It's heart breaking the number of stories on human trafficking we hear everyday. This is just two stories to enlighten us more and to appeal to our consciences.
Thandi never planned to become a prostitute. Who does? But, she did need a job. A friend returned from Cape Town and told her a beauty parlor was looking to hire a receptionist. He gave the pretty nineteen year- old the advert in the paper and helped her make the call. On the phone, she is told there’s no experience necessary! With the recommendation from her friend, she’s hired right on the spot!
Thandi’s new employers pay for her bus ticket and promise her a place to live. She packs her small bag, kisses her family goodbye and heads off to her new life in Cape Town with a smile on her face.
When Thandi arrives in Cape Town, she is given a “work” wardrobe and a room in a flat, which she is to share with five other girls. Her first day at work, Thandi is driven with her roommates to her new place of work, a massage parlor. It only takes a matter of minutes for her to realize she’s in a brothel. Many of the girls working there are from foreign nations, China, Eastern Europe and Thailand, and all the girls are all prostitutes.
Thandi will clean and work as a receptionist, but she won’t be paid what she was promised. In addition, she now owes the massage parlor bus fair, money for her new clothes, room and board. She is not allowed to quit or return home until she works off this debt.
The only way to pay this debt and still make enough to survive is to perform sexual favours for the clients.
Thandi and the other girls are never left alone, driven to and from work every day and not allowed to have contact with anyone outside of the massage parlor.
Thandi considers calling the police, but realises quickly, the brothel pays several of them to keep quiet. The owner threatens to hurt her family back home if she tries to escape.
But, Thandi is a strong, bright girl and refuses to perform sexual acts as part of her job. Eventually, her owners grow weary of her protests. She is subjected to rape and torture until she finally agrees to sell herself. Then, she’s forcibly addicted to drugs to keep her subservient. In a few short months, this bright student is addicted to ‘tic’, on call twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, and sleeping with up to thirty men per day. When she is no longer considered fresh, her life of slavery will not end. She will be sold from the upscale massage parlor she works in now, to a pimp and will work the streets.
Saida*, who had a good life and a fiancé in South Africa, was excited about the offer from a family friend to cater a traditional meal for a South African- style wedding in the United States. Believing she would return home in two weeks, Saida set off for America. After the event was over, instead of receiving payment and a return ticket home, she was forced into domestic slavery.
Saida worked without compensation for 19 hours every day of the week— cooking, cleaning, babysitting, shoveling snow and toiling at the homes of her traffickers and their friends. They told her if she tried to call for help, the police would intercept the call, arrest her and throw her into jail indefinitely. Isolated, sleep- deprived, impoverished and terrified, Saida felt hopeless and was in tears every day.
The State Department received a tip and reached out to Safe Horizon, which operates the largest program on the eastern seaboard for human trafficking victims.
With our help, Saida moved to a Safe Horizon shelter, where she was not only offered food, clothing and safe place to sleep, but she was also able to speak with a case manger and immigration attorney who specialized in working with trafficking survivors. Most importantly, she was able to contact her family and friends at home who hadn’t heard from her in months.
With Safe Horizon’s help, Saida returned home, where she continues to cooperate with the FBI to prosecute her traffickers and fight for justice. Her Safe Horizon case manager connected Saida with educational and job training in South Africa before her departure. A few months later, she was thrilled to receive a wedding invitation from Saida. After a two-year separation, Saida and her fiance's wedding was both a celebration and a homecoming.
* Client names and identifying information have been changed to protect their privacy. Images used are representations of Safe Horizon’s clients.
Uhm, Some people get out of it, some are not so lucky enough to get out.
My mind can't even begin to imagine nor comprehend the heartache,the emotional and psychological trauma these girls go through. Aaaah! Lord Have Mercy.
I Publish this post here today in faith that somebody that know's someone that's been trafficked,abused or molested will cry out and seek help for the person. I'm Hoping this post would get to those who traffick and abuse and that some how they'd be touched enough to stop what they are doing.
Those stories are about African girls,but I'm pretty sure girls in other continents can relate to this.
Please,let's keep Trying, Let's Keep Helping, Let's keep Praying For those people in situations beyond their control.