This is a book that hit close to home for me and I was eager to read it and I am here to tell you that these things to happen and unfortunately, from personal experience and trauma, the story in this book is true about girls being held against their will and forced to have sex with men. I am talking about 12 to 16 year old girls, not women.And the bad part is that this book and my experience both happened in Atlanta, so if it can happen in a great place like Atlanta, full of good ole southern hospitality, it can occur anywhere! Rescuing Hope was written by Susan Norris and once you read it, you will watch your young girls a little bit more carefully, I hope.
Here is an excerpt from the back of the book:
Every two minutes, evil strips innocence from a child and sells her into slavery for sex. Not in a third-world country, but in the United States of America. Before you take another breath, the next victim will be tricked or taken from her family by a profit-hungry criminal.My thoughts:
She could be a neighbor. A friend. Your sister. Your daughter. You.
At fourteen, Hope Ellis is the all-American girl with a good life—until the day she tries to help her mom with their cross-town move by supervising the movers. When they finish, one of the men returns to the house and rapes her. Held silent by his threats, darkness begins to engulf her. But the rape proves to be the least of Hope’s troubles. In a gasping attempt at normalcy, she succumbs to the attention of a smooth-talking man on the subway. He promises acceptance. He declares his love. He lures her out from under the shelter of her suburban life.
Hope’s disappearance sets a community in motion. She’s one of their own. They determine to find Hope, whatever the cost, before she’s lost forever.
This book was eerily close to my own experience with my granddaughter but because I am not sure if these people have been caught or not, I cannot reveal any real details for fear of retaliation.
Thankfully, my granddaughter was only gone a week, not 18 months like Hope.
I know she was not harmed in that way because of circumstances I cannot tell you because I do not need to be on their radar but the girl that was with my granddaughter was put thru the same treatment that Hope was on a little different scale and things transpired that are completely different but in the end, it was kidnapping and holding them against their will.
We got very lucky in that someone who knew my granddaughter recognized her and phoned us ASAP and could give us the location. Other than that, I really can't say more other than both girls were rescued. The girl with the trauma is not in the state of Georgia anymore and has continued on with her life and is married with 2 children of her own now. So, it is possible to get this all behind you. But you do need the help of others to see it thru. Don't try to do this on your own.
In Hope's case, the perp who calls himself T is constantly threatening Hope that if she does not cooperate that he will go and kill her mother. Evidently, he had scoped her out and knew where she lived and would actually take pictures of the mother out and about. So, Hope knew he was watching her mother. (this part is really true because the same was said to my granddaughter about me).
But, the difference between Hope's mom and me is that I live 50 or more miles from Atlanta so it's not like he could come and find me but my granddaughter did not know that for sure. She was also told that if she left they would kill her friend who was locked in a room while she was allowed out.
These predators know how to scare young girls who aren't sure about anything. They know when they are sad or confused. It is their business to know which girl to approach and act like a friend and offer to be their friend if they need someone to talk to. They gained Hope's trust by getting her to talk about what was bothering her.
And that was the new move and the rape that happened while the moving men had moved them, one of them came back and raped Hope knowing she was home alone. Hope felt dirty and cheap and felt like she had done something to deserve that so she did not tell her mom or anyone else for a long time. You see, this rapist, the moving man, had told her he would come back and do the same thing again to her and her mother and then kill them.
So, one day on Marta, a man slowly gains Hope's trust and she tells him what happened. He appears to be so compassionate about it and she falls for it hook line and sinker. Then he says he wants to take her to meet his friends and even though she knows better in her gut, she wants this guy to keep paying her attention, so she goes.
Unfortunately, for Hope, that party never ended! She was raped repeatedly in that dirty filthy room and then she was trained to be a hooker and every so often the guy would bring her a new picture of her mom and that is how he kept her on a leash.
But, the good news was, that Hope's best friend never gave up on her and went to downtown Atlanta as often as possible with her church group and they would sing and pray and help anyone who turned up and wanted to get out. There was even an undercover cop living in that area who finally got a good look at T, the pimp, and was keeping an eye on him.
Hope's story does have a good ending, just like my granddaughter and her friend, but at what cost?
I truly hope that you will read this book and if nothing else, be informed and be aware of what is going on around you. Human trafficking is going on everywhere, not just in Europe or Asia anymore, it is here in the U.S.A. and unless we step up to the plate, it will continue and more and more teens and preteens will go missing.
About the Author:
A powerful voice for hope, international speaker Susan Norris helps teens and women find freedom in the areas of purity and spiritual identity. With a master’s of education from UNC-Greensboro, this former teacher now networks for organizations such as Resolution Hope and Not for Sale and raises her voice for victims of sex trafficking across the nation.
Susan serves as a catalyst for action among her peers and walks alongside rescued girls as they piece together their shattered lives. You can check her out on her site.
Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you.