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Breaking Free ❮BOOKS❯ ✵ Breaking Free ✫ Author Abby Sher – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Somaly Mam was born in the forests of Cambodia in the early 1970’s and sold into sexual slavery by her “grandfather” before she was even twelve years oldMaria Suarez came to America from Mexico Somaly Mam was born in the forests of Cambodia in the early ’s and sold into sexual slavery by her “grandfather” before she was even twelve years oldMaria Suarez came to America from Mexico when she was fifteen with her family She went on a job interview to be a maid When she got inside her “interviewer” locked the door and told her he owned her body from that moment onMinh Dang was born in San Jose California Her house was always neat and there were bright rose bushes in her front yard Nobody knew that behind closed doors her parents were raping and abusing her from the time she was three years old Soon they started selling her body to neighbors as wellThese three women could easily have been voiceless victims lost to the horrors of their own histories Instead they not only fought their way out of sexual slavery they have each become leading advocates and activists in the anti trafficking movementSomaly Mam began her work simply by supplying condoms and soap to the enslaved girls Soon she was taking girls into her own home and helping them learn a trade Eventually a foundation was born where young women rescued from the sex trade could begin new lives for themselves Maria is a counselor for abused women in California and speaks all over the globe about her experiences and empowering women to speak out for their rights She is also busy starting the Maria Suarez Foundation dedicated to Prevention Rescue and Restoration of survivors Minh is getting her Master’s in social work and has worked as executive director of Don’t Sell Bodies with actress Jada Pinkett Smith Minh writes and speaks internationally about what it’s like to be a survivor and on learning how to love fearlessly for the first timeBreaking Free True Stories of Girls Who Escaped Slavery by award winning author Abby Sher recounts these women’s incredible journeys from sex slave to survivor to savior— but it doesn’t stop there The book delves even deeper into the horrors of human trafficking an issue at the forefront of global outreach and activismWith help from Somaly Maria Minh and many other survivors and counselors Sher tells the riveting story of what it means to be liberated from sexual trafficking and find the trust and conviction to help educate new survivorsRemarkable timely and incredibly inspiring Breaking Free will strike a chord with all young readers as it recounts the stories of these courageous young women who instead of running from their pasts choose to help those still caught in the system It sends the powerful message that even in the most tragic circumstances the unwavering hope and compassion of the human spirit can and will shine throughThe book has already been hailed by activists and educators as a powerful tool for the classroom and beyond Breaking Free Teacher’s Guides are available for educators to incorporate the book into their lesson plans and include uestions and exercises aligned to the Common Core.


10 thoughts on “Breaking Free

  1. Liviania Liviania says:

    In my uest to read nonfiction I stumbled across BREAKING FREE It tells the stories of three women who escaped sexual slavery Somaly Mam Minh Dang and Maria Suarez with an additional section detailing facts about sexual slavery what to read next and what to do to stop human traffickingI really appreciated that Abby Sher focuses on what Mam Dang and Suarez did after they escaped their captors and how they went on to help other women in sexual slavery She's very clear about what happened to them but refrains from prurience There are none of those magazine descriptions of rape that go into every little detail However I felt that Sher's writing was too simplistic This is a book about sexual slavery for teens but the style often made it seem like a book about sexual slavery for children I preferred the uotes in BREAKING FREE taken directly from Mam Dang or SuarezThe majority of the book slightly over one third focuses on Mam She has saved innumerable Cambodian girls from sexual slavery through her foundation AFESIP However she resigned from her foundation after the May 21 2014 Newsweek article Somaly Mam The Holy Saint and Sinner of Sex Trafficking by Simon Marks This article revealed that Mam lied about parts of her history and coached other girls to lie about theirs It casts a pall over this section of the book and the depth of Sher's research There have been previous less complete and publicized reports of the inconsistencies in Mam's storiesI think others might stumble upon BREAKING FREE and be inspired by the stories of survival and activism within But I can't recommend it as an introduction to the topic of sexual slavery I do recommend that people look into the stories of Maria Suarez and Minh Dang They will be particularly eye opening to some readers because both women were held captive in the United States Trafficking is a problem everywhere


  2. Dana Dana says:

    There are people trafficked and held captive as slaves today than there were over the course of the transatlantic slave tradeThis book was very difficult to read but I couldn't put it down It is filled with hard ugly truths and amazing strength Reading these women's stories made me angry and depressed but also left me with hope and a great desire to do something anything to help end modern slaveryThe stories are all very well written and all of the women come from different situations This book does a good job of opening your eyes to slavery Breaking Free True Stories of Girls Who Escaped Modern Slavery educated me so much and dispelled many stereotypes that I thought I knew about sex traffickingEveryone needs to read this book and spread the word It is hard to read but we owe it to the survivors of these terrible crimes to hear their storiesFor information on human trafficking and how you can help visit these siteswwwsomalyorgwwwsagesforgwwwpolarisprojectorgwwwgems girlsorgwwwhalftheskymovementorgwwwfairgirlsorgwwweualitynoworgNote I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review


  3. Natalie Auermann Natalie Auermann says:

    This book is compiled of three true inspiring stories of three girls who escaped sex slavery One of the girls Somaly Mam was sold into the sex industry by her “grandfather” She was sexually abused every day and she was in a horrible living condition in Cambodia One day she found a nice couple who gave her education and her “grandfather” let her go to school at their house From this education early on in her life she was able to use it when she escaped the sex industry a few years later Another one of the girls Maria Suarez moved to America with her family when she was 13 She was offered a job with little description and excitedly and naively she took it As a result she was raped at this “job” every day for a week When the police finally found out about what was happening somehow the rapist turned it around on Minh to make it look like her fault She was sentenced to jail until the real story finally came out She was set free and started the MSD foundation The last victim Minh Dang was sold to different men every night by her own parents Also her own father raped her every night and her mother blamed it on Minh When Minh got to 18 years old she convinced her parents to let her attend college They agreed and there she cut herself off from their control and freed herself from the psychological bonds that had been formed for her whole life She snow speaks to large crowds all over the world and inspires people to never give upAnyone who is interested in hearing inspirational stories of strong women who have endured harsh conditions and made it out alive would enjoy this book Breaking Free is a biography so anybody who enjoys biographies would like it as well Also it’s non fiction People who aren’t too bothered by extremely heart wrenching TRUE stories would find it interesting I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to anybody under the age of 13 as the author uses some rough graphics in her description of many of the girls’ situations It’s very sad so if you’re looking for a happy book to read this one is not the one for you However I feel it is extremely important for everyone in the world to be aware of what goes on to so many people every day Especially since it’s between the ages of 11 months to 17 years A broad range of kids get trafficked in the sex industry in every country every day and there needs to be awareness spread So really everyone should read this book over the age of 13This book was satisfying to me because all three of the girls who's stories were shared ended positively Although they all still struggle with anxiety and mental physical abuse from their parents pimps or rapists they all come out alive and able to make a difference in the world Each of the girls I read about started their own organizations which target other girls who have been effected by sex slavery Reading that they all help in a huge way around different parts of the world California Cambodia and Mexico to give girls safe places to rehabilitate and get themselves back to a normal state of living was really inspiring and satisfying to read about As for the author’s writing style it was nothing out of the ordinary It was easy to read and it was a fairly uick read


  4. Paola Perez Paola Perez says:

    Breaking FreeAbby Sher NY Barron’s 2014 170 pagesAbby Sher’s latest book is about three untold stories of young women facing modern slavery Breaking Free is a shocking and heartbreaking non fiction novel about Somaly Mam Minh Dang and Maria Suarez’s childhoods As young girls Somlay Minh and Maria grow up in poverty which made living difficult But poverty was not the only problem; being sold for their bodies was the other problem Constantly having sex with people either from family relatives to complete strangers these girls faced rape throughout their whole childhoods Somaly was abandoned as a baby in northeastern Cambodia and was raised by a different family that called her their own Everything in Somaly’s life was going smoothly until she was old enough to go to school The family realized how expensive her education would be and decided to sell Somaly to man who said to be her uncle From that very moment on Somaly’s life went downhill Minh Dang’s life also went downhill but she lived in San Jose California with her mother and father Minh never thought of them as her parents because they always hit and yelled at her even when she was not doing any harm The only person who was really doing harm was her father Late on night her father would come to Minh’s room while she was asleep and aggressively rape her Minh felt trapped in her home but she was not alone Maria was trapped in a stranger's home in California while trying to start a new life and leaving Mexico behind Maria was trapped with a man who constantly raped her and treated worse than an animal These young women facing modern slavery were mentally and physically trapped Readers would want to support Somaly Minh and Maria as they find their ways out and discover their voices Be prepared to face the truth about modern slavery and the tragic situations that come along as well


  5. Clare O& Clare O& says:

    This shocking unflinching and very readable book tells of three women in particular as representative of all the young girls and women sold beaten or forced into slavery and sexual abuse today We read of a girl in Cambodia who was sold over and over to pay other people's debts and who was bought by a Swiss aid worker who freuented her pimp's brothel That couldn't happen here? A girl in California was abused by her own parents a seemingly respectable Vietnamese couple who brought her to a brothel to earn for them every night throughout her school and university days A legal Mexican immigrant in America was kidnapped then enslaved as a house maid and sexually abused for six years before her captor was killed by another member of the household who left the girl to take the blame Jailed for twenty five years she was released after twentyThese brave young women have gone on to campaign on behalf of girls like themselves blogging speaking at meetings or starting a sewing workshop school and safe house and have received international awards BREAKING FREE shows not only that girls are being enslaved and tortured on a daily basis but that we can all help to fight this behaviour and support the organisations which campaign for change Abby Sher repeatedly stresses that all money earned by the girls goes to their abusers and the girls have no choice in the matter Sweden makes the purchasers of sex the criminals instead of the prostitutes and Abby Sher says that governments need to consider this move I recommend this read


  6. Erin Erin says:

    This book presents the stories of three women who spent part of their lives in slavery how they found their freedom and became heroes in the work of ending sex trafficking Sher gives introductory information and statistics about sex trafficking as well as many resources to learn and become active in the moment I received this book through NetGalley and highly recommend the book The topic is eye opening and the writing is breathtaking


  7. Katarina Katarina says:

    very difficult to read but a must read The stories must be read and shared and we need to talk about sex trafficking and the victims of this crimeThe book is horrendous and painful to read but at the same time filled with strength empowerment hope and perseverance It has inspired me


  8. Amy Amy says:

    This is extremely painful reading but thankfully it's also written very simply apparently with middle or high schoolers in mind? so it's a fast read It focuses on three different women with very different experiences of sex trafficking I think the second one is one that many US readers will find very eye opening and shocking an apparently middle class set of parents in a San Jose CA suburb rape and beat their daughter regularly from age three and take her every night to work in a brother from age 10 She goes to school and soccer practice during the day and she even does so well academically that she attends UC Berkeley the top public university in the country Still her parents pick her up every day while she's at college to force her to continue her nightly brothel work until she finally emancipates herself in her early twenties A lot of US residents tend to assume that forced sex work is something that happens to poor or vulnerable women and children elsewhere as is the case with the first and third profiled women these stories are also horrific and the failure of the US justice system in the third case is appalling but the second one shows it could actually be your normal seeming classmate who is being abused by her parents We could all be doing to eradicate slavery I appreciated the list and description of antislavery organizations in the back of the book; a dispiriting number of them are in the US dispiriting because the problem here is so big in the land of the free I am very glad that some people are attempting to help victims with essential servicesUpdate after reading someone else' review I learned there is a lot of controversy about how much of the story of first survivor profiled Somaly Mam is made up She recently resigned from her foundation after investigations into whether she was a child prostitute as she claimed I'm docking a star because those issues were not addressed in this book and her story was presented as fact I don't want to read lurid torture stories that are fake I want to know about real situations and help real people Plenty of organizations like Polaris are doing just that More info


  9. Ashley Ashley says:

    I am not usually a fan of non fiction books but I decided to give this book a shot because it is an important thing to read about The book follows the stories of three women who were part of sexual abuse and human trafficking It tells how they came out of it and moved past it or are trying to It tells how they became activist to protect others in their situationWhile I have never been part of something like this it is inspiring to hear these women's stories and makes me want to help in some way The book has got me all tore up inside I will be looking into different ways I can help in my local areaThis is a book that everybody needs to read Thank you for writing such an amazing book In a world like this it is much needed We need to help save these women and protect them as much as we can Women are people not commodities to be sold and used for somebody else's profit Please take the time to read this book and learn how these people lived


  10. Nikki Nikki says:

    Let me be clear I didn't actually like reading this book It was difficult to get through but I'm glad I picked it up It was on a table at our local library that I stopped at and I'm glad I did I hope that reading these stories will help me be aware of my surroundings and to speak up ifwhen I notice something that seems out of the ordinaryI was horrified by the way these women were treated but if I'm honest the hardest part for me to read was in the back of the book when the Minnesota Pipeline was called out as one of the worst areas for trafficking My home state I remember talk of work being done before we hosted the Superbowl but I thought that was just precautions for a big event


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