Armstrong Girl : A Child For Sale : the battle against the Victorian sex trade
In 1885 Victorian England was scandalized by a court case that lifted the veil on prostitution and the sex trade. In the Old Bailey dock stood W.T. Stead, the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, which had recently published a series of articles on the sex trade; Rebecca Jarrett, a reformed brothel keeper; and the second-in-command of The Salvation Army, Bramwell Booth.
They were accused of abducting a thirteen-year-old girl, Eliza Armstrong, apparently buying her for the purpose of prostitution. In fact they had done this as a sensational expose of the trade in young girls. The scandal triggered a massive petition and ultimately resulted in the raising of the British age of consent from thirteen to sixteen.
Today human trafficking is once again making world headlines - as are recent calls to lower the age of consent. Eliza's story is a thrilling account of what can be achieved by those brave enough to believe that change is not only possible but has to come.
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