Yucaipa Author Writes Book, Raising Awareness of Human Trafficking | News

Dejah Edwards has turned a subject near and dear to her into her first novel. “Shattered Innocence: A Journey to Restoration” was released by the Yucaipa resident in October. “For me, this is an urgent question. I think it is a question that needs to be addressed today. I wrote this book because, although it is fictional, it is a story that happening everywhere,” she said. The pressing issue she is referring to is sex trafficking. ‘Shattered Innocence’ is a victim’s story. And although Edwards looks at sex trafficking, the main focus is the ‘Journey to Restoration’, as the subtitle indicates. ‘I didn’t want to write a horror-centric book,’ says the retired teacher, who has lived in Yucaipa since about six years old.”Before I wrote this book,” she said, “I probably read every book on trafficking and you could barely read the book for more than an hour without being so disgusted by what is happening. “I wanted a book that focused on restoring the victim and how it helped other people.” Indeed, “Shattered Innocence” tells the inspiring story of Lyndie, who is forced into a life of sex trafficking, then later, after escaping, is able to heal, help others and come to terms with life. love after finding faith in God. Edwards, who has written a few non-fiction books, got the idea for “Shattered Innocence” from a compilation of several different events in his life. She herself is a victim of abusive relationships. Her first marriage was physically abusive and her second was emotionally abusive. “When I came out of that (second) marriage, I realized that women, their worth doesn’t come from the man who dumped them, their worth doesn’t come from their work,” she said. . “They need to know who they are.” She echoes those sentiments when she talks about her years as a middle and high school teacher and how young girls are so vulnerable when they want someone to love them. Then, as a young adult, Edwards met someone who had escaped a life of sex trafficking and wanted to reconnect with his family, but was ashamed. “I kept telling her to go home and she couldn’t. She said, “How could I face my mother after what I did?” “, Edwards said of her friend. “She put it all on herself…I didn’t write her story but I could understand the shame and the guilt.” Fortunately, about three years later, Edwards has received a call from her friend and she was on her way home. “She had a relationship with God and she was able to forgive herself,” Edwards said of her friend’s change of heart. These experiences combined with her concern for human trafficking brought her to “Shattered Innocence”. Recently, she attended a Rescue Sunday at Grace Point Fellowship Church in Yucaipa, where human trafficking was discussed. “I was shocked when they told us that San Bernardino to Las Vegas is the biggest smuggling route in the United States,” Edwards said of the speakers, who included law enforcement officials. He was also told: “If there’s a motel in your town, someone’s being trafficked there.” “J I want people to be aware that this is happening. I want them to be motivated to learn more about trafficking…I want them to be involved in the solution,” she said. Human trafficking and sex trafficking can be difficult to detect because the targets are often runaways and immigrants, very vulnerable groups who do not want to draw attention to themselves. However, Edwards says there is one thing every adult can do to help fight trafficking. “I think the biggest solution is to talk,” she said. “If you’re a parent or a grandparent, you have to sit your kids down and talk to them. They are never too young to be talked to. They need to be warned of what is going on there. Raising awareness of this global issue was important to Edwards when she was writing her novel. “It’s happening everywhere,” she says. However, she didn’t want her book to be too dark and leave no hope. “I don’t want to read a book that makes my stomach hurt or my heart breaks,” she said. “I wanted a happy ending. My book has a happy ending. I want a book that you come back from and say, ‘Wow. There’s hope.’ Edwards is writing a Christmas story. And depending on how it goes, it will be a short story for a magazine or another novel. She hopes it will be ready in time for the holidays later this year. “Shattered Innocence : A Journey to Restoration” is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, or local readers can email Edwards to purchase a book for $14 including tax. Shipping charges may apply. Edwards may be contacted at [email protected]

Lola R. McClure