number of children living at home also are involved in CSEC, including junior and senior high school students recruited in the making and distribution of non-commercial pornography.

Students of Guntersville High School in Alabama were photographed and video recorded by Barrow.  The school plans to begin counseling sessions in the near future, but for the present, those who were victimized by Barrow can seek support at the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Marshall County. (The CAC is located at 825 Gunter Ave Guntersville, AL 35976   ( and can be reached at (256) 582-8492 for additional information.

Homicides, guns, and untreated mental illness

My days often start with reports of gun related homicides.  

What does this say about crime in the US?

Each morning, in our home, my husband and I are accompanied by CNN’s “New Day”, which airs from 6-9 am.  Just one building block in the f ever-growing world of 24/7 news, it is my first glimpse of  the outside world, – before Facebook, before Twiiter or email, and before speaking to anyone outside our apartment. I rely on Chris Cuomo and, to a lesser degree, Alisyn Camerota and Michaela Pereira, to tell me what CNN believes I should consider important, essential information.

The first segment I saw echoed the news of the previous two days.  On Wednesday, August 26, 2015, news Roanoke, Virginia area TV journalist Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were shot and killed while broadcasting a live interview with Chamber of Commerce member Vicki Gardner. Vester Flanagan, the man accused of the shooting, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound while fleeing from the police in a rental car.

While yesterday’s reports had centered on the victims and their families, the focus today was on Gardner, his mental state, and gun control.  Someone argued in favor of background checks that include mental health information to be mandatory for gun sales..  My mind snapped to attention as I waited to hear what the “expert” (in this case a mental health worker) would say.

“That wouldn’t be effective because the majority of these people have never sought treatment for mental health issues.”

And that, as they say, is the thing of it.

When I Google, “percentage mentally ill violent untreated, and get, “About 437,000 results.”  The first article I click on displays a 1994 claim by the Department of Justice that, among the 20,000 homicides committed annually in the United States, “approximately 1000 are committed by people with untreated schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (

With each new mass shooting in the

guns mental illness and homicides

Trends in rates of mental illness in homicide perpetrators

country, the media reports that the perpetrators suffer from a mental illness.  Often, the phrase used is, “undiagnosed mental illness.”  Our news organizations seem eager to report that the people who commit these crimes display, “symptoms of schizophrenia,” or, at the very least, “paranoid behavior that indicates serious mental illness.”

With so many of these shootings ending in the death of the shooter, how is the media diagnosing the alleged killers so quickly?