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Trafficked: The Terrifying True Story of a British Girl Forced into the Sex Trade [Format Kindle]

Sophie Hayes
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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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?


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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Incredible true story. 23 août 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Recommended to me by a friend- a very real turn of events hidden away in the darkest corners of western society.
Raises awareness of the "wide world" dangers, I will be recommending this book to my secondary school classes, young adults nearly out in the world.
Sophies story cannot go unheard.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Amazing story 28 novembre 2012
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
An incredible story that show how far some criminals are ready to go. A story of suffering and survival. Sophie Hayes story should be read to understand what can happen to everybody, everywhere.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  245 commentaires
38 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Brave author, thank you for shedding light on this horrendous issue 3 octobre 2013
Par Sasha B - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
The previous reviewer who callously assumed that this is a made up story simply illustrates the major problem with this type of crime. Why did the 3 young ladies held captive in Cleveland for 10 years simply not bash Castro in the head and run? Really easy to assume and castigate when you have never personally known such horror. Show a little compassion.

Trafficking and abduction are still relatively rare enough in Western nations that the average person cannot perceive of what an abductee has gone through, as far as they are concerned, a book like this is only a script for a Hollywood exploit. But every time a person like the previous reviewer turns an apathetic eye to the issue, it allows yet one more child or woman to be taken and sold into forced prostitution.

I applaud this author for writing this book and shedding much needed light on this appalling issue. I wish her all the best on her continuing efforts to find peace and normalcy in her own life and her crusade to help the lives of countless others in forced bondage.
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Live To Read ~Krystal 15 novembre 2013
Par Krystal Larson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
It's surprising to think about girls being trafficked in this day and age, but the reader may be surprised (like I was) at how often it happens even in America. I can't imagine how the author handled this situation. If it was me, I don't think I would have shown so much grace under pressure. Sophie was a girl who did not know about sex trafficking (at least, she didn't think it could happen to her). When the unthinkable happens and someone who is supposed to love her more or less sells her, Sophie must rapidly recover and get back on her feet.

It has to be horrible to submit to another person for sex. Sophie relied on Bledi for the basic necessities for living because she had no choice. Unfortunately, this reliance comes at a heavy cost. I thought Sophie's character was wonderfully developed and shown through (the reader will make a connection to the author). There were scenes that were absolutely heart-breaking and will make the reader angry. This book is recommended to adult readers.

*Review copy provided for review, this in no way affects my review*
19 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Heart-breaking and courageous 27 janvier 2012
Par Sibel Hodge - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Last year I wrote Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave to try and raise awareness about trafficking, so after my research for it I was expecting a lot of the horrific ordeal that Sophie describes in her book, but many others will not be. The truly scary thing is that trafficking is a huge global problem, and yet many people aren't aware of it, or they often assume that it happens just to people from poor countries. Sophie's story shows this isn't the case. She is an educated British woman who, like a lot of us, had emotional baggage that made her more vulnerable. She put her trust in the wrong person. A mistake that was a tragedy for her and could've cost her life. It proves that a normal person who accidentally slips up could be in the same situation. It could happen to you, or your daughter, or your sister, or your wife. In fact, it's going on under your nose right now. That woman working on a street corner or in a sauna or massage parlour that you see every day could be trafficked. That's why Sophie's story is so important, and together, we can all do something to raise awareness.

This subject is hardly ever in the media so I applaud Sophie for having the strength and courage to share her story, and break the common misconceptions that surround trafficking. Victims hardly ever speak out because they're threatened that their families will be killed. Often they cannot escape because they are brainwashed into believing their captors and they don't know who to trust. Their lives are a living hell.

You will cry while reading Sophie's heart-breaking story, and you will feel disgusted, sick, and angry, but it's a story that needs to be read. No one should have to go through this, and I hope this book and the work she's doing with Stop the Traffik will aid her healing process. She's a truly courageous and inspiring woman.
15 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Readable and topical but raises red flags 1 février 2014
Par Steve C. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Trafficked, a first-hand account of sex trafficking written by Sophie Hayes, who was a victim, is shocking, involving, and not at all poorly written, but it's not pleasant to read. There are pages upon pages of degradation and abuse that are bleak and difficult to get through. That doesn't factor into my rating; it's to be expected from an account of this sort. But one does venture into a book like this looking for edification, and with the hope that there will be at least some redemption in the end or a glimpse toward a brighter future. I wasn't as uplifted by the author's reformation as others seem to have been--I didn't put down the book confident that Ms. Hayes had remade herself and her future. While she showed much courage as a survivor of brutality, she was also unable to stand up and stop her tormentor from doing this again to her or someone else. And, perhaps more importantly for her future, I'm not sure she came away with a very clear understanding of why this happened to her and why she was so vulnerable in the first place. Her interactions with men--they way she sees them as either her saviors or abusers--are disturbing. She becomes subservient to the cruel ones and is somewhat callous and insensitive to the kind ones who genuinely love her. Until she resolves these issues, her ability to find happiness and stability in a relationship remains in doubt. That, at least partly, contributes to my middling response and rating.

But my main problem with the book, as a few others have expressed here (and it's certainly not a popular view) is that I have doubts about the veracity of the story. It's not that I'm blind to the cruelty that happens in the world, and It's not that I can't imagine this happening the way the author said it did. Yes, she made poor choice after poor choice to put (or keep) herself at risk, which becomes very frustrating for the reader to absorb. But a person's low self esteem can contribute to her being victimized and trapped in horrific circumstances. If you're not given approval from the people who should love you the most, and the most unconditionally, you lack basic tools of self preservation, which leaves you more prone to being a victim. Sophie makes many head-scratching decisions in the course of her interactions with Kas; she keeps letting him believe he can worm his way back into her life--even after she has escaped his immediate control and is back in her home country. Unlike other skeptics on this site, I get that her judgment might be impaired by fear and low self regard, and I understand that people don't always react to difficult situations the way the reader would like them to react.

But Sophie's story raises other red flags. I wanted to believe, not that this awful thing happened to Ms. Hayes, but that she wouldn't invent such a harrowing story (albeit seemingly not for notoriety or personal gain, but as a cautionary tale for others). But all the notes of victimization are hit almost too perfectly, and I couldn't get past the idea that maybe, just maybe, my emotional buttons of outrage were being pushed. Sophie is not only prostituted, but verbally abused and beaten nearly to death over and over again (which she describes each time in vivid detail) by someone with no redeeming qualities--someone whose actions she often excuses and whose approval she continues to court. At first this response provokes in me anger, then frustration, and finally a kind of numbness (much as the numbness Sophie adopted to survive her situation).

And what of Kas, her abuser? There's never any real sense of who he is and why she was so completely drawn in by him. He's a cartoon villain who doesn't really comes alive on these pages. (It's not that I want to know him. But, as Sophie says she loves Kas and has inextricably tied herself to him, it's important to get at least some realistic sense of him to understand her motivations better.) But Kas might as well have been an invention of a Lifetime movie screenwriter. When he gains her trust, he's almost too good to be true; suddenly (VERY suddenly) he becomes too vile to comprehend. He''s spent FOUR YEARS in the good-guy persona, building her up (without even sleeping with her in all that time, mind you) by saying and doing sensitive, empathetic things. Then he's suddenly incapable of doing or saying anything sensitive or empathetic. It could be that she wanted to believe in someone, and had blinders on where he was concerned, but it's hard to believe that someone as wary of men as Sophie was did not see any danger signs for four years from this completely narcissistic and likely sociopathic person. She had what could have been a healthy relationship with someone who regarded her highly and treated her well, and she sabotaged that relationship, only to pursue one with creepy Kas.

By leaving this rating, I'm giving the author the benefit of the doubt that the story is (at least in essence) true. The truer it is, the more my heart goes out to Ms. Hayes. She may have partly engineered her victimization through her naivety and emotional damage, but she did not in any way deserve what happened to her. No one deserves to be victimized, especially not in this way--having their freedom to decide how to live their own life taken away. Trafficked is not fun to read, but I do applaud Sophie's courage in surviving her ordeal and telling her story as a warning to others.

If the story is not true, however, I'm not sure what rating I'd give it, and shame on the author and her editor and publisher for manipulating the sympathies of people who are genuinely shocked by these kind of events and concerned for victims' welfare. I felt manipulated and empty as I was reading James Frey's "memoir" and starting to doubt it (even before it was confirmed to be largely fictional), and I had some of the same emotions while reading this book. It doesn't matter at all to me how moving an account is, or what the motivation is for writing it, or even whether it's well written, if what is sold to me as non-fiction turns out to be fabrication.

It's not for me to say, based on little more than suspicion and an uneasy feeling, what is and isn't true. I'm only jotting down my impression. I would, however, advise readers to keep an open mind and listen to their instincts if they feel they are being drawn into a story that may be at least partly embellished. I would have advised Sophie to do very much the same thing. If she had, she might not have become a victim.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 A sobering reminder to read reviews prior to purchase 18 juin 2014
Par yacon - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This book popped up as a suggestion on my kindle after finishing another book. Saw there were a decent number of reviews, high overall rating, and took a chance. Usually when I do that, and don't actually examine the reviews for legitimacy beforehand, the book is just a couple bucks, so it doesn't really matter if it turns out to be a flop. This one was quite a bit more, was touted as having "took the UK by storm", and seemed like a good bet at the time. Oh how I was wrong.

You'll see that the reviews are dominated by many similar 5-star reviews. In the few negative reviews however, people express their frustration with a woman who makes no attempt to escape, despite many chances to do so, and even at various times describes her prostitution experiences and her abductor/pimp/abuser in favorable terms.

The comments to these reviews often bring up Stockholm Syndrome and Battered Women's Syndrome as an explanation to the unrelatable and unbelievable actions taken (or not taken) by the protagonist. That's fine, and these are legitimate conditions, but I feel the book should be marketed as such.

A more accurate book description:

"An apparently mentally unbalanced woman who was verbally abused as a child goes on a trip with a purely platonic friend (who initiated their friendship by stalking and harassing her), decides that even though she doesn't love him, he makes her feel safe and maybe she should give it a go. They go from just friends one day to sleeping together that night, and the next day, this boyfriend-of-one-day manages to brainwash her into working as a prostitute on the streets of Italy. Despite having resources such as a phone, ample money on hand at any given time during her unsupervised shifts, interactions with police and several friendly clients, hospital stays and even hospital transfers, enormous stretches of time away from her abductor, and more, she never leaves, due to an undiagnosed phsychological condition predisposing her to instant and total mind control. In fact she actively takes steps to be reunited with her abuser. Read this book to explore this fascinating physchological phenomenon."

Although even with that description, it wouldn't be a really good book to explore those conditions, because you really are never taken into her mind to understand why she acts the way she does. That's what initally really bothered me about this book: not even that the plot (story?) is so ridiculous, but that you are never really shown any of the mental anguish and terror that you would expect from a victim of such abuse. The book largely goes like this: "I couldn't believe he wanted me to do these terrible things. But I did it anway because he scared me. Then I did it about thirty more times. It was really terrible. Although sometimes it was okay. Sometimes he beat me really horribly. But I still craved affection and approval from him."

I remember watching the movie "Human Traffic" with Mira Sorvino, and feeling like I had been run over by a bus by the end. Absolutely soul-crushing. Later I saw the movie "Taken", and while it can be said that it provided some mainstream exposure to human trafficking, I also felt that it presented a Disney Human Trafficking Lite version of the subject, which I believe can sometimes be as damaging if not moreso than no exposure to a topic at all. I started to get a similar feeling reading this book, though while Taken's shortfall was that it exposed us to the horrors of human trafficking but left us with astronomically unlikely perfect happy ending, this book was something entirely different.

If someone has never really been exposed to the horror of human trafficking, and they read this book, they are going to come away with the idea that the victims of human trafficking are mentally unbalanced and self-destructive women who have plenty of opportunities to literally walk away at any time but for some mind boggling reason don't. This is quite different from the typical human trafficking narrative where victims are abducted, physically restrained, guarded, drugged, and raped to death. As I say this, I know it appears that I am minimizing the abuse and mental coercion that many women experience, and while I am in no way trying to do that, I do not feel this book is a good representation of the power of mental coercion, threats, and abuse that force victims to stay in abusive situations, since it never really makes you feel or understand that fear. Again, my takeaway is that this is a much better illustration of a woman with a severe mental illness that causes her to stay in (or rather form) an abusive relationship and make decisions that most women wouldn't.

A couple examples, in addition to the bounty of implausibilities other reviewers have mentioned:

- At one point she's worried that a particular shady looking client may "rape" her, but then comforts herself that hey, she's going to have sex with him anyway. It blew my mind when she said that. That as a self-proclaimed victim of human trafficking and sex slavery, she did not consider herself a victim of rape. This just struck me as completely bizarre and I could not relate to it.

- Some take issue with the many concrete examples of opportunity to escape that she didn't take. More troubling for me was the total lack of any illustration that she even had a desire to escape at the onset. Even during their first conversation, as he's explaining her new situation to her, I would imagine myself desperately formulating escape plans, eyes darting, looking at the door, looking for my purse, phone, etc, in a state of fight or flight panic. Her response is quite different. You could describe it more as downtrodden. Just crying and asking him to please change his mind. She's in disbelief and goes to bed that night telling herself that hopefully he'll change his mind in the morning, that he's just in a bad mood. Keep in mind this was not her boyfriend for four years, this was a guy who literally stalked her when they first met, who she became platonic friends with for a couple years through phone/text only, not even in person, then didn't hear from for two years, then out of the blue heard from again and went on a couple trips with, was not in love with, and had just slept with for the first time the night before. It's not like her serious partner of four years all of a sudden flipped. Then I could understand some confusion and disbelief. In my mind, my response would be oh @#$% oh @#$% run run run. Call the family, tell them to call the cops to protect themselves from his alleged threats, then get out of there.

To be perfectly honest, the irrational behavior (yes, not escaping when given time alone, time with hospital workers/police officers, a phone, and tons of cash is irrational, even if *excused* by mental illness) COMBINED with the lack of explanation and detail into her mental state made this book a hard sell for me. I could not help but doubt the legitimacy of the story, and seeing the abundance of completely unconvincing 5-star reviews didn't help that.

The worst thing I can say about this book is that frankly, it didn't seem like a true story. It was just unbelievable.

The best thing I could say about this book, is that maybe it is true, and in that case it is just extremely poorly written. If it is true, of course I apologize, but if I wrote a book about a crazy but true life experience, and people didn't believe it, I would want to have the chance to revise and improve my writing to make my thought processes, decisions, and actions more clear to the reader. And perhaps, given the story here, changing the direction of the book to delve more into the psychology of the author would be appropriate. It would be fascinating to read a story about Stockholm Syndrome from the victim's perspective, but that isn't the way it's presented here.
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