“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” ― William Wilberforce
I have long been an admirer of her writing on her blog, and was excited to see she had written a novel. I had downloaded the free first chapter from Amazon, and before November it was on sale, so I jumped at the chance to purchase it.
I was not prepared for what I read.
I was not prepared for the depth of the story. For the horror of the story. For the truth of the story.
Because there is very little that would inform you that this book is about a girl who lives with extreme physical and sexual abuse every day, and her eventual journey out of it.
And I’m glad that the tag lines and the first chapter didn’t give this away, because I’m not sure that I would have downloaded it. I know how easy it is for me to absorb stories, especially ones as graphic as these and let them seep deep into my soul. I probably would have justified not making the purchase by thinking ‘I can’t handle that’. And I would have been right…but I would have missed out. Because know that I have read it, I hope that I will never be the same.
As Wilberforce so aptly put it, “…you can never say again that you did not know.”
I couldn’t stop thinking about the book, about its contents. I couldn’t stop reading it. And yet I was horrified and overwhelmed.
I know about the illegal trade of people for the sex industry. I know of their circumstances but really have no idea of what they are going through. While I know these things…they have as of yet to light a fire in my life that something needs to be done. That this can be changed, this must be changed, this must end.
I also just saw a video that an organization that fights sex slavery put out that put on display a shocking diorama of the people who are bought and sold during huge sporting events like the Final Four, the Superbowl and the World Cup. It was sobering…and I’m not sure about the entire way in which it was done…but it proved a very provocative point. This exists…in OUR country, somewhere that we can DO something about it…and now that we know, we can either act or choose to turn away with that knowledge in our minds.
And being the pessimist I am, I often think…what can one person do, what can 10 people do…the problem is so large and there are so many ways in which they are trafficked, how can we even begin to make a difference. I know of groups like A21 and Destiny Rescue that are making a difference internationally, and I’m thankful for the way in which they step out into this often overlooked ministry that is heart breaking, and bringing hope and healing in these situations.
I have a friend who lives in Hamilton who has begun a charity called ‘Priceless’ a fundraiser whose money is given towards the individuals and organizations with whom she has come into contact with through her abolition work towards the eradication of human trafficking and sex slavery. She knows this is happening and is doing something to change it.
And I wonder…there are so many things in this world that have been changed because people stepped up and said ‘this isn’t right, we will NOT stand for this’…and yet, will I DO something or will I continue to sit on this knowledge and just let it be something that bothers me but doesn’t break into the reality of my life, and seeking to make a difference in at least one person’s life who may be impacted by these heinous crimes.