A few months ago I was recommended a book written by a survivor of human trafficking, Sophie Hayes.
While I was aware of the horror of human trafficking I was under the illusion that it only happened to people, who were living in poor and war torn countries.
So I was shocked to discover that Sophie was a young woman in her early twenties with a good job in the UK ,a home of her own and a family who loved her.
It had never crossed my rather naive mind that well educated, well supported young woman were falling prey to the evil that is the human traffickers.
Reading Sophie’s book was a real eye opener for me. It left me with a mixture of emotions, anger at the way human trafficking was allowed to exist and admiration for the bravery of Sophie herself. She has faced a nightmare and survived.
Sophie story started when she trusted and believed in a friendship, this friendship turned into ownership.
Can you own a person?
I didn’t believe you could but after reading Sophie’s story and looking more into human trafficking it seems you can.
Sophie like thousands of others each day became property to be used over and over again.
Its not right, it is illegal, but its happening.
I believed slavery was a thing of the past. How wrong was I?
In the world there are over 27 million people living their lives as slaves. 27 million can you get your head around that?
And thanks to the bravery of people like Sophie we are learning that this evil is out there and that we all need to be aware.
The Sophie Hayes Foundation is a new organization that started in January 2012.
Their vision is to live in a world free of human trafficking and modern day slavery.
Their mission is to raise awareness about, and support survivors of, human trafficking and modern day slavery.
Their values are that they will work openly and transparently with other organizations against human trafficking and modern day slavery.
I admire Sophie’s courage and I support her aim to rid this world of human trafficking.
It’s not going to be an easy job, awareness is not going to be easy. People need to know the reality of human trafficking, Sophie could be your sister, your friend at school, the girl at the end of your street.
Also the men who frequent the sex shops are not aware of the reality behind the sex trafficking.
In Sophie’s words
“There was a huge contrast in the types of men I came across; no stereotype seemed to fit. Although some men were very unpleasant, others could have been your brother or even your father. I could have been their daughter! None seemed to think about the fact that I may have been there involuntary or what I might be going through. I have always wondered why more men aren’t educated on the realities of human trafficking and the hell of working in the sex industry.” (Sophie). Changing the perception of men who buy sex is an enormous task but we believe a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step”
Sophie speaks the truth it starts with one step.
Im not sure where I read it but it was said that drug trafficking was yesterdays crime, when a drug is sold its a one time commodity where a sex worker can be sold over and over again. A reusable product.
This broke my heart, people being seen as a reusable product.
I admire Sophie greatly and I really recommend that you all go buy her book. Its not an easy read, it tears at your heart in a horrifying way. But it is so worth a read.
Sophie is a victim of a horrifying crime and devastating betrayal, but she isn’t giving in. She is fighting back, raising awareness and looking at ways to support survivors. Bringing human trafficking out of the dark and into the light, where it cannot hide in the shadows.