At thirteen, British-born Rachel Lloyd found herself spiraling into a life of torment and abuse. Vulnerable yet tough, she eventually ended up a victim of commercial sexual exploitation, until she broke free of the street and her pimp thanks to the help of a local church. But that was just the beginning. . . .
Three years later, Rachel arrived in the United States to work with adult women in the sex industry and soon founded her own nonprofit, GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services), to meet the needs of those shunned by society. She also earned her GED and won full scholarships to college and a graduate program. Today, Lloyd is the director of GEMS in New York City, one of the nation's most groundbreaking nonprofit organizations. In stunning detail and with cinematic style, Lloyd tells her story -- a harrowing and inspirational tale of suffering, recovery, discovery, and nobility. She reveals the dark, secretive world of her past with clarity, understanding, humanity, and psychological insight.
Lloyd identifies the factors that lead so many vulnerable young women into sexual exploitation and explains the seduction of pimps and johns, the biases of cops, the racial stereotyping, and the sexism of the courts. And she lovingly shares the stories of the girls whose lives she has helped -- small victories that have healed Lloyd's wounds and made her whole. Deeply moving, authentic, and brave, 'Girls Like Us' is a remarkable and utterly unforgettable memoir.