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  • Writer's pictureProfiles in Catholicism

The Slave Across the Street: a human trafficking survivor’s spiritual journey of healing

Updated: Jul 29, 2022

Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Profiles in Catholicism

Most of us know very little about the perils of human trafficking. The author is a generous person who tells us her story so we can be better members of our society and put an end to this awful sin of our society. This book is a about the journey of grace that has allowed the author to heal and trust again, and about how the Lord removed her shame. This healing has been especially important from the further wounds of unknowing strangers – people who question how this could truly be “slavery” who comment that Theresa must have had an option and therefore it could not be slavery. Theresa supposes that she was seeking validation again when she allowed the comments to pierce her. Rejection and shame are emotions that people with post traumatic syndrome disorder, (PTSD) , live with daily embedded deep within Theresa’s soul.

The author realizes that this is a difficult subject for many to embrace and that no amount of witnesses or perspectives that she provides will convince some people that she had no sense of viable options in the circumstances. It is the author’s greatest hope that as our society continues to unravel the dynamics of power and its abuses. More people will understand that her story of the sexual exploitation of a child- who is a child and has no other options. The author hopes that when the book is finished there is a clear understanding of how simply and easily this occurs – around the world and right here in the United States. The author’s desire is that you would share this with other parents. This book also provides hope that a survivor can heal and turn something horrific into a catalyst for good. For then the journey will not have been for naught.

This is the story of the author, Theresa Flores, who is from the suburbs who was manipulated, coerced, and threatened into terrible things against her will, while others profited. What is most important is that people become aware that it is happening in the United States, in cities and small towns, to kids of every color, very socio-economic background, to kids with two parents, or one parent, or no parents. It is vital that people understand how easily this can happen to any child.

Theresa Flores has become a leading human trafficking subject matter expert and activist. But reaching this point in her recovery didn’t happen overnight. This updated edition delves deeper into the aftermath of her experience, physical and emotional implications, and multiple levels of trauma that trafficking can have upon a person. Read the book and then offer it to someone else who needs to be informed of this tragedy in our society. Thanks to Theresa for her generosity in reporting this.

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