April 22, 2013

Rescuing Hope: A story of sex trafficking in America

We'd like to believe it doesn't happen here, that girls don't get abducted from the streets and sold into prostitution. It's easier to turn away and pretend that those type of crimes take place in the dark corners of third world nations. Not in our country. Not in our cities.

Unfortunately, children, teens, and women of varying ages are trapped in the sex industry. Their bodies are sold without their consent, and they live in fear for their own lives if they dare defy the pimps that control where they live, what they eat, and who they see.

It's hard to imagine a fourteen-year-old girl trapped in prostitution in Atlanta. As a mom, my heart breaks to think of someone's daughter in that situation. Author Susan Norris, tells the story of Hope in her novel Rescuing Hope. Although the story itself is fictional, the book is based on research conducted with survivors of sex trafficking, their families, detectives, and even a former pimp.

Due to the nature of the topic, the book does have a high amount of sexual content and includes references to rape and abuse. As difficult a topic as it is to discuss, it's a conversation I definitely think we need to be having with our pre-teens and teens. The book is labeled as young adult fiction, but as a mom, this is the type of book I would want to read first and then discuss alongside with my teen if they were at an age to handle the content. I would give it at least a PG-13 rating.

It took me a little while to get into the book at first, but before long I was captivated by Hope's story and had to find out what was going to happen. I read the whole book in one morning.

It's an issue that needs to be addressed, and although I might not be able to charge into the inner cities and knock down the doors of underage brothels, I can do my part to raise awareness and support organizations that do the hard work of rescuing and restoring women and girls.

If you'd like to get involved in the fight for freedom and awareness, check out these organizations who are out on the front lines:

Wellspring Living: www.wellspringliving.org

Out of Darkness: www.outofdarkness.org

Resolution Hope: www.resolutionhope.org

Not For Sale: www.notforsalecampaign.org

Norris includes information on more organizations involved in ending the sex trade in the appendix of the book.

The book is available for sale at Amazon:

Photobucket I received a complimentary reader's copy of the book to facilitate my review. The opinions are my own.


  1. I am a Foster Care Advocate who works with teens and very appreciative that you shared this blog -- especially during National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Sex trafficking happens in the suburbs and in inner cities and we need more people to get involved in the fight to save all our children. Awareness leads to action.

    1. Absolutely. The more people who are aware of the issue, the more power there is to put a stop to it. I think we as Americans have this preconceived notion that people prostitute themselves because they want to, without realizing that some people are forced into it against their will, or are unable to leave (even if they wanted to). Protecting those who are at risk is our responsibility.

  2. Thank you for sharing this info. I am posting a link on my blog really quick. It's important that we stop pushing these things into the shadows.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Cynthia. It's shocking to think that this stuff is happening all the time. The more awareness, brought to the issue, the greater power there is to bring it to an end!

  3. Sarah,
    Thank you for sharing your platform today and highlighting the issue of human sex trafficking. This is a hard book to read and a hard one to write. We like to stay in our safe little bubble and pretend this isn't happening where we live, but the reality is, it is happening all across our nation. We have to sound the alarm and raise awareness. We have to educate our daughters, nieces, and those put in our care so they will not fall victim. Thank you for raising your voice for hope. The book is available on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com and susannorris.org. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at susan@susannorris.org.


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