Former Fair City actress Lisa Harding has released a novel about human-trafficking in Ireland. It is titled Harvesting.
Lisa Harding really didn’t know much about human-trafficking until a few years ago when she was asked to read some first-hand accounts as part of a campaign to combat sex-trafficking of minors. Lisa, who played Connie in the soap, didn’t know that Ireland was actually a destination point for traffickers and sex tourists, and that the crime targeted girls as young as 12-years-old.
“I was haunted by what I read that day and the stories wouldn’t let go. I had been pretty naive about it occurring in Ireland. “I thought it was something that happened in Bangkok. It was just horrifying. I remember reading the first-hand accounts and feeling physically sick. I thought ‘how do these girls just disappear?’ I didn’t go searching for this topic. It just presented to me.”
She had the idea of a novel in her head and began to researched trafficking in Ireland. She wrote the book in first person, present tense and titled it Harvesting. It is the story of Sammy and Nico, a girl from Dublin and another girl from Moldova.
Lisa, after writing the first draft, contacted the Dublin-based NGO, Ruhama, and CCF Moldova—both work with victims—to ask them for feedback on her book.
“Trafficking was so distressing that I didn’t want to think about it. Then, I couldn’t let it go. I didn’t censor it. I just wanted to tell the story. The CEOs of the NGOs were wonderfully helpful. People who work in the sector were really supportive. I didn’t sit there, thinking ‘Oh, this is going to fit into a particular publishing market.’ I accept that it is harrowing. I just wanted to write it.”
Lisa says that it is difficult to convey the horrors of trafficking through statistics. She is hoping her book will put a human face on the crimes against women.
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