More than 250 million kids are trapped in prostitution rings all over the world. Poverty, discrimination, and violence fuel this global sex trade, even tempting parents to sell their children to prostitution rings. Pornography on the Internet keeps expanding the illicit market for young girls and boys to be exploited as sex slaves. The youngsters who try to escape are often killed.
Sex trafficking is growing in U.S. suburban neighborhoods where many young girls (the average age is 12) are being abducted, drugged, and "turned out" as prostitutes by pimps. Skin in the Game, a film inspired by true events, explores this multi-million dollar criminal industry through the story of one girl, one mother, and the friend who helps them.
Dani (Sammi Hanratty) lives in a nice suburban neighborhood with her single mother Sharon (Elisabeth Harnois), a nurse. She's 15 and upset that her mother doesn't give her more freedom. She been talking with a stranger online and is excited when he suggests they meet. But instead of finding romance, she is abducted and prepped for a life of prostitution with those who want sex with young girls.
When Sharon realizes Dani is missing and the police can't help her for 72 hours, she reaches out to Lena (Erica Ash), Dani's godmother. A former prostitute herself, Lena has set up a safe haven for young women who have been abused and battered by their pimps. She prides herself on never leaving anyone behind and tries to convince the girls she rescues that their pimps don't care for them and "ownership is not love."
Sharon and Lena begin a quest to find and rescue Dani, which takes them into the dangerous world of American sex trafficking in their own back yard. They learn that Dani is in the possession of Eve (Angelica Celaya) who through the use of drugs, fear tactics, and brainwashing techniques seeks to elicit Dani's loyalty and commitment to her new "family."
Skin in the Game is written by Adisa, who is also the director, and Steven Palmer Peterson. It does a good job exploring the United States version of human trafficking. Erica Ash's sturdy and salutary performance as Lena gives the story its emotional vibrancy and ethical power. We are convinced that Lena truly cares and, with her knowledge of the system, there is hope for the victimized girls.