Pornography and Sex Trafficking: A Review of Renting Lacy: A Story of America’s Prostituted Children by Linda Smith, with Cindy Coloma

Sometimes we read something that stays with us long after the last page has been turned. Years later, we can recall the black and white text and how it stirred up such strong emotion that it still resonates with us. For me, Renting Lacy[1] was one of those stories.

Told from multiple viewpoints and punctuated with chilling statistics, the story explores how several lives are impacted by the high demand for commercial sex as young girls are targeted and groomed by predators, leaving their families torn apart when they eventually leave home with a man they’ve been deluded into thinking loves them. Almost immediately, they are forced into situations where they are abused physically and emotionally, suffering rape and brutality both at the hands of the johns they’ve been persuaded to service and at the hands of the men who swore their devotion in the first place.  As we follow the stories of young, vulnerable girls entrusting grown men, an important reality is made clear: child sex trafficking is a plague in our society. All the while, families are struggling to understand what is happening to their daughters.

The stories of human trafficking are never kind ones. They’re never pretty, or inspiring, or hopeful. They’re tragic and ugly and full of broken people trying to repair themselves, but they’re generally about people who get the chance to rebuild. They’re often devastating stories with endings that are as happy as possible, but in Renting Lacy, just as in the real world, not everyone gets a happy ending.

The bleak conclusion for the some of the characters is bested in its anguish only by the juxtaposition of the lack of ramifications. The victims are nameless, and the families are left without answers.

Renting Lacy is a call to action for those of us on the sidelines about sex trafficking and the commercial sex industry. It seeks to open the eyes of the disbelievers and give those ready to fight against this atrocity first steps to take.

[1] Linda Smith with Cindy Coloma, Renting Lacy A Story of America’s Prostituted Children, (Shared Hope International, 2013).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.