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Books  >>  Sociology

Holly Austin Smith

Walking Prey

Holly Austin Smith Walking Prey How America's Youth Are Vulnerable To Sex Slavery
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Biographical note:

Holly Austin Smith is an advocate for human trafficking victims who speaks about her own experience nationwide. After becoming a victim of child sex trafficking at the age of 14, she nearly committed suicide while the man who abducted her served only one year in prison. Her story has been featured on the Dr. Oz show, as well as in the Associated Press, the Richmond Times Dispatch, the Tampa Bay Times, Cosmopolitan magazine, and Dallas Morning News. Smith writes a weekly column for the Washington Times Communities, and she has submitted testimony to Congress. She has consulted for the National Criminal Justice Training Center and AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program.  She is in constant demand as a speaker, speaking over 30 times in 2012 at universities, law enforcement agencies, and government-sponsored symposiums. She lives in Richmond, VA.

Main description:

Today, two cultural forces are converging to make America's youth easy targets for sex traffickers. Younger and younger girls are engaging in adult sexual attitudes and practices, and the pressure to conform means thousands have little self-worth and are vulnerable to exploitation. At the same time, thanks to social media, texting, and chatting services, predators are able to ferret out their victims more easily than ever before. In Walking Prey, advocate and former victim Holly Austin Smith shows how middle class suburban communities are fast becoming the new epicenter of sex trafficking in America. Smith speaks from experience: Without consistent positive guidance or engagement, Holly was ripe for exploitation at age fourteen. A chance encounter with an older man led her to run away from home, and she soon found herself on the streets of Atlantic City. Her experience led her, two decades later, to become one of the foremost advocates for trafficking victims. Smith argues that these young women should be treated as victims by law enforcement, but that too often the criminal justice system lacks the resources and training to prevent the vicious cycle of prostitution. This is a clarion call to take a sharp look at one of the most striking human rights abuses, and one that is going on in our own backyard.

 


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