Shirley’s passion in each page

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Thanks to Shirley Eldridge for donating the proceeds of her recently published book to ACRATH. Shirley’s moving account of a young woman who was trafficked, was highlighted at the Australian Catholic Press Association Conference in Perth late last year. ACRATH Community Development Worker Melissa Halliday, who attended the conference, described the book as ‘a story of great heart’.

Melissa said the book Woman for Sale describes the insidious fraud, force and coercion that traps people in trafficking and sexual exploitation. The central character, Rose, is a woman whose situation of poverty creates a desperation to secure work as well as a vulnerability to traffickers. 

“But we also encounter Rose’s incredible strength, dedication and hopes for her family. Through the numerous challenges described in her story, we can see how compounding vulnerabilities impact Rose and her family during and after her experience of trafficking. Her story unfolds within a global interconnectedness, highlighting the intersections of various industries and services that enable trafficking. In addition, we see the seemingly innocuous places where trafficking is hidden in plain sight – a job recruitment office, the airport, and the hotel bar. We witness the impact of international bonds, from church networks across the globe, to a family in Australia,” Melissa said. 

Melissa applauded Shirley’s passion to work to combat human trafficking through writing the book. Shirley’s book is based on true events.

Shirley is closely associated with Mister Bob, the Australian businessman who alerted her to the urgency of bringing about the rescue. It was fortunate she had a close friend involved with ACRATH, members of whom were able to link immediately with Asian associates who worked into the night.

“Mister Bob has mentored Rose since her repatriation and maintains regular contact. Rose’s two older children, one of whom Mister Bob supports, are now at university. The other receives some financial support from ACRATH with fees.

Rose is fully supportive of Shirley’s sharing of this amazing series of events to bring awareness and to educate. Shirley has changed names of people, organisations and places to protect all involved. Human traffickers really are dangerous people,” Shirley said. 

ACRATH’s Communication Leader Ange Duthie read the book over the summer and wrote the following review: 

‘Woman for Sale’ is a haunting account that illustrates the reality of modern slavery orchestrated seamlessly by criminal cartels.

This true story is not only inspiring but also incredibly eye-opening. The author’s ability to convey the unimaginable horrors endured by the main character is both distressing and thought-provoking. Although the narrative is skillfully woven to be easily digested, the underlying realities it exposes are hard to sit with.

Having completed the read within a day, I felt a sense of great pride for being a part of a global network that works to contribute in part to the protagonist’s ultimate freedom. It is a testament to the power of unity and determination of ACRATH’s mission to eliminate human trafficking and the harm it causes.

‘Woman for Sale’ is an exceptional book. Its ability to captivate and educate simultaneously makes it a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the true horrors of modern slavery.

 
Shirley’s book sold out at the WA Conference, but you can purchase a copy of Woman for Sale direct from Shirley at eldridges@iinet.net.au. The book costs $33 with postage included to anywhere in Australia. 

All profits go to ACRATH. Already, almost $2000 has been donated through book sales. 

Photo: WA ACRATH’s Rosa Ranieri, Melissa Halliday and Shirley Eldridge at the Conference. Thanks to Fiona Basile for the use of the image.