This week’s reflection is on a book titled Girls Like Us and it is authored by Rachel Lloyd. The cover also says “fighting for a world where girls not for sale”. After reading that title I had a feeling this book was going to be about girls being prostituted at a young age and after reading prologue I sadly realized I was right in my prediction.
The prologue starts with the description about a girl who likes swimming, SpongeBob, Mexican food, writing poetry and getting her nails painted. To a normal person this sounds like a normal description for a little girl but normal is not the adjective to describe this girl because this little girl has been trafficked (or prostituted) by her 29 year old pimp on Craiglist to adult men. When I read this I automatically felt like someone took a pin and pricked to my chest because I remember being eleven and enjoying getting my nails painted and Mexican food. I was a normal, happy little girl but that same could not said for the girl mentioned above.
The author of the book talks about starting a nonprofit organization called Girls Education and Mentoring Services (GEMS) because she was a victim of child trafficking but she was able to break free from her past and start up her organization so that she could be advocate for girls going through what she did. This book is Rachel’s memoir and recounts events in her life that led to her becoming the person she is today.
The first chapter that is titled Learning starts off with a quote and it says “Child sexual exploitation in the most hidden form of child abuse in the United States and North American today. It’s the nations least recognized epidemic”. That quote tells me that this is a crime that is done under radar before someone gets caught for it. The quote remind of me of what Ariel Castro did to the women in his house for ten years. He did not pimp out those girls but he sexually abused them for a whole decade before he faced the consequences for his actions.
The author talks about visiting Riker’s Island in the first chapter and she talks sitting down with a group of women and there is one woman talks how the Rachel coming to see them was God sent because so many other people had been to talk to them but could not really understand what the girls had been through when it came to child trafficking but they felt like Rachel understood because she had been in their shoes before.
I know there are a lot of people who do go around and speak to people at foster homes and prisons and they try to help as many as they can but they might not always understand what people are going through but when they know that someone has been through what they have it can offer a source of comfort to them. I believe that is another reason why Rachel started this organization because she wanted the victims of child trafficking to know they were not alone in what they were going through.
The author discusses meeting Aisha in chapter one as well and she talks about how...