WARNING: This review contains spoilers so read at your own risk.
This last week at the bi-weekly meeting of the Avengers book club we chose to read Little Peach by Peggy Kern for our next meeting. This is a relatively short book with a powerful message that goes beyond it’s pages.
This is the story of Michelle (“Punky” to her loving grandfather). This is the story of how she became a prostitute at the age of 14 in New York City. How does this happen and why does this happen?
I did a project on human trafficking for my state FCCLA (Family Career and Community Leaders of America) project and I took this project to Nationals, with my partner Taylor. This started out as my friend’s project because she wants to spend her life fighting to end human trafficking. I joined her in this project and learned more about human trafficking than I had known before. The biggest misconception about human trafficking is that it happens overseas. Human trafficking happens in our own backyards and to people we know. It doesn’t have to be Asian girls overseas it could be innocent 14 yr. old girls who are lost, alone and taken advantage of. That is how pimps or”daddies” find their targets-girls who are easily taken advantage of. I watched a testimonial of one girl who despite being a straight A student, cheerleader, and headed to college, ended being targeted by a human trafficker. They started “dating” and he convinced her to move to New York with him and become a “dancer”. After stripping for a couple of months he started pressuring her to sell herself for sex because it made more money. This is how it starts-not violent and scary. It starts innocent and simple. They gain your trust and then they use it against you.
Michelle was lucky enough to escape at the end of the story through the help of Daniela who worked for CSW. But there are countless others like Kat who are not so lucky. They go missing and are never found again. Kat said in the book that her, Peach and girls like them aren’t missing because no one cares that they are gone. That is how these girls fall between the cracks because there isn’t anyone to care if they go missing and that is just the sad truth. That isn’t true of all girls who trafficked but it is true for a majority of girls.
I highly recommend reading the author’s note at the end of the book to read about Kern’s research and the names of the victims she interviewed. She wrote her book based off these testimonies so while this book may be “fiction”, it tells the all too real story of forced prostitution and human trafficking.
If you would like to read more information on human trafficking I would recommend visiting this website Shared Hope International.