Traffic-Proof Your Children

Stolen by Katariina Rosenblatt, PhD and Cecil Murphey:  A Book Review

When my children were small, the traffic I worried about had four wheels and was engine-powered.  We could avoid the danger by staying away from the road.  Stolen will open the reader’s eyes to another danger which shares the same name, but with grave differences:   it comes looking for its prey,  and it is powered by money.  As a sex trafficking survivor, the author’s story is bleak and frightening, but not without hope.

The message for parents and teachers is this:   every child is a potential target for recruitment.  Risk is heightened in situations where there is: (1)an insecure home life; (2) instability of the parents’ marriage; (3) distractions which prevent appropriate supervision of a child’s schedule and companions; (4) anything that gets in the way of the child’s development of a healthy, God-oriented self-esteem and appreciation for his or her own uniqueness.  These are risk factors, but no child is safe from recruitment by traffickers, and this is true of boys as well as girls.  Some chronological looping in the telling of the tale does not detract from the crucial message the author shares.

Rosenblatt and Murphey do an incredible job of tracing the sadness of a lifestyle that is like quicksand.  The truth is that abuse numbs, but serial abuse deadens.  Over time, victims,  because of the drugs used to control them and the steep banks of their pit, seem to lose all traction.  After multiple incidents of being bought and sold, taken advantage of in every way, Katariina found freedom in Christ, but then married an abuser and spent over twenty years in his power.  Although plagued by poor advice from counselors (who incorrectly used the writings of the Apostle Paul as clubs for beating women over the head), her healing came through trust in God’s view of her as a valuable person.  Among the results of her educational and professional accomplishments are:  legislation in Florida that provides safe housing for children coming out of prostitution, a nonprofit organization dedicated to freeing victims of human trafficking, and a heightened awareness of the need for resources and personnel directed toward fighting this modern day form of slavery.

Stolen is not a pleasant read, but it is an important book for:

Parents — Read and ask yourself, “Am I attempting to traffic-proof my children?”

Church leaders —  Read and evaluate, “What is my church doing to minister to individuals who are trapped in this lifestyle?”

Community leaders —  Read and investigate, “Are there locations in my community where traffickers are recruiting or operating?”

I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.

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Michele Morin

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for over 25 years, and their four children are growing up at an alarming rate. Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.” She blogs at Living Our Days, and you can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

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