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Publisher's Summary

When Zoe was taken into care at the age of 13, she thought she was finally going to escape from the cruel abuse she had suffered throughout her childhood. Then social services placed her in a residential unit known to be 'a target for prostitution', and suddenly Zoe's life was worse than it had ever been before. 

Abused and ostracized by her mother, humiliated by her father's sexual innuendos, physically assaulted and bullied by her eldest brother, even as a young child Zoe thought she deserved the desperately unhappy life she was living. 

'I've sharpened a knife for you,' her mother told her the first time she noticed angry red wounds on her daughter's arms. And when Zoe didn't kill herself, her mother gave her whisky, which she drank in the hope that it would dull the miserable, aching loneliness of her life. 

One day at school Zoe showed her teacher the livid bruises that were the result of her mother's latest physical assault, and within days she was taken into care. 

Zoe had been at Denver House for just three weeks when an older girl asked if she'd like to go to a party then took her to a house where there were just three men. Zoe was a virgin until that night, when two of the men raped her. Having returned to the residential unit in the early hours of the morning, when she told a member of staff what had happened to her, her social worker made a joke about it, then took her to get the morning-after pill. 

For Zoe, the indifference of the staff at the residential unit seemed like further confirmation of what her mother had always told her - she was worthless. Before long, she realised that the only way to survive in the unit was to go to the 'parties' the older girls were paid to take her to, drink the drinks, smoke the cannabis and try to blank out what was done to her when she was abused, controlled and trafficked around the country. 

No action was taken by the unit's staff or social workers when Zoe asked for their help, and without anyone to support or protect her, the horrific abuse continued for the next few years, even after she left the unit. But in her heart Zoe was always a fighter. This is the harrowing yet uplifting story of how she finally broke free of the abuse and neglect that destroyed her childhood and obtained justice for her years of suffering. 

©2018 Zoe Patterson and Jane Smith (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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What listeners say about Trafficked Girl: Abused. Abandoned. Exploited. This Is My Story of Fighting Back

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A fantastic listen!

This book is another example of how the social justice system is a complete let down. Zoe deserves to be commended on overcoming the hand that she was dealt with and becoming a strong and independent woman. Accepting her weaknesses and building on them to redefine herself. I’ve never been prouder of a stranger.

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disturbing and heartbreaking

Couldn't stop listening. How could social services treat Zoe so cruely? I can't believe how everyone knew she was being trafficked, but did nothing to help her. It makes you wander, what could Abbie and Natily's motives have been when they sold Zoe. I hope things have changed today.

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A story of bravery, resilience and bounce

A challenging read. At times I wanted to stop listening, unable to comprehend how awful Zoe's life was.

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gripping and heart braking

very well written and read excellently. I loved this raw, honest, heart breaking story. had me hooked in with every word.

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  • Cindy
  • 09-07-2019

wasn't for me

Not that good ..it was the same thing all the way through I got bored

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joan Janvier
  • 04-09-2018

Amazing read.

Brilliant true story. Thoroughly enjoyed this book and couldn't stop listening! Would definitely recommend to all. This person is amazing and I admire her strength and determination.

1 person found this helpful

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  • gj&tc
  • 18-08-2018

All I expected and more. Fantastic book.

A very easy read but both interesting and enjoyable. If you enjoy a simple read but informative then this is for you.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Makyna
  • 11-08-2018

Brilliant inspirational story

Oh where can I start this book is really good show how you can change your l8fe around either when you been treated really bad ....
loved it was listing this book with my 15 year old daughter and in times we both was nearly in tears ... Keep your head up Zoe ppl loves you ...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marie phillips
  • 05-08-2018

very disturbing not for the faint hearted powerful

very powerful story very disturbing and can only truly relate if you gone through similar circumstances and if you anit gone through anything like this...this book certainly gives you am insight to how corrupt the system is

3 people found this helpful

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  • Beckie
  • 21-07-2018

Absolutely a brave soul

Such a sad, worrisome story but amazingly brave!
Makes you reflect, cry and really travel through her emotions

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dee Morrant
  • 05-09-2021

A hard listen but worth it..

Was hard to listen at times but glad I listened the the end, she’s come such a long way and it’s such an inspiration to hear how she’s trying to pull herself up. The narrator for this book is probably one of the best I’ve heard since I started to listen to online books.

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  • M H.
  • 04-09-2020

Tragic Story Spoilt by Pretentious Language

This is a truly harrowing story and I wish Zoe every bit of love, luck and success as she recovers from her dreadful past and rebuilds her life.

However, I feel the book is spoilt by the use of over-intelligent phrasing and vocabulary which misrepresents Zoe and gives a very genuine story a very hollow ring. I wish this book had been written in Zoe’s own words and not in the co-author’s highfalutin and pretentious language. Furthermore, to use one of these words from the book, this issue is ‘exacerbated’ by the choice of narrator, where the use of a middle class female voice, also does little to represent the real Zoe.

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  • bex
  • 16-06-2020

Horrifying how people could treat a child that way

Such a sad and horrible story of suffering from one girl and what she had to go through. It is beyond me to how people could be so cruel. But so. Amazing how she has pulled herself out and got on with her life despite being hurt so much

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  • Rose
  • 12-06-2019

Along came a spider

This truly is a harrowing story of a mother’s hatreed for her daughter and a social work department behaving like most social work departments behave in my experience. I’ve never had much time for social workers myself and this book just confirms why. it’s the story of negligence and looking the other way instead of facing up to responsibilities. Even the narrator gets slightly emoitional reading this. As for me well, no. I didn’t get emotional, I’ve seen too much of what can happen though happy to say, I never suffered as much as Zoe did and still does. Don’t like the ending much though. To me meditation and stuff like that is just drivel though to some it won’t feel that way I’m sure of that. not sure about her taste in music either. if you want to know what a cat woould sound like if a cat could sing try celine dion and youu’ll get a pretty good idea. Overall a good book written with lots of courage, facing childhood demons and sharing them with a wider world.

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