Before my first novel, Tatia’s Tattoo, became a file in my computer, I knew sex trafficking existed. But in my narrow perspective, this unspeakable crime was limited to the back alleys of foreign countries or a few mega-cities in the U.S. Orphans were snatched from a hopeless existence and forced into something even worse.
Then, one Sunday evening, a couple visited our church from a town about fifty miles away from my home. They had founded an organization whose mission statement reads, in part: to bring hope to teens silenced by sex trafficking and exploitation in the United States. Talk about a wake-up call! Not only was sex trafficking not limited to faraway places, it was not limited to nameless, faceless children who lived in another reality. It was happening to girls – and sometimes boys – just like the children and grandchildren of my friends and neighbors, the children I saw every week at church or in the grocery store – or at camp. (more…)