By Fleur Posthumus | Project and Fundraising Officer
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!
By Shakti Vahini and Free a Girl | Project Officer
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.
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