In The Slave Across the Street by Theresa Flores, she recounts her terrible nightmare of being used as a sex slave in the Detroit area. As she recounts her story, I found myself wanting to vomit at some of the hidious acts against this young teen.
Theresa was fifteen when her whole world turned upside down. At fifteen, you think that nothing can touch you. You start thinking about the opposite sex, and your stomach turns to mush when that special someone walks by. She recounts how a simple act of flirtation led to one wrong decision, which led to one nightmare after another. She was forced into losing her virginity at fifteen and then pictures surfaced that forced her to choose between her family's safety or embarassment. She chose to protect her family & that single decision catapulted into eighteen months of servitude to a human trafficking ring.
Hearing Theresa's story made my stomach spin in disgust. Theresa came from an upper middle income family. She was white, blonde and blue-eyed. Human trafficking is not isolated to third-world countries. This book pulls the lid off sex slavery and child exploitation. This story is not devoid of pain, sorrow, hurt or healing. Theresa is healing – emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally.
After she tells her story, she provides valuable information for parents, law enforcement, friends, educators to be aware of the signs of someone who is hurting. We always think that we will see the signs, but the truth is, we don't want to look deep enough into people to see their hurt.
This book is a must read for parents, counselors, teachers, kids, friends and whomever you can put it in their hands. This book is graphic and it will shock you, so consider yourself warned, but it is important to read or listen. I was a bit naive that something like this could touch me in my middle class world, I'm glad I listened to this book.
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