The Exodus Road: A Wife’s Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue by Laura Parker shares the story of Laura and her husband Matt as he plunged into the dark sea of sex-trafficking in Malaysia. Through his efforts in rescuing young girls from this world they did not choose, their organization The Exodus Road was birthed.
I like that Laura explained the difference between prostitution and trafficking. In relation to this she writes: While we would agree that there is often exploitation in prostitution itself, the work described in these pages is not primarily centered around “rescuing” or ministering to prostitutes-though this is a noble, important work. Rather, our efforts are focused on gaining freedom from sex trafficking for those who are trapped against their wills or who work in the sex trade and are under the age of 18 years old.
In an easy conversation style, Laura tells of text messages back and forth as Matt would be at a brothel. Matt had no undercover training but was able to rig up a surveillance camera that he wore. Laura watched these videos as a means of accountability with her husband and desire to be connected with what he was doing:
“We couldn’t get past the idea that maybe there was a noble reason for a good man to frequent a brothel, after all.”
As time passed, Matt began meeting other undercover investigators and developing relationships with them. He saw their needs and from this he created a coalition of men who were in the midst of sex trafficking intervention-the beginnings of The Exodus Road. Matt, Laura and their family would leave the field so Matt could be the voice of the investigators that could not make themselves public.
“Because justice is in the hands of the ordinary, and if rescue is going to come on our watch, we need an army of passionate, committed people to bring it.”
Matt, Laura and their Exodus Road team are part of this passionate army.
I highly recommend this book for those who want a better understanding of this modern day slavery.