- Young Adult Nonfiction
- Trafficked: My Story of Surviving, Escaping, and Transcending Abduction into Prostitution
Trafficked: My Story of Surviving, Escaping, and Transcending Abduction into ProstitutionHot
Sophie Hayes, a young, educated English woman, was spending an idyllic weekend in Italy with her seemingly charming boyfriend. But the day of her return home, he made it clear she wasn't going anywhere. Punching and shouting at her, he threatened to kill her adored younger brothers if she didn't cooperate to help him pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars he'd racked up in debts.
Over the next six months, Sophie is forced to work as a prostitute in a country where she didn't speak the language, nobody knows her whereabouts, and escape seems impossible. She struggles to survive, constantly at the mercy of her boyfriend's violent moods and living in fear of being killed by any of her customers. When a life-threatening illness lands her in the hospital, Sophie has a chance to phone her mother and escape—if her boyfriend doesn't get to her first.
Chilling and captivating, Trafficked is one of the first memoirs to present a stunning personal look at the criminal human sex trafficking trade and bring this disturbingly widespread abuse to light.
This is such an important book. As I sat reading, I could just picture all the lives it could touch through raising awareness for this very important issue.
While this is not an easy read by any means, I am more than happy I read it. It was powerful and has me more aware about an issue I knew little about. Even more so, it just keeps the ball rolling for the pro-women fight that still is not over today.
First off, this story is graphic in it's portrayal of what Sophie goes through while in Italy. The raw, gritty scenes along with the horror of being betrayed by someone who is supposed to love you make this story very painful at times but I feel the message needs to be out there. It's a myth that young teens/Young Adults want to be out on the streets or that all of them are drug addicts. Sophie's story shows how this can happen to anyone.
What she goes through and why she doesn't just leave also rang very true to me. No one understands how powerful an abuser's brainwashing can be. I know as I'm a survivor of abuse. For a long time, even after I left home, I feared my abuser would carry through with his threats against not only me but others around me. So I could understand very well the fear/terror Sophie must have felt toward her abuser. What she lived through for six months would break most anyone else. I loved the courage it must have taken to write this story. I feel it's a must read. What's frightening is trafficking continues to this day.
There's also comments from her mother and others in the back. Her mother 'sensed' something wasn't right when Sophie just left everything to stay with her abuser in Italy. The mother's sixth sense.
Horrific and painful at times, this true life story of a survivor of trafficking is unforgettable.
2. Frightening as trafficking continues
3. Haunting and heart wrecking account that is graphic
First and foremost, the content and basis of this horrific story is terrifying. You cannot dispute that. I've actually been aware of the issue of human trafficking for some time, and it never stops amazing me. I am amazed at how evil people can be. I am amazed how easy it is to make someone disappear. and I am amazed that more isn't being done to bring awareness to this heinous crime.
For those reasons, Sophie's story was hard to dismiss. It was full of brutal violence that no one should have to experience. Ever. I found myself shedding silent tears as I read because I could just not fathom the enormity of what this girl went through.
But I had a hard time with this book as well. Sophie was hard to connect with. As I read the beginning of this book, I just could not believe what I was reading. I find it so hard to imagine someone being so foolish. Maybe it's my cynical nature, but even in my early 20s I was never trusting. So, for a young girl like Sophie not to take alarm to a complete stranger getting her cell number and texting her-- I just could not relate. It just screamed psycho stalker from page one. To understand why Sophie struck up a friendship with a complete stranger under these circumstances, I really needed more insight. It was not there though.
In fact, the insight I was looking for came at intervals. There were many chapters of just frank, undiluted brutality. Then the story would jump forward to the present. Towards the end, it became a bit of a challenge to keep up with, especially when the remainder of the story stayed in the present.
But one thing that I just cannot understand if how Sophie felt any inkling of sentiment for the men that paid her for sex. She mentioned a few men from Italy in particular and the desire to see them again. WTH... no thank you. I just cannot imagine that. I think I would hate the people that did those things to me with such a deep-rooted passion that I would not be able to feel anything but disgust for them. No matter the situation or circumstance. I certainly couldn't think of forgiveness or friendship.
To be very honest, it took the letters at the end of the book for me to really put this story in perspective. Sophie's mother's letter is what gave me the glimpse of insight the whole story seemed to lack. She summed it up well when she said there was so explanation for why Kas let Sophie return to England with them. I was left wondering that as well as I read. I think it's clear that it was a miracle. In the midst of one of the worst situations I can think of, a glimmer of hope and opportunity crept through.
I don't know of too may books out there about this subject matter. I've never read one before at least. For that, I think Sophie's story is important and deserves a voice. It's a warning. Trust should not be given freely, my friends. Again, it's probably my cynical nature speaking for I have seen way too many acts of evil towards children in my short amount of years. But if Sophie's story can teach just one young woman a lessen that saves her from the same path, it's worth it.