This is a fictional story. I have to make that clear. Eleanor, Kate and Ruth do not exist, any more than Isabella, Ed, Natalie, Matt or Erik, or any of the others. Any resemblance between them and a real-life person is purely coincidental, or it might be because I used that person as a model.

However, this story is based on a truth: trafficking happens here. It’s hard to believe that although slavery was outlawed 200 years ago, there are more slaves alive today than there were during the entire British slave-trade. But it’s true. A large percentage of trafficking victims are women or children. Though it is often initiated in other countries, victims are frequently brought into the UK or the US. But it starts here, too. It starts with grooming, or it starts with the offer of a job. And then it gets worse, and worse, and worse. Drugs are frequently involved as blackmail.

Eleanor’s story is a little extreme, in that she ends up in Amsterdam. Mostly it doesn’t go that far. But sometimes it does. Apart from that, it is utterly, horrifically real. I’ve based the general plot on the true stories of several girls.

There’s a lot we can do to help stop trafficking, from raising money to campaigning for chocolate to be fairtrade. That’s another industry where a lot of workers are trafficked - the chocolate industry. Think about that next time you tuck into a bar of chocolate. Think about the people that harvested those cocoa beans. Were they paid? Were they even old enough to be working?

To find out more, please visit Stop the Traffik is a charity that works against trafficking in all its forms, protecting people who have been victims and prosecuting the traffickers. You can also read their book, by Steve Chalke, with a chapter by Cherie Blair. It’s available on their website.

Please email for extra information.

We need your help to fight this disgusting practice.


This story is not intended to shock you. Or maybe it is. But its primary motive is to inform you about the danger, and to show you that trafficking does happen, wherever you live.


Trafficking is awful.

We must


The End

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