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

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 

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061582066
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/28/2012
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 155,041
Product dimensions: 5.36(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.44(d)
Lexile: 1210L (what's this?)

About 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.

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

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.”

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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. 24 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.
BrokenTeepee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a powerful book. It weaves together Ms. Lloyd's own story of growing up in an abusive household and her entry into prostitution and her subsequent rise out of "the life" to create GEMS - Girls Educational and Mentoring Services - with the stories of the girls she met along the way. And I do mean girls. Some of these trafficked girls were as young as eleven. It is very hard to read stories of girls that young being abused at the hands of both their pimps and the justice system.I found I couldn't read the book through like I would a novel. I had to read a chapter or two and then put it aside and read another book for a bit. That is not to say that I was unhappy to have read Girls Like Us. It is a book, I think that needs reading. I was very unaware of much that I read regarding just how young some of the girls are. I was very unaware of the mis-perceptions people hold regarding young girls and the supposed "choice" they make to be a prostitute. Ms. Lloyd's personal story is harrowing and she deserves so much credit for pulling herself out of the hell she found herself in and using her experiences to try and make things better for girls in similar situations. She spares nothing in telling her personal story; not of her being beaten by her "boyfriend" or of her relationship with her alcoholic mother. She uses her past to connect with the girls she counsels. She has been where they are and she knows some of what they are feeling.But the book isn't all about the bad; there is hope and lots of it. There are a lot of people who want to help stop the trafficking of young women and give them the resources they need to live a more normal life. That is where GEMS and groups like it come it. And books such as this that raise awareness and change perceptions. I'm glad I read it.
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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.