Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Terrify No More by Gary A. Haugen

Terrify No More

Terrify No More
by Gary A. Haugen and Gregg Hunter

Hardback: 240 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
First Released: 2005

International Justice Mission website
Buy from Amazon

Source: Bought from Half.com

Book Description (from the publisher's website):
In a small village outside of Phnom Pehn, little children as young as five years old were forced to live as sex slaves. Day after day their hope was slipping away.

Tireless workers from International Justice Mission (IJM) infiltrated the ring of brothels and gathered evidence to free the children. Headed up by former war-crimes investigator Gary Haugen, IJM faced impossible odds-police corruption, death threats, and mission-thwarting tip-offs. But they used their expert legal finesse and high-tech investigative techniques to save the lives of 37 young girls and secured the arrest and conviction of several perpetrators. Terrify No More focuses on this dramatic rescue story, and uses flashbacks to tell those of many other victims who were given a second chance at life.

Terrify No More is a gripping, well-written nonfiction book about a number of rescues the International Justice Mission has done. The main focus of the book is their attempt to rescue 40 children under the age of 14 from forced prostitution in a village near Phnom Pehn in Cambodia.

While the book is clearly about International Justice Mission's work, I felt like the main focus was raising people's awareness about modern slavery and injustice. It covered much of the same information as Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery, but it describes less graphic violence and is less technical.

The book describes IJM rescues of forced prostitutes, bonded slaves, and illegally imprisoned people worldwide. It details how the IJM team finds out about cases, gathers evidence, works with the local police to stage a raid, helps to prosecute the perpetrators, and finds aftercare facilities (and what they're like) for the victims. It also describes how victims can end up in these situations and what can be done to stop it.

The International Justice Mission is a Christian organization and the author does talk about how his faith influenced his decisions, but he does not assume the reader is Christian. I think Christians and non-Christians alike will enjoy this book.

I found the book a very inspiring page-turner that made me really appreciate the freedoms we tend to take for granted. If you like thrillers or are interested in undercover detective work or in humanitarian work, you'll probably enjoy reading this book. Overall, I'd highly recommend it.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter Thirty-Seven
The lead lawyer in these police training programs and other casework in Latin America has been our brilliant colleague from Puerto Rico, Jamie Farrant. He directs extensive IJM casework in Peru, Honduras, Mexico, and Bolivia in partnership with indigenous human rights organizations. Recently, case referrals have forced Jaime to also enter the ugly world of sex trafficking that exploits young girls trying to see a better life for their families. While conducting investigations with Robert Earle along the Mexico-Guatemala border, Jaime had to join Robert in playing the part of a sexual predator, and as he shared with me back at HQ about the experience, the agony for Jamie of drawing near to such pain was palpable. It ran very rough over Jamie's huge and compassionate heart.

"Each night becomes more difficult...once again brothel hopping, once again to look for girls, once again to pretend I enjoy doing this, once again a pedophile," Jamie explained. "Once again, we go out until 3:00 A.M. What a disgusting life...."

"One week of doing this is just too long, but what about the victims? What do we do about those girls who cry daily while they put on their masks? How much harder for them when they're only teenagers? How much harder when they recall that they were deceived into coming to this crowded but lonely and heartless place?"

It's the struggle we all experience at IJM when we encounter the world of the victim....

"One of the hard parts of posing as a pedophile," Robert Earle said, "is actually asking the questions of the pimps, using language you don't normally use, talking about things you just don't talk about.

"I need to get the pimp on tape telling me what the girls will do, what sex acts they can perform, and I have to be explicit with him. Of course, that's very unnatural, but it has to appear natural in order to get the evidence we need."

I know from my experience in Svay Pak that those pictures don't quickly fade from one's memory. It is nauseatingly uncomfortable to play the role. But such are the sacrifices my colleagues make--hearts that cannot remain unbroken, minds that now store images that can't be easily erased. And they continue to place themselves voluntarily in these situations where the thick, heavy darkness is palpable. They do it because they know their temporary presence in that underworld may be the only hope innocent victims have of seeing the light of freedom and experiencing the joy of rescue.

Read chapter one.

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