While more and more people each day become aware of the dangerous world of human trafficking, most people in the U.S. still believe this is something that happens to foreign women, men, and children - not something that happens to their own. In this powerful true story, Theresa Flores shares how her life as an All-American, blue-eyed, blond-haired, 15-year-old teenager, who could have been your neighbor, was enslaved into the dangerous world of sex trafficking while living in an upper-middle class suburb of Detroit.
Her story peels the cover off of this horrific criminal activity and gives dedicated activists as well as casual bystanders a glimpse into the underbelly of trafficking. And it all happened while living at home without her parents ever knowing about it.
Involuntarily involved in a large underground criminal ring, Ms. Flores endured more as a child than most adults will ever face their entire lives. In this book, Ms. Flores discusses how she healed the wounds of sexual servitude and offers advice to parents and professionals on preventing this from occurring again, educating and presenting significant facts on human trafficking in modern day America.
I really liked this book and I think it opened my eyes the way a kid could be blackmailed into prostitution. I would recommend the book.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
My heart goes out to Theresa, and I think her story could have a very important message. Unfortunately, this message did not come across in the audio book. All I really perceived was a montage of horrific acts of violence against a young girl, ending with a list of people that could be blamed for what happened. I did not feel like there was a genuine explanation of how she survives today, or what the readers can actually DO. I'm all for being uncomfortable when reading about such a serious topic, but I would like for there to be a purpose in mind.
To be fair to Theresa, this was truly some of the worst narrating I have ever heard, and that may have contributed to how responded to the story. EVER SINGLE WORD that aggressors said was grotesquely emphasized , presumably to make sure we understood they were evil (They tricked a girl into white slavery. I think we could have figured that out on our own). In addition, the narrator tried to make her voice deep and gruff for every male character and breathless and delicate for every female. The result was actually pretty funny, but this is not a funny story. Raudman, or whoever instructed her, did this story a great disservice.
To summarize: I wish I never would have listened to this audiobook. I am deeply interested in the subject, but this book is NOT the place to turn if you want to learn about the issue of modern slavery. However, I cannot be sure if this is due to Theresa's storytelling or the narrator's ridiculous choices. Either way, "Slave" by Mende Nazer (hard copy; I haven't listened to the audiobook) would be an infinitely better choice.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Probably wont share this one. A very very sad but puzzling story. Not my favorite.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
There is something missing in this story I think the writer wasn't honest completely. There are lots of holes in this story. Parents are blind and deaf! They don't even question the girl when the police bring her home thorn and bloody gang raped by two dozen men. In reality she should be dead after that experience or be in hospital, but instead she just takes a bath!!!!
6 of 10 people found this review helpful
Could not finish. The lack of Communication between family members, fear of stigma, etc. all led to a perfect storm of exploitation.
I feel that this is not a random situation. Such things go on & it just is not noticed. I am a grown woman now but when I was just 14 something similar happened to me. I didn't think of it as slavery but in a way it was. I was a young middle class girl in Iowa whose parents worked and was home alone the whole day. I was lonely and was befriend by an older boy at the neighborhood pool. He told me he loved me & I let him take my virginity awhile in the cool basement of my home. Over that summer he came to me many times. Then one day he asked if his friend could come visit too. I did not want to loose his 'love' so I said ok. Well, he & his friend came over many times until it was time to go back to school. I never saw them again. This has effected me so much. To this day I hate sex and have used it to get what I wanted from different men. I have been married twice and divorced once. My current marriage has last a long time but we just don't have sex. I know my husband would like to but I just can't. This book opened my eyes to this problem but I don't see it going away since there are so many men who would take their pleasure over what a girl/woman wants or needs. Unless men change, I don't think enslaving females will change.
While the story is nothing less than disturbing and grotesque, it is powerful and eye opening! Thank you to Theresa for being brave enough to share your life in order to bring awareness. I recommend that every parent listen to or read this book so that they can be aware of the very present danger. I recommend that every teenage girl and boy read or listen to this book for the very same reason!
I pray that this book awakens an awareness and passion within people to bring an end to human slavery.
Where does The Slave Across the Street rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
8 on scale from 1-10.
Who was your favorite character and why?
the main character Theresa because she detailed the link between her experience and how it fit with the definition of child sex trafikking in the U.S. Cohersion, fraud, and commercial aspects.
Which scene was your favorite?
Her description of being torn to help the next victim. She reached out but the girl was not willing to hear.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I felt sad....she had no one she thought she could confide in...she knew she was experiencing something devastating. In the time period she went through the hellish experience, there were barriers for describing what may have been easily described in later yrs.
Any additional comments?
Her suggestions for parents about watching and communicating with children toward the end of the book was haunting. She was passionate and this is where all the emotion came out.
I have meet a survivor of sex trafficking and heard her story and this book rings very true in comparison with what I heard and have read about this growing issue in the US and abroad. How anyone could try to blame the victims is beyond me. If it happens to independent women of adult age why would we think teens were exempt.
It's horrible that her community/school did nothing about the obvious issues she presented. Regardless of where her she agreed to help or not. The policeman should have told her parents explicitly what he suspected. I can't believe he wanted her to continue the abuse to bust the main guy but does nothing when she doesn't do or say what he wants. Where is his protect and serve mandate?
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
No, due to the horrible experiences described therein.
What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?
The fact that Theresa let the abuse continue for so long.
What didn’t you like about Renee Raudman’s performance?
She was overly-dramatic which made a lot of her narration hard to understand and became frustrating and tiring. The over-dramatization also diminished the point of the book. She was not a good choice to narrate this book.
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
Any additional comments?
Theresa kept blaming everyone but herself for her abuse, and kept stating that she was only a child at the time. I don't consider 15 and 16 years of age that of a child.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful