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