KOLKATA, INDIA – A 16-year-old girl was running down a residential street just outside Kolkata. She looked desperate, but determined. Neighbors stopped her, and asked her why she was running. She told them she was running away. She said was running from the woman who was chasing her, the madam who she said had held her captive for the past two months in her home.
The neighbors were shocked when the girl revealed she had been trafficked for sex – to a private home on their own street. The neighbors helped the girl call the police, who in turn called IJM for assistance. The girl shared her story again, explaining how customers would come to the house to rape her, night after night. Yesterday, she noticed the gate outside the home was open. She took off running.
IJM social workers stayed with the young girl while she shared her story, then accompanied her to a safe aftercare shelter. IJM will continue to work with the government authorities to ensure she goes to a long-term aftercare home where she can receive counseling and opportunities to build a strong future for herself.