cover image I Cried to Dream Again: Trafficking, Murder, and Deliverance: A Memoir

I Cried to Dream Again: Trafficking, Murder, and Deliverance: A Memoir

Sara Kruzan and Cori Thomas. Pantheon, $27 (208p) ISBN 978-0-593-31588-0

Activist Kruzan debuts with a stirring account of her harrowing experience as a victim of child sex trafficking. Raised in a low-income neighborhood with an abusive mother, Kruzan was particularly vulnerable when in the late 1980s, at age 11, she met a man named GG while walking home from school. “It was his gentleness... that captured me,” she writes. As she recounts in unflinching scenes, GG began to groom her for the sex trade, molesting her for months before lending her to his “clients.” The abuse went on for years until 16-year-old Kruzan shot and killed GG—an act of self-defense that led to her sentence, as a juvenile, to life without parole by a judge who refused to hear her story. After nearly 20 years in prison, Kruzan was released thanks to activists who tirelessly campaigned for her freedom, and from then on devoted her life to fighting for sex trafficking victims, most notably helping pass a law that protects them from “disproportionate sentencing as a result of crimes against our abusers.” Writing with power and clarity, she asserts “the most important requirement for preventing the sexual exploitation of... victims of trafficking is empathy.” Her testimony rings out as a searing critique of a broken criminal justice system and a galvanizing call to end the violence it permits. (May)