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Trafficked: The Terrifying True Story of a British Girl Forced into the Sex Trade - Sophie Hayes

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Author: Sophie Hayes / Paperback / 304 Pages / Book is published 2012-01-19 by HarperCollins

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    2 Reviews
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      29.08.2012 13:10
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      Worth a read

      ~~Trafficked by Sophie Hayes~~

      I had seen this book advertised a few times over the past few months; on the TV, in newspapers and in my magazines. It drew me in from the title, I was like many, unable to believe that this horrifying tale of events had occurred to a normal UK female, who had a good career, supportive family and friends and had her own independence. The story shows how this horrendous thing can happen to anyone and that you should protect yourself, your family and your friends from falling into the traps that ultimately lead to this happening.

      ~Book description taken from Amazon UK~

      He'd been her friend for years. He said he loved her. Then she realised 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?

      ~Review~

      The book is one which would ordinarily appeal to me as I am a big fan of true stories; I have never read a book of this kind before though. Before reading this book I was very much in the dark about the whole business of sex trafficking, I especially did not know that it happened in countries such as Italy, France and the UK. I suppose I was naïve in this way as I only thought things of this nature happened in poverty stricken countries such as India. Since reading this book it has definitely opened my mind and I have since gone on to look up Sophie's charity and seen the work that she does to help educate others into the grim world of sex trafficking.

      I purchased this book on my Kindle, like most books I read at the moment. The book had an Amazon rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars which therefore reinforced my decision to purchase this copy. I paid £1.49 for my kindle version, which was an absolute bargain considering this book was only released in January of this year, the paperback version can also be purchased from the Amazon website for £4.37 from Amazon themselves, or from private sellers from £2.37 or used from £1.88 (prices accurate on date of writing this review 29/08/2012).

      The story gripped me from the first page and I therefore finished the full book in just short of two days. The story is easy to read and has snippets of the languages which were spoken to Sophie when she was on the streets, this made me think how Sophie must have felt when she was forced onto the street, having to learn the local language (primarily sexual terms) in order to keep herself safe and for her to be able to understand what was going on and what these men expected of her. My heart went out to her and I felt like I began to know Sophie as I read further through the book, it sparked emotions in me which I didn't feel was possible from a written piece of text, her story of desperation and despair and how she overcome all the problems and got her life back on track ended the story on a real feel good note. It made me believe that the small problems I face daily are nothing compared to what some women/men/children have to go through and they still come out the other end as strong as ever. It truly is inspirational.

      I think her story was written beautifully as it was not merely the gritty details of her experiences but it allowed you to understand her as a person and how she has overcome the past and got herself back to where she was before all of these events happened to her. It is also nice that Sophie wrote the book herself rather than having a ghost writer, it is more personal and I believe it allows you to feel that the story is more accurate and raw with emotion than if someone other than Sophie would have wrote it.
      I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to broaden their own expectations of today's world, and for those who love to read true stories. I would say that it does contain upsetting accounts of what Sophie has dealt with but the actual accounts aren't fully detailed so it does make it more appealing to a broader audience. I think this woman deserves to have her story read and appreciated, this is why I think you should read it and report on your personal experience on reading her story.

      ~More information on the author and the book~
      www.sophiehayesfoundation.org
      www.facebook.com/SophieHayesFoundation
      www.twitter.com/SophieHayesFndn

      ~~Book details~~
      Paperback: 304 pages
      Publisher: HarperCollins (19 Jan 2012)
      Language: English
      ISBN-10: 0007438885
      ISBN-13: 978-0007438884

      Review also on Ciao under the same username

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      • More +
        09.06.2012 00:14
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        A fantastic read, at a great price too!

        I have to start this review by saying... this is one of the best books I have read for a long time! It takes me a while to actually get into books, so I don't buy them very often, but this had me caught from the first page!
        I read this book in under a week, which is good for me.. I just couldn't put it down!

        The story
        What I loved the most, is how fast paced the story is throughout, it jumps straight from normal life into the life of trafficking without missing out the important details of how she ends up trapped, including the relationships she makes and how these effect her life.
        The author- which is the girl in the story, does an amazing job of getting the reader involved with the emotions of the story.

        It is interesting to read about her life in Italy, and the other countries she was taken to as she expresses her experiences and emotions in a powerful way.
        She addresses the thoughts of the reader well. "People may wonder why I didn't take this opportunity to escape" and I thought she did a great job at enabling the reader to understand her actions, why she did the things she did to survive and how she felt throughout.

        This story is a true story, and it is absolutely amazing. The way the girl lives through her experience of trafficking, and how she survives is utterly inspiring.
        I stopped reading these 'depressing stories' as I thought it was weird that I enjoyed them so much, but I have never read a story as good as this one. Don't let the front cover make you believe it is just like every other of those 'real life' stories on the shelves, because it is different, and it is a very good read!

        I think many readers will be able to relate the story in some way, as the strength and will power of the character gave me inspiration. This story will stick with me forever, as it not only provides a good read but it also provides very interesting information about the harms of trafficking and how people are taken and effected.
        This story will hopefully do a good job at educating young girls on the dangers of trafficking, as it allows you to read about scenarios of trafficking which you wouldn't expect to appear.

        The girl in this story is a decent, well brought up girl who is doing well in her life, and this sort of character isn't usually one perceived to be the sort of a victim to trafficking. At the end of this book, it tells you about the stereotypes of trafficking and the truths and myths as well as educating you on how to avoid and how to get help.

        Price

        I picked up this great read from Tesco in the two for £7 or it can be bought for about £3.50 on its own. I don't like paying much for books, as I usually read the first chapter and forget I'd even started it! But this book is definitely well worth the read! I would recommend it to anybody, even if you don't usually read real life stories because it is so moving and educational!
        Having said that, it has made me quite paranoid! I can no longer look at a foreign guy without thinking they're going to kidnap me!

        And in the words of Plan B - What makes this book all the more gory, is that this book is based on a true story!

        Thank you for reading, I also post on Ciao

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