How I became involved with Children of the Night

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How I became involved with Children of the Night

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I started working with prostitutes and the prostitute issue in 1975 as a graduate student when I was working on my PhD in Sociology. And I analyzed police reports filed by the Los Angeles Police Department. And that data was used to sue the police department for not arresting an equal number of men - the male customers who pay the prostitutes. It was a real controversial issue. And I was told at Graduate School that they would no longer accept research I did on prostitution because it was giving me credibility, being affiliated with the University, in challenging the police department. It was a hard decision to decide whether I would pursue researching prostitution, and I gotten into another Graduate School and worked closely with the press and gave the press information I had about a few girls who were killed by a serial murderer know as the Hillside Stranglers her in Los Angeles. And then, one night, I received a call from a young woman who was a heroin addict who running an escort service about a young woman she sent to meet these men, and because of the specific things that had happened, it was obvious that this was foul play. And I proceeded to call the police, and I asked the police to send a police car to help this girl. And they refused because she was just a whore. They kept me in the police department all night long, until 3 o'clock in the morning they told me they were not going to send a police car to the location. I went home and I called a News Reporter, and asked him to please get up because we had another one. That young lady turned out to be 17-year-old Kimberley Martin - the 11th victim of the Hillside Strangler. She was 17 years old. I was holding all of the evidence on the Hillside Strangler, and the police had refused to help. I was young. I went on the news. I was angry. I said if you are involved in the prostitution business and you think you know who the Hillside Strangler is and you don't want to talk to the police. Don't call them, call me. And that put me in the underground of the prostitution sub-culture - of sex clubs, pimps, pornographers, organized crime. And the media ran with me and protected me as we investigated clued to find out who was killing these girls. A couple of years later when the police finally caught the Hillside Stranglers, they asked me to find the prostitutes that they original had refused to speak to. And I went out back into the underground of the sex world to ask them to help me locate these girls, people told me that children were now working as prostitutes, applying for jobs as strippers and applying for other jobs to work in the sex industry, and to please help to get them out of their business because they were going to go to prison if they involved children in the sex business.

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Lois Lee, PhD, JD

Founder & President Children of the Night

Dr. Lois Lee is a pioneer and trailblazer in rescuing America’s sex trafficked children right here in the United States.  She is the founder and president of Children of the Night and has rescued over 10,000 children from prostitution—that is more children than all of the other sex trafficking organizations combined. Since 1979 she has raised more than $40 million in private donations to support her groundbreaking programs. Diplomats come from all over the world to observe Lee's ground-breaking work at the Children of the Night home. Dr. Lee has received countless awards for her humanitarian work, most notably the prestigious President's Volunteer Action Award, presented to her by President Ronald Reagan at the White House in 1984, and permanent memorial portrait at the Frederick Douglas Museum honors her 1994 National Caring Award. Her life story was portrayed in a CBS Movie of the Week “Children of the Night” in 1985 and she was profiled on CBS “60 Minutes” in 1987. Dr. Lee was lauded by singer/songwriter Richard Marx in his song "Children of the Night," which appeared on his 1989 Repeat Offender album.

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