Walking Prey: How America's Youth Are Vulnerable to Sex Slavery
Today, two cultural forces are converging to make America's youth easy targets for sex traffickers. Younger and younger girls are engaging in adult sexual attitudes and practices, and the pressure to conform means thousands have little self-worth and are vulnerable to exploitation. At the same time, thanks to social media, texting, and chatting services, predators are able to ferret out their victims more easily than ever before. In "Walking Prey," advocate and former victim Holly Austin Smith shows how middle class suburban communities are fast becoming the new epicenter of sex trafficking in America. Smith speaks from experience: Without consistent positive guidance or engagement, Holly was ripe for exploitation at age fourteen. A chance encounter with an older man led her to run away from home, and she soon found herself on the streets of Atlantic City. Her experience led her, two decades later, to become one of the foremost advocates for trafficking victims. Smith argues that these young women should be treated as victims by law enforcement, but that too often the criminal justice system lacks the resources and training to prevent the vicious cycle of prostitution. This is a clarion call to take a sharp look at one of the most striking human rights abuses, and one that is going on in our own backyard.
"Rarely does a book synthesize the complicated world of the sex industry with such insight and thoughtfulness. Told from a survivor's perspective, this book should be required reading for service providers, community members, and our young people." --Lisa Goldblatt Grace, LICSW, MPH, Co-Founder & Director My Life My Choice
"Walking Prey sheds light on the shameful reality of child sexual exploitation and human trafficking within the United States. Holly Austin Smith's story helps to unravel the common mistruth that American youth are not vulnerable to human trafficking. Holly's courage and resilience is powerful, as are her thoughtful recommendations for law enforcement, government officials, and parents." --Cindy McCain, Business Owner, Humanitarian, & Senior Advisor to the McCain Institute
"Both as a parent and as the leader of a national organization concerned with the child sexual trafficking plague, I am grateful for this book and I urge parents and policymakers to read it." --Tim Winter, President, Parents Television Council
In this thoroughly researched and profoundly moving account of sex trafficking in the United States, Holly Smith examines every statistic through a deeply considered reflection on her personal experience of being trafficked as a young teenager. By taking this courageous and generous approach she closes the gap between sensationalism and reality and opens the readers mind and heart past judgement and misconceptions to compassion and a desire to take action. --Deborah Kampmeier, writer and director of "Hounddog"
"By candidly sharing her experience and her expertise, Holly Austin Smith helps professionals understand how they can help, not hurt, child sex trafficking victims. She thoughtfully teaches parents, educators and all of us what is within our power to do to prevent this horrendous crime." -- Melysa Sperber, Director, Alliance to End Slavery & Trafficking
In Walking Prey, Holly exposes how the manipu
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