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Stolen: The True Story of a Sex Trafficking Survivor Book Review

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Stolen: The True Story of a Sex Trafficking Survivor
by Katariina Rosenblatt

This book was much darker than those I've read before. I decided to read this book because, as someone who is outspoken about ending human and sex trafficking, I thought I should read more on this topic. I didn't know what to expect. If you read the reviews on Amazon, don't believe them. I thought this book was amazing. It's about how one woman escapes the sex trafficking world as a young girl, thanks to the help from God. She discusses her experience as a victim turned survivor of sex trafficking. It's an amazing story to hear, and one that isn't often discussed. I usually write about human trafficking as a topic, but never saw it from the victim's perspective.

Summary

The author of the book, Katariina Rosenblatt, tells the story of her life. Her childhood was met with severe trauma and abuse, as her father treated her mother, brother, and her terribly. He sexually abused Katariina, and treated her like she was nothing. Katariina stated that she was the perfect victim because she received no attention or love as a child, and desperately needed it. That's when she first experienced sex trafficking, as an older woman approached the then 13 year old Kat (for short) to be her "friend." This friendship came at a cost, as the author would soon learn. She managed to escape, but the trafficking world found her again, as Katariina had an "invisible target on her back for traffickers to see." The author is met with sex trafficking two more times throughout her life, and is the victim to many acts done against her will. 

Throughout the depression and pain, Katariina discovers God. She first learns about Him during a Billy Graham sermon, and the words Billy told her would stick with her, even in her worst times: "Remember, God will never leave you or forsake you!" Even when she thought she would die or nobody could help her, Katariina would hear God's voice for her to change her life. "This is not the plan I have for you." 

Despite being a high school dropout/drug addict/sex slave, Katariina decides to leave that life and become something better. The author states she was tempted, but she refused. She gets married (although that is met with turmoil and she gets divorced), has kids, gets her high school degree, goes to college, and finally earns her Ph.D. She faces many other trials, but manages to trust in God and herself to become better.

Analysis

Katariina said something that stood out to me. She spoke of how most victims of sex trafficking, once they've hit a certain age, are useless to their traffickers. Once they're back in the normal world, they don't know how to cope and often take their own life. If they don't do that, they turn to prostitution or adult movies because that's all they know. Katariina said she's one of the lucky ones because she had the chance to turn her life around. 

Even how the scene of this tragic story happened in Florida is horrible. Today, Florida has the third highest human trafficking rate. The fact that this happened in the 80s and 90s, knowing that Florida has such high numbers today, is just shocking.

I remember her mentioning on page 82 with an asterisk how caressing a woman's hair (often done by traffickers) is a technique that sexually arouses women. That was shocking to read.

She also included, which I wanted to share from page 106: "Some people might ask why I was so stupid to get caught in trafficking more than once. But those who ask don't realize the pain and lack of self worth in those of us who are victimized."

Reading her experience with God was incredible. He truly saved her. It was like a shock I needed to read. God will never give up on you, even when it seems like no one is there. Just like when she got pregnant, and the clinic told her that "It's just a blob of tissue. You should focus on your modeling career." At the time, she was an upcoming model. God spoke to her to leave the clinic, that He had a plan for her child. She listened, and has never regretted keeping her son. Or even the story she shared of how God saved her from getting AIDs, when AIDs was rampant at the time.

This isn't just a story of hearing what sex trafficking is like. It's a story of hope and redemption, and knowing God can reach you at your lowest point. You see someone who appeared to be potentially done with life, but God managed to help Katariina that the life she was living wasn't the one she should be living. When she got saved, her whole family did too. They saw she wasn't the same girl as before, and her family wanted the same for themselves. She was even able to forgive her abusers.

I also liked how the author stressed that sex trafficking happens to men and boys as well. That's something I've said many times, but nobody takes it seriously.

Conclusion

I really recommend reading this book. You will learn so much. The chapters are short so you can read at least a chapter a day, if not more. When I started, I finished almost half of the book in a span of 24 hours. I haven't read through a book this quickly You won't regret reading this. Definitely got to give this book 5 stars! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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