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Girls Burn Brighter


An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against ...
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Discuss Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao:
Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

Created: 02/27/19

Replies: 20

Posted Feb. 27, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

"Girls Burn Brighter" addresses some of the most difficult issues facing women and girls today: rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse. Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about these issues?


Posted Mar. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

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RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

I believe all of these issues are deplorable and ways to exploit and control by those in power. These things happen to both men and women so it's not a women's issue alone, although they are more frequently abused through these exploitations. Those being exploited lack the means to escape the horrible events in their lives. We need more avenues to help, including stopping the sex trafficking around the world.


Posted Mar. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

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RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

Their stories did not change the way I thought about these issues, it just reinforced what I already knew to be true.


Posted Mar. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
amberb

Join Date: 07/28/11

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RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

I agree, renem! How these women are trafficked is such a tragedy!

One of the points that struck me is that, from my impression, the beginning part of this novel could have taken place in any decade for who knows how long - the last few centuries? The only way I knew it was in this modern era was the part when the women got to the U.S.


Posted Mar. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

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RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

It would be hard to change your thinking on such horrible crimes. Perhaps what Girls Burn Brighter does is make you aware of the extent of these crimes and how easy it is to commit them when there is grand scale poverty, desperation, and people with power who are willing to abuse that power.


Posted Mar. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scgirl

Join Date: 06/05/18

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RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

I think that all of us see these issues as terrible, how could you not and still be human? What I think the book shows is what women will do to help their families and friends. Sadly, it is easy to prey on the poor and naive. We have seen a lot of that lately with the sex sting in Florida which has been in the news lately. Apparently these Chinese and Korean women are given the "opportunity" to come to America but they are forced into a sex trade to pay off their transportation.


Posted Mar. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

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RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

No, it didn’t change the way I think about these issues, it just reinforced it. There is so much out there about these issues that they are difficult to ignore. It’s a good thing; we as a society need to see more and do more to end all of these issues. Women are feeling more empowered so hopefully we’ll begin to see change


Posted Mar. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggya

Join Date: 06/03/15

Posts: 33

RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

I found myself having to put the book down at several parts that dealt with the terribly degrading experiences that these girls endured. At these times, I felt emotionally empty and extremely depressed...not even angry but without feeling at all. One can read factual accounts of sex trafficking and not have an emotional reaction at all but to this authors credit, she engaged me in a way that deeply touched me. Such is the power of a good book. Shobha Rao’s writing is like a razor blade cutting thru your soul!


Posted Mar. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbarao

Join Date: 10/18/12

Posts: 7

RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

We need stories like these. We don’t really comprehend that all over the world these stories are real. Even here in America, we can’t quite grasp that girls still experience this kind of fate. They are preyed upon, enslaved, plied with drugs and used until they have no further value then discarded. Occasionally, we hear on the news that young women are found, usually having escaped and are rescued. They are big news and celebrated for being strong (as they should be) and then the news cycle moves on and once again the plight of other lost girls dies back from the public conscious until the next abduction or rescue. Not sure what the answer is but “If you see something, say something “ applies here, too. We can’t be blind.


Posted Mar. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiap

Join Date: 07/27/17

Posts: 41

RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

I am interested to see if anyone changed the way they think about these issues just because they read this book. I find it hard to believe that one would not feel horror and disgust over the events of this book, and probably felt that way before they read Girls Burn Brighter. I know I do.


Posted Mar. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggya

Join Date: 06/03/15

Posts: 33

RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

Her depiction of sexual bondage in such detail made a huge dent in my soul. I had to put the book down at several points. I am still left thinking of the brutality and the savagery they both had to endure. However as a counterpoint to that was when Savitha met the “jilebi haired lady”. As she said gentler and more concerned than anyone she met in a long time. She gave her her business card and Savitha held onto it as a measure of hope and kindness. We can all take a lesson from this in regards to our daily encounters with people!


Posted Mar. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

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RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

This opened my eyes to the horrific LEVELS of abuse women endure. News stories use the term "sex trafficking" but don't necessarily report on what exactly that entails. Even the recent massage parlor bust in Florida focused more on the man who was arrested than HOW the women ending up being there in the first place. The story didn't change the way I think about these issues, but rather caused me to feel a greater sense of urgency that has called me to action. I have very recently joined a non-profit in my community focused on the health, safety, and education of women (and other marginalized individuals), offered child care to women in domestic abuse workshops, and am being trained to present on sexual abuse to school age children.


Posted Mar. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurag

Join Date: 04/16/12

Posts: 17

RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

This story did not change my feelings about these horrible issues. It is so hard to comprehend that these conditions continue throughout the world today and regrettably here in the U.S. The introduction of the woman who gave Savitha the white piece of paper gave me a glimmer of hope that there are those willing to help if someone has the opportunity to ask.


Posted Mar. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alisonf

Join Date: 01/31/13

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RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

It reminded me of how these terrible injustices and crimes are not handled fairly for women, those who are poor and are undereducated and seems to contribute to keeping them down. I felt so bad that in this location these crimes seem to be blamed on truly blameless women. How can this cruelty be so culturally ignored. The human trafficking piece is just horrible, worldwide exploitation of those without hope.


Posted Mar. 09, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

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RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

While the book did not change the way I think about these issues, it did emphasize the pervasiveness of the problems of sex trafficking, prostitution, abuse, rape and domestic violence, and injected an emotional component sometimes missing in news reports and documentary presentations -- bring ing the issues closer to the heart and creating a sense of urgency for solution.


Posted Mar. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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alwaysdaddygirl

Join Date: 09/04/16

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RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

It did not change my thoughts. I have read about human trafficking. I also saw a documentary about it. I cannot recall the name of it. There is always something to learn.


Posted Mar. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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alwaysdaddygirl

Join Date: 09/04/16

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RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

The other reason it did not change my experiences was because of personal experiences. I do not have any with human trafficking. Every trauma is different.

I had friends in a domestic abuse relationship, friends out of it, a friend killed it because of it, and I spent 12 plus years in domestic abuse relationships. I also volunteer a year at a domestic abuse shelter. I have been through other experiences as well. This does not make me an expert. However, it does change how I see, smell, and look at the world.

I try to keep an open mind. Not everyone that been in trauma wants to speak about it. I do not want to speak about it at times. Again, it one reason why I think differently. I remember this girl about eight years old at the shelter. She has been through so much. She duplicates abuser behavior. When another child upset her, she took a chain and beat the child. This child did not understand why she was going through or feeling this way. Looking at this child, one could never guess the demons she faced. Sadly, this applied to countless cases in the shelter and other areas of life.

Poornima's and Savitha's stories did not change me but also reminded me of the long road ahead to recovery and escape from this darkness.

P.S. Having problems with editing due to my phone.


Posted Mar. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

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RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

It didn't change my thinking, but like any good story, when told about people you "know" I think you identify more with it and have more sympathy. If you just read statistics and get the big picture, it's easier to not emotionally get involved and feel powerless. When you read the story about what happens with two women, I for one, got completely drawn into their story. I was reminded of how some new brides are treated terribly by their mother-in-laws and the punishments, heart-breaking!

It was interesting to me the scene at the airport where the woman gives her a business card and expresses concern. I've heard some other stories where airline personnel have rescued some women in this situation. It would have been an interesting addition to the end of the book to share some suggestions for what to do, resources, way to help, etc.


Posted Mar. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

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RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

I appreciate your sharing your personal experiences alwaysdaddygirl. I believe it must take a lot of strength to read about abuse (especially abuse as severe as this) after experiencing it yourself.

I really like the idea about including resources for the reader. I also would have appreciated more statistics on human trafficking or steps India may (or may not) be taking to move its citizens forward in their thinking/changing their cultural ideas. I've read on comments in the other questions that speak about the need/importance of education in many countries (U.S. included). I work closely with a group in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico that offers scholarships to poor students. People are able to sponsor a student from primary school all the way through university!


Posted Mar. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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alwaysdaddygirl

Join Date: 09/04/16

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RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

That would be helpful to have resources like that at the end. This book can be a trigger. I did not think of that.

Mahalo! I did not know that about scholarships either.


Posted Mar. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judyg

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 30

RE: Did Poornima's and Savitha's stories change the way you think about issues such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, and abuse?

Yes, reading the book did change my thinking about sex trafficking and other such offenses because of the scene when one of the girls agreed to the amputation of her arm. I cannot imagine agreeing to such a horrific act in any situation; however, the story emphasizes the extent of the violence and the persuasiveness of the criminals involved. I've read about the kidnapping and retention of women for sexual services but not anything like what they experiencced.


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