Alexei 's Reviews > Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls are Not for Sale, an Activist Finds Her Calling and Heals Herself

Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd
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's review
Dec 08, 11

really liked it
Read from November 10 to December 01, 2011

{Sited from my website TeenageBookaholic }

Its a common, horrible thing that happens everyday that so little people understand: Teenage Prostitution. In this book, the author takes us into The Life with girls' experiences, and her own.

At the age of thirteen in Europe, Lloyd had to work in factories, hiding her age, to support her alcoholic mother and herself. With no adult support and an unstable home, she eventually was led into The Life (of teenage prostitution and the selling of girls), where she struggled to find a way out. She didn't know the way out would be an American Air Base and the salvation of a rural church, and finally broke from the hold of her pimp and her past.

After spending 3 years at the base, she had decided to leave and go to America. With painful farewells, she went off to New York City, where the pain of her past would lead her to create a successful, educated life and a life-saving program for girls who were in her shoes before, called
GEMS- Girls Educational and Mentoring Services. The program had bloomed into a ground-breaking, not-for-profit organization, dedicated to educating people and saving these commercially sexually exploited girls.

Normally, Non fiction is a rare thing for me to read, but this book was nominated for a 2011 Goodreads award, and it caught my eye because of the topic. I am a strong activist when it comes to this type of stuff, and I wanted to learn more about commercially sexually exploited girls, and man, was I educated! This book is packed with how the process of "pimping" works and what happens to the minds of these girls. I will admit, it gets long-winded in some places, and it would've left many readers dry and high without her memoir ingrained into the book. That's one of the things that kept me reading, her tale on her experience in The Life, and other GEMS girls' experiences. I also enjoyed how this book was formatted in how the progression of these commercially sexually exploited girls happens, from the chapter "Risk" to "Healing", and how the book wasn't written with the sterility of some written by professionals in their field with no real-life experience, but just book knowledge.

One factor of the book really intrigued me was the police corruption towards these girls and how easily they appeared to judge these girls as "they don't want help", "they could've gotten out if they wanted to", and "they choose to do this". I was just fascinated by how quickly they judged these minors who are forced into sex, abused, raped, etc., and then charged with the act of prostitution and sent to Rikers, and how there are few officers, more likely female, who believe these girls were forced and couldn't get out of their situation, and for that, I am grateful for those few people in the force. Recommended for feminist activists, those who live in areas know for teenage prostitution, and those who are commercially sexually exploited survivors.

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Reading Progress

11/10/2011 page 30
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