Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale: A Memoir

Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale: A Memoir

4.3 22
by Rachel Lloyd
     
 

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"Powerfully raw, deeply moving, and utterly authentic. Rachel Lloyd has turned a personal atrocity into triumph and is nothing less than a true hero. . . . Never again will you look at young girls on the street as one of 'those' women—you will only see little girls that are girls just like us." —Demi Moore, actress and activist 

Overview

"Powerfully raw, deeply moving, and utterly authentic. Rachel Lloyd has turned a personal atrocity into triumph and is nothing less than a true hero. . . . Never again will you look at young girls on the street as one of 'those' women—you will only see little girls that are girls just like us." —Demi Moore, actress and activist 

With the power and verity of First They Killed My Father and A Long Way Gone, Rachel Lloyd’s riveting survivor story is the true tale of her hard-won escape from the commercial sex industry and her bold founding of GEMS, New York City’s Girls Education and Mentoring Service, to help countless other young girls escape "the life." Lloyd’s unflinchingly honest memoir is a powerful and unforgettable story of inhuman abuse, enduring hope, and the promise of redemption.

Editorial Reviews

Marie Claire
“Fascinating and moving.”
Corrie Pikul
“Riveting. . . . [Lloyd’s] passionate, persuasive arguments for recognition and protection give a voice to the thousands of girls all around us who work and suffer in near invisibility.”
Jennie Yabroff
“Heartbreaking. . . . But the book is also at times funny, bawdy, and optimistic, as is Lloyd herself.”
Alex Kotlowitz
“Rachel Lloyd’s astonishing stories of life on the street have an accumulative power that left me reeling. What makes Girls Like Us such an extraordinary achievement is that her storytelling is unflinchingly honest, and yet filled with a sense of promise, filled with a profound sense of hope.”
Mira Nair
“This book will burn a hole in your heart. The beauty of Rachel Lloyd’s searing memoir is how she exorcises the pain of her own troubled girlhood by connecting with hundreds of young women on a brutal path.”
Geoffrey Canada
“With empathy and intellect, Rachel Lloyd brings to light the heart-breaking stories of these lost, forgotten, and abused girls. Her own life story is a source of inspiration and hope. She is an important new voice of conscience to which America needs to pay attention.”
Sarah Jones
“Rachel Lloyd’s memoir should be mandatory reading for every cop, prosecutor, judge, and ‘john’, but also every mainstream American who thinks racism, classism, and misogyny don’t exist.”
Janice Erlbaum
“Girls Like Us is a life-changing book, in every sense of the word. Rachel Lloyd changed her life in order to help change the lives of thousands of others—read her incredibly powerful story, and your life will be changed too.”
Richard J. Estes
“Girls Like Us is a powerful and eloquent recounting of the lives of children and young women caught up in the ravages of sexual exploitation….[It] offers valuable insights into understanding the complex emotional and economic factors that contribute to the exploitation of children and youth.”
Library Journal - BookSmack!
In 1998 at age 23, Lloyd founded GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services), a New York City-based nonprofit organization to help commercially sexually exploited young women and girls. Her memoir recounts her journey from a 13-year-old school dropout in England trying to support her unstable mother through years as a commercially exploited worker in the German sex industry before finding stability and safety. Arriving in the United States, she set out to break the system that had abused her, ultimately altering laws and helping to protect victims from criminal prosecution.What I'm Telling My Friends This consciousness-shifting book shreds stereotypes and perceptions of prostitution. Eradicating commercial sexual exploitation seems impossible, but GEMS is a light looming large. — "Memoir Short Takes," Booksmack! 1/6/11
Kirkus Reviews

A former sex worker shares her harrowing history while exposing the ugly truth about young girls who sell their bodies to survive.

Alternating between her own story and those of the girls she has dedicated her life to helping, Lloyd, founder of the nonprofit GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services), describes how poverty and abuse create a conflagration of circumstances under which it is commonplace for girls as young as 11 to be commercially trafficked. Born in Britain, Lloyd watched helplessly as her mother descended into drunkenness and despair, and she left home at 13. Like the adolescents she now helps, the author was desperate for love, acceptance and stability. She found it with a man who turned her out on the streets and routinely terrorized her, but she eventually escaped and embarkedon her life's mission of helping others in similar circumstances. Lloyd points out that underage girls molested by one individual are considered victims, to be protected, but when commercially exploited, they are seen as teen hookers and punished. She exposes the brutality punctuated with kindness with which pimps enforce compliance, comparing their methods to those utilized in hostage situations resulting in so-called Stockholm Syndrome. While control is maintained through violence, these adolescents—who may seem sullen and resistant to intervention—are considered to be complicit in their own abuse. Lloyd fought successfully to change New York state law resulting in the Safe Harbor for Exploited Youth Act, making it the first state to protect rather then prosecute, but she argues that we must all embrace language to reflect this understanding—stipulating that the term "teen prostitute" conveys a pejorative choice rather then the reality of commercial exploitation and trafficking. The author acknowledges but does not directly address males in similar circumstances, but any at-risk child is covered under the new law.

A painful yet powerful book that asks readers to examine personal prejudices, find compassion for those most view as throwaways and recognize child abuse however it manifests.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061582066
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/28/2012
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
104,896
Product dimensions:
5.36(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.44(d)
Lexile:
1210L (what's this?)

What People are saying about this

Corrie Pikul

“Riveting. . . . [Lloyd’s] passionate, persuasive arguments for recognition and protection give a voice to the thousands of girls all around us who work and suffer in near invisibility.”

Richard J. Estes

“Girls Like Us is a powerful and eloquent recounting of the lives of children and young women caught up in the ravages of sexual exploitation….[It] offers valuable insights into understanding the complex emotional and economic factors that contribute to the exploitation of children and youth.”

Mira Nair

“This book will burn a hole in your heart. The beauty of Rachel Lloyd’s searing memoir is how she exorcises the pain of her own troubled girlhood by connecting with hundreds of young women on a brutal path.”

Alex Kotlowitz

“Rachel Lloyd’s astonishing stories of life on the street have an accumulative power that left me reeling. What makes Girls Like Us such an extraordinary achievement is that her storytelling is unflinchingly honest, and yet filled with a sense of promise, filled with a profound sense of hope.”

Jennie Yabroff

“Heartbreaking. . . . But the book is also at times funny, bawdy, and optimistic, as is Lloyd herself.”

Sarah Jones

“Rachel Lloyd’s memoir should be mandatory reading for every cop, prosecutor, judge, and ‘john’, but also every mainstream American who thinks racism, classism, and misogyny don’t exist.”

Janice Erlbaum

“Girls Like Us is a life-changing book, in every sense of the word. Rachel Lloyd changed her life in order to help change the lives of thousands of others—read her incredibly powerful story, and your life will be changed too.”

Meet the Author

Rachel Lloyd is the founder and executive director of GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services. The recipient of numerous fellowships and honors, including the prestigious Reebok Human Rights Award, Lloyd was a leading advocate for the Safe Harbor for Exploited Youth Act, which made New York the first state to protect, not prosecute, sexually exploited children. She lives in New York City.

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Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale: A Memoir 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Girls Like Us is both the best memoir and the best general introduction about commercial sexual exploitation of children ever written. Despite being a ground-breaking exploration of the darkest corner of our society, Girls Like Us is filled with hope, entertaining insight, and humor. It is really great -- an Erin Brockovitch for the new decade. This is an amazing book. And surprisingly enough, it is very uplifting. If the girls in this book can make their lives better after the horrible things that were done to them, anyone can. It made me realize that these girls are victims, that most of them did not choose this life and that everyone can work together to help them and to help others from becoming them.With clear language, this book sheds a needed light on the sexual exploitation of girls and women in this country and their additional victimization by the agencies that are supposed to protect and assist them. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It will change the way you think and everyone should read it! I learned so much about abuse and flawed social structures as well as the court of public opinion. It really enriched my life.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Only 13% into this book & deep rooted emotions of my own life have begun to be stirred. There is nothing like reafing another human beings heart. #LifeInterrupted
SRSL More than 1 year ago
Rachel Lloyd shares her journey with heart-wrenching honesty and vulnerability. She clearly depicts the horrors of commercial sexual exploitation in the United States, and the young girls who are victimized over and over again by pimps, johns, the system that has failed them, and the people who continue to objectify them with their judgments and preconceived notions. This story, however, is still one of hope and the belief that every step forward counts. It is a must-read for anyone and everyone, especially those who do not believe that human slavery still exists...even in their own backyard.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVED every second of this book,it was a true page turner !!! It made me cry multiple times,everyone should read this book and try to help protect the young woman that are in that crucial business.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Starz198710 More than 1 year ago
Rachel Lloyd is doing a fantastic thing for young women who are being exploited and deserves much recognition. With that said, this book got very repetitive and the story could have probably been told in half the amount of pages if things weren't repeated over and over.
PoliSciGirl More than 1 year ago
One of the best books ive ever read. She is a terrific writer and truly wants to help the girls victim to sex trafficking by in turn helping herself.
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MollyMoe More than 1 year ago
A clear look into the world of seually exploited youth and the journey our country is on to deal with this epidemic effectively. Highly recommended, pulls at your emotions through out.
Sister-P More than 1 year ago
I received a complimentary copy "Girls Like Us" from a wonderful publicist at HarperCollins. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I have a penchant for memoirs and was looking forward to reading this book. Regrettably, I read half way through the book and had to put it down. I could not handle the truths and details this book reveals. I deeply admire Rachel Lloyd and the work she is doing with GEMS. She overcame incredible odds, persevered and succeeded. She is an eloquent, brilliant and gifted writer who makes you see, feel and understand the various things she lived and experienced. Even though, I wasn't able to handle the material presented in this book, I do recommend it to everyone who can.