Friday, May 29, 2015

Favorite Things Friday: The Best Book I Read in May

It's the end of the month, and time for The Cephalopod Coffeehouse and the best book I read in the month of May.

Last month I featured Runaway Girl by Carissa Phelps, a memoir exploring the plight of a chronic runaway who was sexually exploited and lived to tell the tale. In a similar vein, this month I'm featuring another sex trafficking memoir, Stolen: The True Story of a Sex Trafficking Survivor by Katariina Rosenblatt, PhD.



This is an important story. I say this not because Katariina survived sex trafficking or because she earned her doctorate, but because her initiation into the horrors of this world occurred in her own backyard, on her mother's watch, and inside the suburban United States. Befriended by a "bottom" female (another female recruiting other girls into the life), Katariina narrowly escapes alive on several occasions, only to find herself firmly entrenched within the life a few years later by a different recruitment method. This memoir is not so much about how it happened, but why. Why is it that young girls are so vulnerable to the lures, the methods, and the dangers? Katariina admits that some part of her walked into the life willingly and with partially opened eyes. Aside from her own harrowing tale, she sheds invaluable insight into the contributing factors of suburban domestic violence, gang and organized crime infiltration, and a teen's burning need of acceptance by her peers.

It's hard to believe in this day and time that a well-educated teenage girl would ever consent to such things, but it's happening. And more often than you might think. Although Rosenblatt's story takes place twenty years ago, the methods and the dangers remain the same. These days, girls are trafficked inside their own high schools by boys claiming to be their boyfriends, and sometimes, sadly, even their own parents are the pimps. Writers like Katariina Rosenblatt shine a stark white light on these horrors and ask others to join with them in bringing this abomination to an end.

Girls should not be for sale.

11 comments:

  1. Wow! This sounds very frightening but something that's important to read. I suspect a lot of these girls don't have a strong parental presence in their lives, in particular a father. Many are probably duped into believing they'll make a lot of money and live a glamorous life. Your review is great. This book is on an important topic.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie,
      In almost all of the memoirs I've read, "Daddy Issues" are a problem. Katariina had a present father, but he was sexually abusive and a drunk. Katariina Rosenblatt was coerced by a much older man with gang/organized crime ties. For a while she liked the money, after awhile it wasn't worth it.

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  2. I have heard of this book/story. I'll have to read it. I like that several of the churches we have attended reach out and help those that are involved in sex trafficking to get out of it and fund schools etc. Such a sad situation!

    betty

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    1. Betty, my prayer is that churches will become more involved with this. While at a writers conference last week, I met some wonderful women whose churches are involved and try to help these women out of the life. Having said that, it's a very complicated process. You'd think they'd just want to get out, but that's not always the case....

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  3. Wow what a book and story.
    Where I live smuggling of women and children for sex trade along with all the illegals is big money for the drug cartels. But Washington in it's race to get as many Hispanic votes as it can looks the other way. It is horrific.
    Terrific review of an important subject.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Parsnip, I'm glad you said that. Where I live gang-controlled prostitution is very much on the rise. We have a high Hispanic population, and these girls are easy prey (as many of them are here illegally). Some of the high schools are even dealing with parents selling their own children. It's just awful.

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    2. I can't believe my country allows this. Plus I can't believe the Hispanic population doesn't care enough to stop this. But here it is the lure of free money, housing and food stamps and everyone wants it. You come across the border and have a baby. Babies are money for Hispanics here illegally. And these poor children pay the price of their "parents" greed and entailment.
      The Democrat party (my party) buy vote this way.
      It is just horrific. So very sad.

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  4. Shudder... Sounds like quite a story.

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    1. It's well worth reading, but also not an easy read (as you can imagine).

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  5. That's so sad. I saw Rashida Jones did a documentary on how the softcore porn industry exploits young women--it's on Netflix. I haven't watched it, but all too often bad parenting is definitely to blame. These young women just feel they have nowhere else to turn.

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  6. I think that this happens more than anybody is comfortable admitting. I shudder to think. If I'm not mistaken, I believe Jada Pinkett Smith has also been doing work to shed light on this issues. It's sad, but reality for many victims.

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