Holliday's ex-husband is suing to modify the custody agreement they settled on for their ten-year-old child. They'd been splitting custody half-and-half since their 2003 divorce. ..
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is a Baltimore-based group that advocates on behalf of alternative sexuality. The NCSF's Susan Wright says that the group advises people with alternative preferences when they run across legal challenges based on their identities. They've been aware of Holliday's case for some time now.
The group tracks instances of people seeking their help and advocacy. Over the past few years, Wright says, NCSF logs about 500 such incidents each year, about a third of those concerning divorce and custody issues.
In about half of those, she says, the kinky parent is able to retain custody. "As of about five years ago, it was 80/20," in favor of the non-kinky parent, Wright says. She touts the coalition's outreach, better research and efforts to take kinky sexual behaviors out of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the psychiatric bible that codifies what behaviors should be considered pathological -- and which shouldn't.
"Once you've had child custody challenged, the best way to respond is to gather materials to educate the family court about what the lifestyle is -- that it doesn't involve children, but involves consenting adults and negotiation," says Wright. "We try to take out the element of a person's sexual behavior."
The group also maintains a database of "kink-aware professionals:" lawyers, doctors, psychiatrists and others who are already familiar with BDSM practices and as such won't need to be educated on exactly what their clients are up to, or why. They can provide attorneys with findings in peer-reviewed journals that make clear that consenting adults being rough with one another in the bedroom make just as capable parents as adults who do it missionary-style with the lights off.
The trailer sits alone on a hill about 10 miles outside of town, tucked into the rolling farmland, obscured by trees from the gravel road running below. The green-and-white rectangular box is unremarkable, except for what federal authorities say happened inside.
This is the trailer where, according to a federal indictment, a mentally deficient woman was held as a sex slave and tortured for years, subjected to stomach-churning cruelties, the center of acts called by the U.S. attorney "among the most horrific ever prosecuted" in this part of Missouri.
Knowing this, the trailer suddenly looks different — sinister. Evil, even.
But step inside the trailer, talk with the last person living there, and another story unfolds. Visit people around this small town, a conservative "church town" midway between Rolla and Springfield, and that damning picture becomes less clear. Listen to the waitresses, store clerks and acquaintances who know the people at the heart of this case, and you can hear their doubt, even as they cast a disapproving eye on what took place.
"They no more held that woman captive than a man on the moon," says Lorrie Bredvick, 46, who runs La Mexican Kitchen restaurant in town and got to know the woman over several years as a frequent patron who shared shocking details from her private life. "She was very proud of what she did."
Yet experts say sex trafficking cases can project appearances that camouflage what is truly taking place.
"Traffickers really know how to manipulate people and their circumstances so it is not easily seen," said Suzanne LeLaurin, head of the St. Louis human trafficking coalition and a senior vice president at the International Institute in St. Louis, which helps trafficking victims. ...