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Renting Lacy

September 23, 2011

The topic at dinner as of late has been football plays, lots and lots of sounding out of words, and a daily report on table groups’ rewards. The athlete, the new reader, the competitive one. Just the normal-beginning-of-school chatter.

But at night I’ve been re-absorbed in the world of human trafficking. Having gotten involved in a group at church and helping to bring an author to town has reawakened my commitment to end modern day sex slavery. However, it is my work with Prax(us) which has compelled me to learn more about domestic trafficking… the causes, the cases, the reality. And as a Mom, I am reminded of the need to be vigilant and protective of my own children.

Renting Lacy: A Story of America’s Prostituted Children (A Call to Action) was written by US Congresswoman, Linda Smith, the founder of Shared Hope International. It is a disturbing read, but crucial in understanding the various ways in which a child might be “trafficked” (which is to say, coerced into sex work as a minor) within our own country. Through stories and commentary, Smith shows us the psychological manipulation by pimps, the systematic break down and succumbence of the child, and the demand of the johns. It is horrific. It is real. It is happening (estimates range from 100,000-300,000 domestic minor sex trafficking/year).

I have new eyes for the vulnerable, sullen adolescent, a prime target for older “boyfriends.” I have a heightened disgust for pornography, which feeds and produces johns, luring them deeper into perversion, violence, and pedophilia. And I have found myself being a bit more watchful of my kids, snapped out of the idyllic town life we now have.

If you have wondered what it looks like and how it happens in our country, Renting Lacy is a must read.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan permalink
    September 24, 2011 1:16 pm

    I like how you give your kids Breakfast-Club-style identities: the athlete, the new reader, the competitive one. So 80s.

    How do you keep this up? I am intrigued and feel a responsibility to be aware of the system you are describing, but how much dark truth can a person absorb and still talk about football scores at dinner?

  2. Beth Bruno permalink
    September 25, 2011 9:16 pm

    Hey Susan, Well, you know, I write those things to be clear that I’m just living a “normal” life with “normal” kids and yet, still engage in these issues. It is possible to manage both. I guess I enter into the darkness to make sure I don’t forget that the life I get to lead is not reality for most. Chris’ Practice reminds us that there is always a back story, frequently pain, and this in the midst of church going smiley folks. So my work/study/involvement helps me focus. Little things like signing petitions to my congressman, writing letters to the editor, attending awareness events and staying abreast of things is better than ignoring, or worse, forgetting what goes on in the world. I guess all that to say, the present tension of joy over football chatter and the sorrow over a story I read is one I have knowingly chosen to live with.

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