Earlier this year, I wrote an article on home grown trafficking (http://sharonbenningprince.com/articles-events/home-grown-trafficking) whereby I considered the case of the gang of men imprisoned for the grooming, trafficking and abuse of young girls. At the time, there were many stories in the media, provided by young girls who had fallen prey to the gang, and it provided a very sad and sickening insight into the gang’s activities.
I have recently read yet another amazing book on trafficking called ‘Stop the Traffik’, by Steve Chalke, who was also on Chris Evans Radio 2 show a few weeks ago (http://stopthetraffik.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/steve-chalke-on-bbc-radio-2-with-chris-evans/). This is a factual, candid, and thoughtful book that not only relays victims’ stories but provides key points as to recognising potential victims, the actions one can take and how people can raise awareness.
“Stop the Traffik” talks about the grooming of young girls in the United Kingdom and provides an account by a mother of one of the victims of the trafficking gang. The account is heartbreaking. As a mother myself, I admire her for her candid account and also share her pain. It emphasises the fact that not only is the trafficked victim affected, but also those persons around such victims, who wish to help and yet do not know how.
The mother in the book states:
“ The worst thing for a parent is not being able to control or protect your own daughter. It was so hard for me to sleep at night. How do you sleep when your thirteen year old is out on the street somewhere, and you’re not able to protect her? You question yourself. Is it something I’ve done? Have I treated her differently to my other children?”
My children are my very core and are often at the heart of many of my articles. My endeavours to raise awareness of the abuse of women and children increased substantially following the birth of my daughter. On a daily basis, I worry about her future, her life, and how I can protect her. I am not naïve to think that grooming and victimisation cannot happen to any family and as the victim’s mother in Chalke’s book states:
“A lot of people think things like this happens to ‘bad’ families. But it can happen to anybody.”
The above statement is why awareness of the trafficking of women in the United Kingdom has to be brought to the fore of peoples’ minds as we have an obligation to protect not only our children and loved ones but all victims of trafficking.
The extract from Chalke’s book comes from ‘STOP! She’s my daughter’ – where mothers of abuse victims share their stories of grooming and children sexual exploitation in the United Kingdom published by CROP (Coalition for the Removal of Pimping). 
 Copyright Christine Miles. CROP is a national charity working with parents and carers to end the sexual exploitation of children and young people by pimps and traffickers. Visit www.crop1.org.uk
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