Even though our partners were still dealing with challenging COVID restrictions the first few months of this year, they managed to keep the projects up to speed and reached some fantastic results. None of this would have been possible without you. You made this happen and we are incredibly grateful!
With your help, we were able to rescue eight girls (four 17-year-olds, two 13-year-olds, one 14-year-old and one 16-year-old) Along with these eight girls, another 15 girls received rehabilitation support, including shelter, psycho-social counseling, medical support, and educational skill development. The additional 15 girls were rescued by other partners, with whom we cooperate to offer the best from of reintegration for all rescued girls.
Three families also received family counseling, meant to support a lasting and successful return and reintegration of survivors with their families. It can be challenging for everyone involved to adjust to living together again, feelings of shame or guilt overshadowing the homecoming. That’s why we always make sure to arrange follow-up visits and monitor how the survivors are doing.
In our fight to give survivors access to justice, your support helped us file two court cases, and three accused have been arrested.
Thank you so much for your interest in Free a Girl and your support in the fight against sexual exploitation. Since our founding, we have rescued over 6000 children. The continued support of our many donors at GlobalGiving has been absolutely essential in making these rescues happen. Together, we can fight the sexual exploitation of children. And we will win. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for all your support!
During a rescue operation, we found two minors and a young woman that were rescued successfully. This case story narrates the backstory of one of the minor girls.
Mira, 16 years, comes from a remote village in the Mandya district. She discontinued her education after she failed her SSLC exam. She is the only daughter of the family. The family was economically weak as the father works as a daily unskilled wage worker and was earning Rs.250/- per day. A trafficking gang targeted the family using a lover boy. The lover boy convinced Suma to accompany with him to Mysuru to meet some of his friends where she was taken hostage and taken to a house where she was sexually exploited by multiple customers for about six weeks.
The rescue team received information from one of our informants about brothel activities in a so-called “Lodging and Boarding Home” at Hunsur town, 50 Km away from Mysuru. In the meantime, Mira’s parents contacted us after receiving insufficient support from the local police. One of their undercover agents could confirm there were minors being kept in the Lodging and Boarding Home and Odanadi contact the police to set up a rescue operation. Upon rescue we discovered a hidden box in the brothel which was constructed to hide victims. The girls and woman were rescued, and the accused were taken into police custody.
During our aftercare counselling it was revealed that Mira was threatened by the brothel owners each time with photographs and videos of her being exploited. She had to attend to at least 4 customers a day. Victim Mira is currently in the shelter. She wants to continue her studies to become a beautician.
Currently, the court trial is ongoing. The prosecutor is behind the bars under POCSO Act which is non bailable. The trial will most likely last for a long time to finish but the aim is to get the accused behind bars and give Mira compensation.
Thankyou for supporting Mira and all the other girls, because of your support we can rescue the girls and help them integrate in society again. We keep on fighting sexual exploitation of children in India and Nepal together!
Hemal* is 16 years old. Last march 2021, she was kidnapped. Her family searched for her everywhere, but they couldn’t find her. Her family went to the police. 2 days after she was kidnapped, Hemal could secretly use the phone of her kidnapper and called her mother. The police traced her number and found her location. Our rescueteam and police met with the family to collect all details. Afterwards, our rescueteam organized a rescue raid together with the Superintendent of Police.
Fortunately she was rescued. She now receives counselling. She explains that she had met the kidnapper while she was shopping and he had asked her number. He had asked her for a date and she agreed to go on a romantic date. Unfortunately it wasn’t a date and he locked her up in his room and sexually exploited her. She also had to have sex with other people. He said that he was going to send her to a brothel. When he went out of the house and forgot his phone, she could call her mother. Fortunately she is safe now and she wants to continue her school.
The kidnapper is sent to jail.
*her name was changed for privacy and protection reasons.
The rescueteams of Free a Girl in India, together with the local police, rescued 170 minor victims of sexual exploitation in 2020! They received the psychosocial and medical aftercare that they needed.
Furthermore, during and after the raids, 156 perpetrators were arrested!
Thank you so much for your contribution to rescueing these girls!
On the 20th of November, Maya* (15 years old) was rescued. The rescueteam received information from a family that their daughter had been missing. Their daughter was kidnapped. The family had tried to report the case to the local police, but the local police did not cooperate. Our rescue and investigation team visited the commissioner of police and he did cooperate. Together, they rescued her.
During counselling sessions, it became clear that Maya had been lured by a lover boy to a city far from her home town. He locked her up into a room and exploited her sexually.
Now, she is studying and wants to become a teacher. The loverboy is sent to jail and his bail is rejected.
Despite the challenges this year because of Covid-19, our local colleagues have still managed to conduct raids.
From January until October, Free a Girl has rescued 74 girls and young women from situations of sexual exploitation and arrested 63 brothel owners, traffickers and customers!
Sexual exploitation of children not only happens in brothels. Many children are exploited via their computer, even at home or at school. Perpetrators use practices such as grooming, sexting and sextortion and offer the pictures, videos but also the children online. Although the more “visible” commercial sexual exploitation of children still exists, it is slightly decreasing. Perpetrators are adapting their strategies and sexual exploitation is exploding online. Our local implementing partners called for action and this is why we started this project.
Online forensics The phenomenon of online grooming of children and exploiting them is not new: it has been going on for years due to the increase in technological features, tablets and smartphones. This is why special forensic tools and techniques are developed to reveal online sexual exploitation of children and abusers. By doing this research, combined with online detective work and close collaboration with specialized law enforcement agencies, it is possible to locate, identify and rescue many survivors.
Empowering local partners This program aims to empower Free a Girl’s local partner organizations in India by sharing the new developed software to do online research. We encourage our partners to create a national and cross-border network with valuable local, national and international partners to tackle online sexual exploitation of children.
Moreover, we are developing an educational program to train all our local partner organisations so that they learn everything about online forensic research and interventions regarding the online sexual exploitation of children.
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