Tuesday, September 17, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Trafficked: My Story of Surviving, Escaping, and Transcending Abduction into Prostitution by Sophie Hayes

Just a few years ago everything changed. I was trafficked. I was deceived by a man who said that he loved me. I was a product and a vehicle to make money. But I am a survivor.”
Sophie Hayes, a young, educated woman, was spending an idyllic weekend in Italy with her boyfriend, who she had known for nearly 5 years. But on the day she planned to return home, he made it clear that she wasn't going anywhere, threatening to kill her family if she didn’t help him pay off his debt from a drug deal gone wrong.
So began six months of working the streets as a prostitute in a country where Sophie didn’t speak the language, nobody knew her whereabouts, and escape seemed impossible.
This year, over 700,000 women will be forced into sex slavery. Nearly 50% of them know their captors.
The first known woman to be trafficked out of the UK, Sophie’s true story exposes the chilling reach of trafficking where we’d least expect it, and reveals the sinister impact of a seemingly innocent relationship. .
Wow. Another hard read. Which means another hard review to write. 
Sophie Hayes is a normal young adult. She is very close to her mother, works a decent job, loves hanging out with friends and going dancing. The usual.  One night she meets someone, Kas. Kas is interested in more, but Sophie- having a hard time trusting men (thanks to her father) dismisses it. Eventually through various random meet-ups they become friends. He becomes the shoulder to cry on, the unbiased opinions on her struggles with work, life, relationships. A friend that Sophie trusts. After Sophie has rather hard break-up, Kas suggests her coming to Italy to visit and clear her head.
Once in Italy, her life is changed forever. Kas suddenly switches gears and becomes any one's worst nightmare. Forcing Sophie to enter the life of prostitution so he can pay off his debts. What a great friend hey- and like there aren't any other ways he could have thought of- like hmm DO IT YOURSELF!. If she refuses he threatened to kill her family. He also brought up the fact a couple of times, that people have had shittier lives than she does, so she should just accept that she has to help him because loving someone means having to make sacrifices. I'm sorry Kas. You choose the life to be a drug dealer- you chose to have a shitty life. Don't make someone else have one because you fucked up.
Throughout this time, Sophie is both physically and verbally abused making her feel like she is worthless. And I guess after hearing that multiple times a day, and getting beat for doing something so minimal as putting too much spaghetti sauce on the noodles, you believe it. You are brain washed into thinking you are shit. RUN SOPHIE, RUN! That's all I was screaming in my head while reading it. Yet, she couldn't.
“Part of the problem was that I couldn't seem to get past the fact that I hadn't tried to escape from Kas. Even in France, when he'd left me on my own for several days, I'd carried on working [as a prostitute] and doing all the things he'd told me to do. And although I knew that it was because of the fear he'd so carefully and deliberately instilled in me, I still felt as though I'd somehow colluded in what had happened to me - despite knowing, deep down, that nothing could have been further from the truth.”
It comes out today, and I do recommend people to buy it. It is an eye opener into the world of sex slaves and trafficking. Its absolutely horrible to think that this is happening in today's day and age. It is not just a third world occurrence.
It's easy to dismiss girls who work on the streets as deadbeats or drug addicts without ever thinking about why they're working as prostitutes. And the truth is that many of them have been trafficked and they work long, exhausting, miserable, soul-destroying hours for men who are cruel and violent. They're constantly afraid, not just because of what might be done to them if they don't do what they're told, but also because of the very real threats that are made against their families and the people they love.

What kind of person does that to another human being?

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