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

( 20 )

Overview

During her teens, Rachel Lloyd ended up a victim of commercial sexual exploitation. With time, through incredible resilience, and with the help of a local church community, she finally broke free of her pimp and her past and devoted herself to helping other young girls escape "the life."

In Girls Like Us, Lloyd reveals the dark world of commercial sex trafficking in cinematic detail and tells the story of her groundbreaking nonprofit organization: GEMS, Girls Educational and ...

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Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale, an Activist Finds Her Calling and Heals Herself

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Overview

During her teens, Rachel Lloyd ended up a victim of commercial sexual exploitation. With time, through incredible resilience, and with the help of a local church community, she finally broke free of her pimp and her past and devoted herself to helping other young girls escape "the life."

In Girls Like Us, Lloyd reveals the dark world of commercial sex trafficking in cinematic detail and tells the story of her groundbreaking nonprofit organization: GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services. With great humanity, she shares the stories of the girls whose lives GEMS has helped—small victories that have healed her wounds and made her whole. Revelatory, authentic, and brave, Girls Like Us is an unforgettable memoir.

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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.”
Marie Claire
"Fascinating and moving."
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."
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."
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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061582066
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 79,183
  • Lexile: 1210L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.44 (d)

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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Table of Contents

Prologue 1

1 Learning 15

2 Risk 29

3 Family 47

4 Recruitment 67

5 Pimps 83

6 Johns 101

7 Victims 115

8 Cops 133

9 Staying 149

10 Leaving 169

11 Relapse 185

12 Unlearning 195

13 Stigma 209

14 Healing 223

15 Leadership 237

16 Beginnings 255

Acknowledgments 269

Notes 273

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great read!

    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.

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  • Posted September 18, 2012

    Shocking!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    I loved this book.

    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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  • Posted March 11, 2012



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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    Girls Like Us

    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

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  • Posted February 27, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    THIS IS REALITY

    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.

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting subject......very repetitive.

    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.

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  • Posted August 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing account

    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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    Posted June 27, 2011

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    Posted September 9, 2011

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