Why did I write FINDING HOPE?
I was haunted by the question raised in my first short film THE SACRIFICE.
What happens to a 13-year-old girl when she’s taken from her home and forced to marry?
Fact: There are only THREE states in the US that do not allow marriage under the age of 16. Period. That means 47 States condition the marriage of a minor upon parental consent and judicial authorization. A handful of states waive those conditions if the minor is pregnant.
Translation? Girls under the age of 16 may be married off given sufficient pressure placed on their parents and/or the local judiciary.
Result? Our young girls are at risk, forced to bear a life of domestic and sexual slavery.
Solution? Surrender or escape.
Fear of reprisal, fear of endangering other loved ones, serves to keep the girls in line. But for the ones, like Esmee, who will not give in or give up, escape is the only way out.
Fact: There are 1 million to 3 million runaway and homeless kids living on the streets in the United States. 80% of runaway and homeless girls reported having been sexually or physically abused.
So the next question for me is, what happens to an unworldly, abused teenage girl who runs away?
The answer came in the writing of FINDING HOPE.
Pursued by the cult Esmee escapes, persecuted by the government who wants to use her as a witness, and wanted by the pimps who conned her into seeking refuge with them– Esmee runs to stay alive. She becomes a teen fugitive in her quest for FINDING HOPE.