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Is anyone else feeling as burdened for the enslaved and trafficked as I am? This series is completely breaking me.
Today I wanted to share some books on this topic. These books were all recommendations and I have yet to read any of them (though you can bet I have requested about 10 of them from my library so far). If you know of any more books on this topic, please let me know.
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Undaunted – Christine Caine
Christine Caine offers life-transforming insights about how not only to overcome the challenges, wrong turns, and often painful circumstances we all experience, but also to actually grow from those experiences and be equipped and empowered to help others. Using her own dramatic life story, Caine shows how God rescued her from a life where she was unnamed, unwanted, and unqualified. She tells how she overcame abuse, abandonment, fears, and other challenges to go on a mission of adventure, fueled by faith and filled with love and courage. Her personal stories inspire readers to hear their name called, just as Christine heard her own—‘You are beloved. You are the hope. You are chosen’—to go into a dark and troubled world, knowing each of us possess all it takes to bring hope, create change, and live completely for Christ. Part inspirational tale, part manifesto to stir readers to lives of adventure, Undaunted shows the way with spiritual wisdom and insight.
He’d been her friend for years. He said he loved her. Then she realized she didn’t know him at all…When everything seemed to be falling apart in Sophie’s life, she was thankful for her friend Kas, who was always at the end of a phone, ready to listen and to offer comfort and advice. Her father’s cold dislike of her and then her parents’ divorce had left her with a deep distrust of men. But, gradually, Kas made her believe there was at least one man who truly cared about her. But she was wrong. At first when Sophie went to stay for a few days with Kas in Italy, he was kind and caring, as he’d always been. But three days after she arrived, everything changed. His eyes were cold as he described the things he expected her to do ‘for love’. But soon Sophie’s bewilderment turned to fear as he punched and shouted at her and threatened to kill her adored younger brothers if she didn’t do exactly as she was told…to sell her body on the streets to pay off Kas’s debts. Terrified of Kas, the police and the men whose pleasures she was forced to satisfy, Sophie worked seven nights a week for the next six months on the dark and lonely streets of a town in northern Italy. Subjected regularly to Kas’s verbal, mental and physical abuse, she knew she would never escape. And then, one day, after she’d been admitted to hospital with stomach pains – and knowing that Kas would kill her if he found out – she dared to phone her mother. But who would reach her first?
Girls Like Us– Rachel Llyod
During her teens, Rachel Lloyd ended up a victim of commercial sexual exploitation. With time, through incredible resilience, and with the help of a local church community, she finally broke free of her pimp and her past and devoted herself to helping other young girls escape “the life.”
In Girls Like Us, Lloyd reveals the dark world of commercial sex trafficking in cinematic detail and tells the story of her groundbreaking nonprofit organization: GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services. With great humanity, she shares the stories of the girls whose lives GEMS has helped—small victories that have healed her wounds and made her whole. Revelatory, authentic, and brave, Girls Like Us is an unforgettable memoir.
Sex Trafficking, Inside the business of modern day slavery– Siddharth Kara
Every year, hundreds of thousands of women and children are abducted, deceived, seduced, or sold into forced prostitution, coerced to service hundreds if not thousands of men before being discarded. These trafficked sex slaves form the backbone of one of the world’s most profitable illicit enterprises and generate huge profits for their exploiters, for unlike narcotics, which must be grown, harvested, refined, and packaged, sex slaves require no such “processing,” and can be repeatedly “consumed.”
Kara first encountered the horrors of slavery in a Bosnian refugee camp in 1995. Subsequently, in the first journey of its kind, he traveled across four continents to investigate these crimes and take stock of their devastating human toll. Kara made several trips to India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Albania, Moldova, Mexico, and the United States. He witnessed firsthand the sale of human beings into slavery, interviewed over four hundred slaves, and confronted some of those who trafficked and exploited them.
In this book, Kara provides a riveting account of his journey into this unconscionable industry, sharing the moving stories of its victims and revealing the shocking conditions of their exploitation. He draws on his background in finance, economics, and law to provide the first ever business analysis of contemporary slavery worldwide, focusing on its most profitable and barbaric form: sex trafficking. Kara describes the local factors and global economic forces that gave rise to this and other forms of modern slavery over the past two decades and quantifies, for the first time, the size, growth, and profitability of each industry. Finally, he identifies the sectors of the sex trafficking industry that would be hardest hit by specifically designed interventions and recommends the specific legal, tactical, and policy measures that would target these vulnerable sectors and help to abolish this form of slavery, once and for all.
The Johns– Victor Malarek
Following up on his scathing indictment of the international sexual enslavement of women in The Natashas, investigative journalist Victor Malarek lays bare the other side of the crisis?the men who fuel the demand.
Each year more than 800,000 women and children are lured, tricked or forced into prostitution to meet an apparently insatiable demand, joining an estimated 10 million women already ensnared in the $20 billion worldwide sex trade.
To date, most research on the subject has focused on the various issues that propel these women into the trade, but little has been investigated, or written, about those who trigger the demand?the “Johns.” In this hard-hitting expos?, Malarek unmasks the kind ofmen?and organizations?that foster and drive the sex trade, from America to Europe, Brazil to Thailand, Phnom Penh to St. Petersburg and Costa Rica. The Johns is a chilling look into a dark corner of the world that these men have created at the expense of countless women and children.
The Natashas– Victor Malarek
Horrific true crime story recounting the manipulation, abduction, and rape of women caught up in the global sex trade. This books specifically focuses on Eastern European women who are trafficked to other parts of the world.
On the black market, they’re the third most profitable commodity, after illegal weapons and drugs. The only difference is that these goods are human, to their handlers they are wholly expendable. They are women and girls, some as young as twelve, from all over the Eastern Bloc, where sinister networks of organized crime have become entrenched in the aftermath of the collapse of the Communist regimes.
In Israel, they’re called Natashas, whether they’re actually from Russia, Bosnia, the Czech Republic, or Ukraine. Lured into vans and onto airplanes with promises of jobs as waitresses, models, nannies, dishwashers, maids, and dancers, they are then stripped of their identification, and their brutal nightmare begins. They are sold into prostitution and kept enslaved; those who resist are beaten, raped, and sometimes killed. They often have nowhere to turn. In many cases, the men who should be rescuing them—immigration officials, police officers, or international peacekeepers—are among their most hostile aggressors. The worldwide traffic in human beings is already a crisis of epic proportions, and it continues to grow. Victor Malarek here exposes the global phenomenon of sexual trafficking, a form of twenty-first century slavery and a multibillion-dollar industry whose scope has, until now, remained largely unknown. The Natashas is an indispensable and startling call to action to seek out institutional corruption and to put a stop to this heinous crime against humanity.
The Road of Lost Innocence– Somaly Mam
Born in a village deep in the Cambodian forest, Somaly Mam was sold into sexual slavery by her grandfather when she was twelve years old. For the next decade she was shuttled through the brothels that make up the sprawling sex trade of Southeast Asia. She suffered unspeakable acts of brutality and witnessed horrors that would haunt her for the rest of her life–until, in her early twenties, she managed to escape. Unable to forget the girls she left behind, Mam became a tenacious and brave leader in the fight against human trafficking, rescuing sex workers–some as young as five and six–offering them shelter, rehabilitation, healing, and love and leading them into new life.
The Whistleblower– Kathryn Bolkovac
When Nebraska police officer and divorced mother of three Kathryn Bolkovac saw a recruiting announcement for private military contractor DynCorp International, she applied and was hired. Good money, world travel, and the chance to help rebuild a war-torn country sounded like the perfect job. Bolkovac was shipped out to Bosnia, where DynCorp had been contracted to support the UN peacekeeping mission. She was assigned as a human rights investigator, heading the gender affairs unit. The lack of proper training provided sounded the first alarm bell, but once she arrived in Sarajevo, she found out that things were a lot worse. At great risk to her personal safety, she began to unravel the ugly truth about officers involved in human trafficking and forced prostitution and their connections to private mercenary contractors, the UN, and the U.S. State Department. After bringing this evidence to light, Bolkovac was demoted, felt threatened with bodily harm, was fired, and ultimately forced to flee the country under cover of darkness—bringing the incriminating documents with her. Thanks to the evidence she collected, she won a lawsuit against DynCorp, finally exposing them for what they had done. This is her story and the story of the women she helped achieve justice for.
Somebody’s Daughter– Julian Sher
They are America’s forgotten children, the hundreds of thousands of child prostitutes who walk the Las Vegas Strip, the casinos of Atlantic City, the truck stops on interstates, and the street corners of our cities. Many people wrongly believe sex trafficking involves young women from foreign lands. In reality, the majority of teens caught in the sex trade are American girls–runaways and throwaways who become victims of ruthless pimps.
In Somebody’s Daughter: The Hidden Story of America’s Prostituted Children and the Battle to Save Them, meet the girls who are fighting for their dignity, the cops who are trying to rescue them, and the community activists battling to protect the nation’s most forsaken children. Author Julian Sher takes you behind the scenes to expose one of America’s most underreported crimes: A girl from New Jersey gets arrested in Las Vegas and, at great risk to her own life, helps the FBI take down a million-dollar pimping empire. An abused teenager in Texas has the courage to take the stand in a grueling trial that sends her pimp away for 75 years. Survivors of the sex trade in New York, Phoenix, and Minneapolis set up shelters and rescue centers that offer young girls a chance to break free from the streets. “The sex trade is the new drug trade,” says one FBI special agent, and Somebody’s Daughter is a call to action, shining a light on America’s dirty little secret.
In the revised and updated version of this harrowing yet deeply inspirational exposé, award-winning journalist David Batstone gives the most up-to-date information available on the $31 billion human trafficking epidemic. With profiles of twenty-first century abolitionists like Thailand’s Kru Nam and Peru’s Lucy Borja, Batstone tells readers what they can do to stop the modern slave trade. Like Kevin Bales’ Disposable People and Ending Slavery, or E. Benjamin Skinner’s A Crime So Monstrous, Batstone’s Not for Sale is an informative and necessary manifesto for universal freedom.
Little Princes – Conor Grennan
In search of adventure, twenty-nine-year-old Conor Grennan traded his day job for a year-long trip around the globe, a journey that began with a three-month stint volunteering at the Little Princes Children’s Home, an orphanage in war-torn Nepal. Conor was initially reluctant to volunteer, unsure whether he had the proper skill, or enough passion, to get involved in a developing country in the middle of a civil war. But he was soon overcome by the herd of rambunctious, resilient children who would challenge and reward him in a way that he had never imagined. When Conor learned the unthinkable truth about their situation, he was stunned: The children were not orphans at all. Child traffickers were promising families in remote villages to protect their children from the civil war—for a huge fee—by taking them to safety. They would then abandon the children far from home, in the chaos of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. For Conor, what began as a footloose adventure becomes a commitment to reunite the children he had grown to love with their families, but this would be no small task. He would risk his life on a journey through the legendary mountains of Nepal, facing the dangers of a bloody civil war and a debilitating injury. Waiting for Conor back in Kathmandu, and hopeful he would make it out before being trapped in by snow, was the woman who would eventually become his wife and share his life’s work. Little Princes is a true story of families and children, and what one person is capable of when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. At turns tragic, joyful, and hilarious, Little Princes is a testament to the power of faith and the ability of love to carry us beyond our wildest expectations.
The White Umbrella: Walking with Survivors of Sex Trafficking – Mary Frances Bowley
Sex trafficking. We hear about it on the nightly news and in special interest stories from around the world, but it occurs daily in communities all around us. Every year, thousands of young women are forced into sexual exploitation. Most are under the age of 18. The damage this causes to their emotions and souls is immeasurable, but they are not without hope.
The White Umbrella tells stories of survivors as well as those who came alongside to help them to recovery. It describes the pain and the strength of these young women and those who held the “white umbrella” of protection and purity over them on the road to restoration.
This book offers principles and guidance to anyone with a heart for these hurting young women and a desire to help. It is an ideal resource for individuals or organizations seeking to learn what they can do to assist these victims in becoming whole again.
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Let’s make sure to keep praying for those caught in this life this week. And if you are looking for a way to help, check out this list.