Selling the Girl Next Door

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(Forewarning:  Potentially disturbing discussion of sexual abuse ahead.)


On Sunday, I watched a CNN documentary entitled “Selling the Girl Next Door.”  The documentary was about the sex trade in America, and how young American girls (as well as foreign girls) get forced into prostitution by pimps.  The world’s oldest profession has been transformed by the Internet, making it easier for pimps to sell underage girls.


Some scary facts:


  • One third of American street-level prostitutes are under 18 years old while fifty percent of off-street prostitutes are less than 18 years old.
  • 12 to 14 is the average age of entry into prostitution for girls under 17 years old in the United States.
  • It is estimated that somewhere between one and one half million children runaway from home each year. It is safe to estimate that about one-third of those children have some type of involvement or brush with prostitution and/or pornography.


After watching Selling the Girl Next Door, I was so saddened and appalled that this is happening to young girls… right under our noses and on sites like Craigslist and Backpage.  It was especially frightening to me to think that my target audience for the book I’m writing right now is the exact average age that girls get forced into prostitution.  I wanted to do something to help these girls… but I wasn’t sure what I could do. 


Then, I got this email from a reader named Maria.  The universe was providing me with an opportunity to help…and I hope you will help, too!  Maria works at a shelter that helps girls like the ones I saw in the documentary.  Here’s her story:


I recently reached out to Caitlin when she posted on Twitter about a CNN show she was watching about sex trafficking of teens. I currently work for a group home that CNN will be highlighting later this year for young girls that have been sold into prostitution.   143 years after passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, there are more slaves now than any other time in human history.  Shockingly, more than 15,000 women and children are trafficked in the U.S. each year (Americans trafficked by Americans) and the majority are between the ages of 11 and 17 years old, but can be as young as 5 or 6. This number does not include the thousands of foreign women and children that are brought into America each year.  


Human trafficking is the second largest crime industry in the world, it will soon surpass the number one crime industry, drug trafficking. This is happening right under your nose, on websites you may visit every day – Craigslist has been considered the Wal-Mart of human trafficking.


There is a severe lack of protective shelter for victims of commercially sexually exploited children. The lack of protection has caused inappropriate placement for these victims into juvenile detention facilities that do not offer the protection and help these girls need. They are treated like criminals instead of victims. These girls cannot return home due to identity protection from pimps and other risks.  


Living Water for Girls provides a safe place for young girls between the ages of 12 and 17 that have been exploited sexually. I cannot express enough how impressed I am with these girls every day. For example, “Lauren” had the worst situation of all the girls we currently house. Lauren was raped at the age of 10; the next year she ran away from her home where her uncle had constantly molested her. Within 42 hours of being on the streets she was picked up by a pimp that took her to a different state. She was then forced to make $1,000 a night-which sometimes took 10-15 different men to make the money. Her pimp would not feed her and refused her water. The only bath she was allowed was once a week in a certain gas station restroom, where the sink was broken so she was forced to clean off with toilet water. Lauren was constantly beaten, had cigarettes put out on her, and was forced to walk around naked in front of her pimp’s friends as a form of punishment. 


Lauren was finally found abandoned and handcuffed to a bed-she had been there for a week before she was rescued. She was sent to our home, states away from her own home, under a protective order. When Lauren first got here she was uncontrollable, refused to do anything, and was belligerent. Like most girls, Lauren’s self-esteem was built on the fact she could sell her body. She once told me the only thing that makes her feel good about herself is, in fact, selling her body, because she knows the men like it. She says she has always been teased and called ugly. Over her stay here she has made tremendous strides. She has the best personality of any 12 year old I have ever met, she is extremely smart, and cares more about others than she does herself. I have learned more from her than I could ever imagine. I hope to have the opportunity to save more girls just like her.   


Due to lack of state and federal budget resources, we are one of the few homes for girls nation-wide that concentrate on commercially sexually exploited children in America. Because we are not a state-funded home, we rely solely on donations and people’s kind hearts to keep us running. Donations are used for groceries; toiletries; basic needs of the house, like paper towels, soap, toilet paper, laundry detergent, bills, etc; clothes for the girls; and scholarships for girls to come here


If you would like to make a donation, please visit our website, Living Water for Girls and click "donate here".  You can also view pictures of our beautiful facility on our website.   Even $5 would help our home tremendously. Three of the worst things a child can experience are molestation, rape, and inaction. Let us not further add to their victimization by being guilty of inaction.



  • Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn February 9, 2011, 12:42 pm

    This is really wild and eye-opening. Thanks for bringing such a big issue to the forefront Caitlin. I feel like with such a broad audience listening to you, there is so much possibility to shed light on causes. You’re surely making a huge difference for many 🙂

    • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 12:45 pm

      Thanks Mel 🙂

  • Meryl @ scribbled musings February 9, 2011, 12:45 pm

    This makes me so sad to read as a teacher. Girls struggle to find value beyond physical beauty. I
    Glad there are organizations like this.

  • Amber K February 9, 2011, 12:45 pm

    This bothers me so much. I am really afraid for these girls and I’m trying hard not to burst into tears (only because I have somewhere to be in a bit, otherwise I’d let myself bawl like a baby!)

    My money and my prayers will be going to help them!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) February 9, 2011, 12:46 pm

    This is so sad and gross. I will definitely check it out and donate. Thank you for bringing things like this to peoples attention. It is so easy to get caught up in our own every day lives and not realize the struggles that others go through. Thanks Caitlin.

    • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 12:47 pm

      Yes, my troubles seem so small in comparison!

  • Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete February 9, 2011, 12:48 pm

    This makes me so sad. This is the type of thing that you don’t think really happens. The ages of the girls involved makes me sick!

    Thank you for bringing this sort of thing to my attention. I had no idea how huge this problem is. Living Water for Girls sounds like a wonderful organization and I only hope donations keep an effort like this going.

  • Kara February 9, 2011, 12:51 pm

    This is such a hard issue to think about and I’m so glad you’re bringing it to light. It’s horrible to think about that happening to girls in our own country. I’m glad places exist to help them!

  • Natalia - a side of simple February 9, 2011, 12:52 pm

    This makes me appreciate my life and my family/friends so much. Not everyone is fortunate like I am and it’s important to remember that daily. This issue is one that you “know” is taking place, but because it’s not in the media you really don’t see it or experience it in your life. Thank you for sharing this information, Caitlin. There’s always something to pray about and a cause to fight for!

  • Leanne (For Health's Sake) February 9, 2011, 12:52 pm

    How is this happening under our noses?!??!?! 🙁

    I’m so saddened by this story. This is sickening. I feel like if this were happening to boys (which I’m sure it is, but I doubt not as much) something would be done much quicker.

    What a great organization! Way to use your blog to help Caitlin!

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention, I’ll be donating for sure.

  • Parita@myinnershakti February 9, 2011, 12:55 pm

    This story made me want to cry and go punch something at the same time! Everytime I hear about the sex trade, a feeling of disgust builds up inside of me…what kind of person can put someone (a young girl) through those types of horrendous things. I am so glad there is a safe place for these girls to go. I will do my part in ensuring that their operations continue. Thanks for posting on this topic, Caitlin.

  • Joyce @ Flowing to Fifty February 9, 2011, 12:55 pm


    Thanks for giving us the chance to help.

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) February 9, 2011, 12:57 pm

    That is so sad. Thanks for the info. The documentary sounds really interesting. I’ll check it out!

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table February 9, 2011, 1:09 pm

    It is disturbing and terrifying that this goes on in America today. These issues don’t get enough coverage. Thank you for helping to make more people aware – the blogger community has a powerful voice!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) February 9, 2011, 1:11 pm

    Wow! This is incredibly sad. It’s truly amazing how much goes on in the world that many people do not know about. Thank you for getting the word out!

  • jen @ taste life February 9, 2011, 1:14 pm

    This gave me the chills. Since I’ve never been involved in anything like that, it’s hard to believe it exists, and extremely sad! Thank you for helping her get the word out about this organization.

  • Marie-JourneytoBodyZen February 9, 2011, 1:15 pm

    This really opened my eyes about what can be happening, as you put it, right under our noses. What really bothers me is that Craigslist is a breeding ground for this dirty stuff. It really makes me want to boycott them or write to them or something. Thanks for this post. I’m going to donate now!

  • runblondie26 February 9, 2011, 1:15 pm

    Wow, this is so incredibly heartbreaking to read. Even more shocking is this center is almost right in my backyard. I had no idea it existed, but fortunately it does for these girls. I’ve already contacted them to see if they could use additional items. Thank you for sharing this!

  • Carrie H February 9, 2011, 1:16 pm

    Thank you for posting this, Caitlin. I’ve been feeling disillusioned with the “food blog” world lately (admittedly because I’m nearly over my own disordered eating/food issues and don’t need the support as much — many women/girls still do, I know). Anyway, sometimes it can seem like pretty oblivious bubble, but posts like this remind me that it isn’t.

    • Carrie H February 9, 2011, 1:20 pm

      I hope this doesn’t come off sounding rude … this is a reminder to myself to realize that there is more to all of us than we think.

      • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 3:42 pm

        I understand what you meant 🙂

  • Emily G February 9, 2011, 1:17 pm

    I read your blog regularly (but don’t comment much, sorry for that) and this post resonated with me. The organization I work for (though not my department) is doing work on sex trafficking and currently working on getting legislation introduced in MN that would decriminalize the victims of child trafficking who are often considered child prostitutes and put in detention, as noted by Living Water. Here’s information about the legislation ( this is part of a national initiative so there may be other states where an engaged reader who wants to get involved could start advocating.

    • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 3:45 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing this link!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat February 9, 2011, 1:20 pm

    As many have said already, thanks for bringing this up Caitlin. I think sometimes it’s really easy for us to turn a blind eye and ignore the fact that it’s 2011, and yes, this is still an issue. It’s great that Living Water for Girls and similar organizations are there to help.

  • Tricia February 9, 2011, 1:20 pm

    Atlanta is unfortunately the #1 place for sex trafficking. While there I was introduced to a group trying to change that. It’s called Street Grace. They also partnered to make an independent film called the candy shop. You can find more on them at, or by searching street grace on facebook. and there is a separate website for the movie called

    • Tricia February 9, 2011, 1:21 pm

      there is a help hotline and ways to get involved at the website

      • Stacey February 9, 2011, 3:11 pm

        Stop the Candy Shop is a partnership of Street Grace and the GPB. The funding for the documentary was provided (at least in part) by the Junior League of Atlanta.

        Caitlin, you might want to look into it because its an aligory. Stop the Candy Shop video is probably something you can show to your GOTR girls and have a discussion, just a thought! 🙂

        • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 3:45 pm

          Thanks for passing info along about Stop The Candy Shop – I watched a few videos on YouTube, very eye opening.

  • Anna February 9, 2011, 1:20 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you for bringing this very real issue to light! I work as a counselor juvenile detention center and I very often find girls who have been forced into prositution – and think it is their only means of survival. My husband is in law school and his goal is to work prosecuting those who are trafficking these women, girls and children. I’ve done a lot of research and I know how real it is…yet a lot of people don’t believe this is going on right here, right now!

  • Megan (Braise The Roof) February 9, 2011, 1:23 pm

    I’m going to their website now to make a donation. It’s so hard to believe that not only is this so prevalent in our country, but that there’s so little funding for it.

  • Laurab @FoodSnobSTL February 9, 2011, 1:26 pm

    There is a really good article from the NY Times called The Girls Next Door. This is a huge issue everywhere in the US, and Superbowl weekend is one of the most highly trafficked times all year. There is also a home starting here in St.Louis called the Covering House. It will be a safe haven for girls once they are rescued. Thanks for helping get the word out about this issue.

  • Jodi February 9, 2011, 1:27 pm

    This really gets to me and admittedly it’s hard to think abou these children being forced into lives that NO ADULT should even be doing; never mind a kid!! It’s so hard to know what to do about this but i’m glad that there is a place like Living Water for girls to empower themselves.

  • annette February 9, 2011, 1:28 pm

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention- it is an AWFUL, awful thing that goes on behind our backs and behind closed doors. I hope this brings a great call out to all of us to be safer on the streets, with our children, and help out where is needed. Thank you again for sharing this horrible story (yet magically eye-opening, revolting, and motivating to change). Hopefully more donations will make a change to the system and allow for more funding?!

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write February 9, 2011, 1:31 pm

    I actually took a gender studies course in college that focused on this HEAVILY. It was incredibly eye opening, and I’m very impressed that you mentioned it here. It’s a very serious issue that no one seems to talk about. Horrifying that such a thing can happen in America.

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul February 9, 2011, 1:32 pm

    Hi Caitlin thank you soooo much for posting this up!! Human trafficking (sex traf., labor, etc.) are things that are really big on my heart and it’s awesome that it’s getting more ‘recognition’ now.

    • Ellie@fitforthesoul February 9, 2011, 1:41 pm

      but Living water seems awesome! Sorry last comment for sure. 🙂 Whoever said that freedom is doing whatever anyone wants?

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul February 9, 2011, 1:34 pm

    There are other organizations as well like

  • E. Q. February 9, 2011, 1:50 pm

    Living Water is a Christian organization? So is Street Grace also mentioned in the comments? As a survivor, ages 11 to 16, that’s kind of upsetting. At least please mention Living Water is a Christian charity in your post.

    • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 2:00 pm

      Sorry! I’m a little confuses by your comment. What is survivor

      • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 2:03 pm

        Oh sorry I get it now. Yes it’s a Christian group. I’m not a Christian
        and have no issue supporting a group with a different religious slant than mine as long as they are doing good thing. I’m sorry to hear you were abused. There are tons of awesome secular orgs mentioned in the comments that I’m sure
        would love any support you can give, if you’re interested!

        • Maria February 9, 2011, 2:21 pm

          I’m so sorry you were upset by Caitlin or myself not mentioning it was a Christian organization. But, truthfully, I didn’t think it mattered. I am not a Christian myself, and a lot of the girls that go through our home are not Christian. I just support the amazing work they are doing.

          I am truly sorry for the mis-communication.

  • Rachael February 9, 2011, 1:50 pm

    Definitely a huge domestic and international problem – I worked on a project in SE Asia, and encountered many families who had been tricked into giving up their daughters (and sons) – to pay off debts, make ends meet, in hopes of a better life, etc. There’s one Nepalese activist who opens up her lectures by informing people that’s there’s more slavery in the world today than two hundred years ago….even beyond sex trafficking, most of our clothing and goods are still made by folks who are facing conditions similar to what we’ve read about in history books.
    Thanks for bringing up an important issue.

  • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 1:51 pm

    What a wonderful organization. Thank you and Maria for this post, and she for her work!

  • Eliz@The Sweet Life February 9, 2011, 1:59 pm

    This is a huge problem in NYC. I can’t believe it goes on in this day and age—it seems like a “not in my backyard” kind of problem but there it is, right nextdoor.

  • Megan February 9, 2011, 2:00 pm

    Wow. Such a sad story, but glad there are so many people willing to help.

  • Carly February 9, 2011, 2:00 pm

    Thank you so much for this post, I am always interested in learning more about this horrendous problem in society, as well as amazing organizations such as Living Water.
    I can’t wait to check out the documentary!

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair February 9, 2011, 2:04 pm

    Thanks for sharing this Caitlin. Just donated. How sad. 🙁

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey February 9, 2011, 2:07 pm

    This saddens me to the point of physical sickness. I cannot even imagine young girls going through this, and I don’t hink it’s talked about enough.

  • Mary @ stylefyles February 9, 2011, 2:13 pm

    I love your blog.
    It’s terrible to read things like this, but I’m glad for your sharing. There are too many terrible things in this world that we know exist, but so often they are pushed to the backs of our minds. Exposure like this can help get these girls the help they need.

  • Jen February 9, 2011, 2:20 pm

    Thanks for bringing our attention to this. I teach the book, Sold, to my high school students. It’s about Human Trafficking. One more interesting and current fact – the Superbowl is the biggest times for Human Trafficking. Around 10000 women and girls are sold during Superbowl weekend.

    • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 3:48 pm

      Crazy – I didn’t know that about the Superbowl at all!

    • Laura February 9, 2011, 4:01 pm

      Is there a particular reason for the increase during Superbowl weekend?

      • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 4:01 pm

        I would guess drunk + gambling?

      • Jen February 9, 2011, 4:19 pm

        Yeah, I think it has to do with a bunch of people (mostly men) in one place with a lot of money. Plus, the alcohol. Also, (and this is the reason I point it out to my students) Texas is close to MX. A lot of girls are taken from there.

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances February 9, 2011, 2:22 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I had no idea that this was going on — especially via Craigslist, a site that many people use all the time (myself included).

  • Shelby February 9, 2011, 2:30 pm

    This is an issue near and dear to my heart, and I am so glad that you brought some extra attention to this, Caitlin. I spent my second and third year of law school researching, writing, and getting published an article about what happens to these girls in New York’s legal system. There are almost no resources for them (outside of GEMS, which is a fantastic organization). Sadly, my conclusion was to campaign against a change in the legal structure that took them out of the juvenile detention system. Why? Because outside of a juvenile detention facility, there was no secure facility in the entire state for these girls to go to! No way to protect their pimps from coming to get them! Men, who would show up at the juvenile detention hearings as their “uncles” in order to get them back. We need far more places like Living Waters. While I would like to see a secular option for these girls too, at the moment so few people are doing this hard work and we need all the help we can get. This organization is providing a fantastic and much-needed service. Kudos.

    • Maria February 9, 2011, 2:47 pm

      I think you should be proud of your campaign of keeping them in detention facility, because at the end of the day,you were keeping them SAFE and there were no better alternatives. Kudos to you.

      • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 3:49 pm

        Selling the Girl Next Door discussed this issue at length – how the govt is forced to put the girls in jail, basically, for their own protection. It’s crazy. There should be funding for better options!

  • Kiran February 9, 2011, 2:38 pm

    This truly saddens me. Thanks Caitin and Maria for shedding light on this disturbing issue that needs a lot of intervention. Voices from you all truly help spread positive message. My troubles seems nothing in comparison.

  • Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf February 9, 2011, 2:44 pm

    This is heartbreaking.

    I recently found out that last semester a girl I knew here at school had been molested at age 3, and during her first few weeks of college she was approached about trading sexual favors for money. She couldn’t afford tuition, so she accepted. Half-way through the semester she attempted suicide in disgust for what she had done. She’s alive, thankfully, and in the care of family, but it’s still heartbreaking and enraging to think that that happens EVERYWHERE, even here at a faith-based university.

  • Marisa @ Loser for Life February 9, 2011, 2:47 pm

    So scary, isn’t it? Caitlin, my cousin recently started a non-profit for this exact reason. She is focused on abolishing human trafficking and slavery. If anyone is interested, you can also check out her site –

    Thanks for bringing attention to this. What we don’t know, we can’t change, right?

  • Katie @ peacebeme February 9, 2011, 2:52 pm

    I watched a different documentary recently and was shocked to learn the same fact: that the average prostitute begins working at 12-14 years old. One other thing I learned that made me sad was that the pimps rarely get punished, they just pick up young girls who get booked into jail for prostitution (and thus have this on their record), and the pimps are free to find more to use again with no repercussions.

  • Lauren February 9, 2011, 2:54 pm

    That story is heartbreaking. At the summer camp I work out, the last 2 weeks are called Camp Agape and are for kids who have parents in jail. I always cry when they come to me and tell me their stories, but I love being able to help them have a fun week away from their terrible home lives. They get to act like regular kids, instead of dealing with stuff they shouldn’t have to at age 10.

  • Stacey February 9, 2011, 3:06 pm


    I am SO happy you have become aware of this issue and have posted about it. I became aware of this problem since joining the Junior League of Atlanta. The JLA has a CSEC initiative that is doing some great work in the Atlanta area. It is a national (and international) problem though and it will take many voices across the county to start making an impact.

    You have a much larger platform than I do so I am glad this issue struck a chord with you. Hopefully by your post even more people will become aware. Each one, teach one. Awareness and love will really help make an impact.

    there are many resources out there, get involved or at the very least spread the word that this problem is out there.

    • Stacey February 9, 2011, 3:16 pm

      sorry!!! I didn’t mean to spell your name wrong! 🙁

      • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 3:50 pm

        It’s OK 🙂 It happens.

        Thank you for doing all that you can do for this issue!

  • Jennifer (keepitsimplefoods) February 9, 2011, 3:13 pm

    Thanks for posting this. As a lawyer and advocate for women’s human rights, I’ve spent countless hours researching and trying to understand the complexities of victimization of women, such as sex trafficking. One of the biggest travesties of the U.S. legal system is that it punishes victims, rather than solely targeting the pimps and “johns” who purchase sex. Somehow, people tend to think women become sex workers by “choice.”

    In Sweden, the laws have been changed so that sex workers are no longer re-victimized by the legal system. Instead, prostitutes are treated with dignity and given counseling, education, and career opportunities, and are able to work with police to put their pimps behind bars. The “johns” face heavy fines and jail time. As a result, demand for sex workers has reduced and sex trafficking has dramatically declined. We could all learn a valuable lesson from Sweden in this case.

    Thanks, Caitlin for using your blog as a platform to discuss such important issues.

  • Runeatrepeat February 9, 2011, 3:15 pm

    Thanks for calling our attention to this cause.

  • Clare February 9, 2011, 3:28 pm

    Ahh, can’t watch the video as I’m not in the US, but definitely going on their website to donate. In the UK, there is a really big problem with Eastern European girls and women being trafficked and abused horrendously. Sadly, our current government are refusing to sign up to the EU directive that would seriously help with the prevention and prosecution of European wide trafficking. Thank you, by the way, for always drawing attention to issues such as these – one of the many reasons why I keep reading your blog!

  • Catherine February 9, 2011, 3:34 pm

    Thanks for the excellent post. I immediately checked out their website and donated by $10/month. The least I can do to help girls in such a terrible situation. Yes, indeed my problems are small!

    • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 3:51 pm

      Thank you Catherine for such an amazing donation.

  • lauren February 9, 2011, 3:40 pm

    Caitlin… perhaps put a link indicating “read more – but trigger warning ahead” if you’re going to recount some information that could be potentially triggering for a reader. (There are some graphic descriptions of violence in Maria’s email that I wasn’t expecting and wouldn’t have kept reading if I knew they were coming.) Healthy living bloggers post trigger warnings out of courtesy for those who have struggled with disordered eating; I think it’s valuable to do the same for survivors of abuse/violence when discussing those topics in graphic detail.

    That being said, thank you for bringing this important and often ignored issue to light.

    • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 3:51 pm

      I added the warning – thanks for the reminder!

  • Allison @ Happy Tales February 9, 2011, 3:50 pm

    Wow… I am so glad you brought attention to this subject. Like others before me have already mentioned, you do have platform upon which you can spread the word. Thank you so much for doing this, Caitlin! I’ll be checking out their website and how I can help, for sure.

  • Becky February 9, 2011, 3:54 pm

    I donated. I’ve also shared it with my friends. Thank so much for posting this.

  • L February 9, 2011, 3:58 pm

    Caitlin –

    Thank you so much for your obvious interest in the upbringing and well-being of young girls. It’s amazing to see someone who EVERYDAY is doing something positive to help out instead of focusing on the vapid superficial crap that many others focus on. I’ve said it before, but reading this everyday has changed the way I look at a number of subjects including my own health and habits. There is so much good to be done and so many people that need our help. You’re blog reaches thousands of people and I commend you for using it for good instead of being so blatantly self absorbed.

    • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 4:02 pm

      Thank you L 🙂 I appreciate this.

    • L February 9, 2011, 4:04 pm

      Whoa I just re-read this and I wanted to clarify, I didn’t mean you were self absorbed. I hope it didnt come off that way. I meant, it’s easy to be so self absorbed in this world, and your blog is so NOT.

      • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 4:06 pm

        Haha it’s ok, i knew what you meant!

  • Jenifer February 9, 2011, 4:10 pm

    I’m going to do 2 things… first attempt to get myself under control from crying over “Lauren’s Story”. My Kaitlyn is 15, and the thoughts of anything horrible like this happening to her or any young girl just makes me nauseous. Second, forward this link to both of the womens’ organizations I work with.. Shepherds United Methodist Women and Essex County Junior League. We can do our part to help!

    Thank you for bringing all of this to your readers. you seem to truly care about the welfare and image of young girls. you really will make an awesome momma one day ladybug!

    • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 4:18 pm

      Thank you for spreading the word!!!

      I bet I have 5 boys and no girls LOL

  • M February 9, 2011, 5:00 pm

    Hi Caitlin,
    I have been following your blog for years now and I have always love reading your daily posts and they encourage me to indulge in a healthy lifestyle. But i have to say that the second I saw you posting about sex-trafficking. I had to reach out to you.

    I am a student in college right now studying sex-trafficking in an attempt to understand the issue and to create an entrepreneurial model for aftercare solutions. I am keeping a blog ( about my research and findings and I just wanted to thank you sincerely for making readers aware of this problem, because many feel as thought it happens every where but the US.
    I was wondering if you could send me the contact information for Maria (use my email that i have entered to send this message), it would be such a great help in my research.

    Thank you so much.
    Take care

    • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 5:07 pm

      Sending now! 😉 Thank you for spreading awareness.

  • Gill (snaxandthecity) February 9, 2011, 5:31 pm

    heartbreaking. good on you for spreading awareness 🙂

  • Meredith February 9, 2011, 5:42 pm

    thanks for posting this Caitlin! have you read the book Half the Sky? I feel like you would like it. Each chapter focuses on a different issue for women (such as sex trafficking) and then it will follow up about a grassroots effort for positive change re: that issue. definitely check it out if you haven’t yet!

    • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 6:03 pm

      This book is sitting on my desk at work! A patient loaned it to me.

  • Jessie Patria February 9, 2011, 7:11 pm

    Caitlin – Thank you so, so much for posting this story. I was deeply moved and saddened. I want to help! I went to the website for Living Water for Girls and discovered that it is located very close to my home! I am going to volunteer and do whatever I can to minister to these girls. I’m also starting a Girls on the Run location near my home. You are an inspiration!! Thank you.

    • Kirsten @ Cooking in Japan February 9, 2011, 7:55 pm

      I think Girls on the Run might be a great partner program for some of those girls as part of their recovery.

      • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 8:00 pm

        What a great idea!!!

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 9, 2011, 7:43 pm

    Thank you Caitlin for bringing awareness to this cause. I personally know women who were sold into prostitution and sex rings. It’s heinous, it’s more than I can even begin to share here. Thank you so much for posting about this.

    In part, because of you and your series on natural birth control, I just posted about going to the gyno, getting paps, doing breast self exams. I linked you back to your series of posts..which are some of the best and most REAL blog posts out there.

    Thank you for all that you do…from Op Beautiful to your mentoring of young girls to topics like this one and birth control and everything else…it DOES help people.


    • Caitlin February 9, 2011, 7:58 pm

      Thank you so much. 🙂

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence February 9, 2011, 7:47 pm

    Sounds like a great organization and save haven for these girls. It is just appalling that this happens right under our noses. Thanks for all you do!

  • Lesley February 9, 2011, 7:57 pm

    I am always amazed at the level of misogyny that is still alive in the world. From last years rape chant at Yale, to bills being presented to congress to limit the rights of victims, to women/children being sold as property. I am glad there are organizations like Living Water and people like you, Caitlin, that raise awareness to issues of sexual abuse. I will definitely be sending money to LW soon as I can.

  • Amanda February 9, 2011, 11:35 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this, Caitlin. It’s so scary to me to think that stuff like this goes on. I’m glad that organizations like Living Water exist for these girls.

  • Maddie (Healthy Maddie) February 10, 2011, 8:15 am

    This is so sad and horrible! It’s great that places like Living Water can help these girls.

  • Dara February 10, 2011, 8:40 am

    I’ve watched numerous specials on tv, and horrible news stories about this topic… always wondering, what could I do?

    Thank you for the link. i donated what i could at this time.. i hope it helps. I know that every little bit does. Thanks again for the donation link. I pray for all the girls’ safety and well being physically, and more so, emotionally.

    • Caitlin February 10, 2011, 9:34 am

      Thank you so much for donating <3

  • Angela February 10, 2011, 8:44 am

    Hi Caitlin,
    You should check out Amy Seiffert’s blog. She was featured on CNN the other day because she has decided to raise money by wearing the same dress every day(with different styles) to raise money for the Daughter Project.
    The Daughter Project is a non-profit organization in Northwest Ohio that exists to help girls recover from the trauma of sex trafficking and to help prevent others from being trafficked.
    It’s really great to see woman like you and Amy using your blogs to reach out and help these women. You get more and more inspiring each day. Thank you and I love your blog 🙂

    Amy’s Blog-
    Daughter Project-

    • Caitlin February 10, 2011, 9:35 am

      Thanks for passing this link along – what a cool blog concept.

  • duffy February 10, 2011, 9:53 am

    Holy shit. That’s all I can say. Holy. Shit.

  • Lauren @ Team Giles February 10, 2011, 10:48 am

    This is such a terrible issue. But I’m happy you posted about it. Our church hooked up with a ministry called Redeemed Ministry. Its a lot like Living Water, for here in Houston. What’s so disgusting and sad is that Houston is a HUGE hub for Human Trafficking, they disguise their “sex shops” as “Massage parlors”. Heart breaking. Thanks for sharing this to your readers… we definitely have to help these girls.

  • Emily February 10, 2011, 11:02 am

    Thank you for posting about this heartbreaking reality. It’s a huge problem around the world. Do you know where we can see the whole video of Selling the Girl Next Door?

    • Caitlin February 10, 2011, 11:03 am

      It aired on CNN but I’m not sure if it’s available on line! Sorry!

  • Josephine @ Creating a Positive Life February 15, 2011, 4:43 pm

    Did anyone ever find the show online or somewhere you can watch it? If so please post it!
    Stories and information like these are so scary, heart breaking . . . and make me want to shove my head in the snow and block out the real world – especially since I have so many girls in my family.
    This is such a big issue that needs more attention so thanks for your post and information!

    • Caitlin February 15, 2011, 5:37 pm

      I don’t think it’s in it’s entirety online, unfortunately ;(

  • Celeste Billhartz February 19, 2011, 9:03 pm

    Why not get each girl’s permission to do a tubal ligation so they don’t get pregnant!!

  • Paula May 4, 2011, 8:49 am

    Slavery is clearly not a thing of the past and it affects all nations, all ages and all races. Are those who can, and I mean the big shots with all the power, really doing enough to eradicate it? Thank God for all the good folks who are making a difference where they can.

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