He’d been her friend for years. He said he loved her. Then she realised she didn’t know him at all…
When everything seemed to be falling apart in Sophie’s life, she was thankful for her friend Kas, who was always at the end of a phone, ready to listen and to offer comfort and advice.
Her father’s cold dislike of her and then her parents’ divorce had left her with a deep distrust of men. But, gradually, Kas made her believe there was at least one man who truly cared about her.
But she was wrong.
At first when Sophie went to stay for a few days with Kas in Italy, he was kind and caring, as he’d always been. But three days after she arrived, everything changed.
His eyes were cold as he described the things he expected her to do ‘for love’. But soon Sophie’s bewilderment turned to fear as he punched and shouted at her and threatened to kill her adored younger brothers if she didn’t do exactly as she was told…to sell her body on the streets to pay off Kas’s debts.
Terrified of Kas, the police and the men whose pleasures she was forced to satisfy, Sophie worked seven nights a week for the next six months on the dark and lonely streets of a town in northern Italy.
Subjected regularly to Kas’s verbal, mental and physical abuse, she knew she would never escape.
And then, one day, after she’d been admitted to hospital with stomach pains – and knowing that Kas would kill her if he found out – she dared to phone her mother.
But who would reach her first?
About the author
Sophie Hayes was in her early twenties when she was forced into prostitution in Italy. Following her horrifying ordeal, Sophie is rebuilding her life in London. She is working with the charity STOP THE TRAFFIK and the William Wilberforce Trust to raise awareness of trafficking and to help other women life herself. To date she has worked with Cherie Blair, the Metropolitan Police and the UN.
The Sophie Hayes Foundation was set up and inspired by Sophie in January 2012. Since Sophie's return to the UK she has been relentless in her work in order to make a difference and change perceptions. The mission of the Sophie Hayes Foundation is to raise awareness about, and support survivors of, human trafficking and modern day slavery.
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At age 18, British national Hayes was lured from her family by a 19-year-old Albanian illegal immigrant named Kas, abducted into Italy, and forced into prostitution at gunpoint to pay off his enormous debts. Her harrowing story reads like a real life version of the Liam Neeson film Taken, except for that story s quick resolution. Hayes describes in detail the six months she spent as a sex slave working seven nights a week, servicing on average, about twenty-five customers every night. The book is a gripping if grim look at the psychology behind the pimp-whore relationship: Kas plays upon Hayes s emotional vulnerability and lack of self-worth: Kas s anger with me was justified and he was right: I was far too stupid to be loved by anyone... gradually, as the minutes and the hours ticked by, my mind shut down and the numbness almost obliterated the fear and revulsion. She finally gathered the courage to contact her family for help and returned to England, where she is now the founder of her own antitrafficking charity, the Sophie Hayes Foundation. Her disturbing look at sex slavery starkly raises awareness and should achieve her stated goal that the story might help to keep other girls safe.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Sophie is so brave to write her story and I’m so impressed with her ability to carry on after what she has been through. This book should be read by all women, men and young people to help bring this horror out into the open. Thank you Sophie for being so brave...
Can't put it down
Took me 2 days to read this I couldn't put it down. I just wanted to reach in and save her. Written so well, sad and inspirational read.
Picked this book up after work this afternoon...and just finished it 4.5 hours later. I didn't even stop to eat dinner. What an eye opening, shocking, harrowing ordeal this girl has encountered. And for her to turn everything around and come out on top and want to share her story in the hope it will help others?..truly inspiring.