MUMBAI, INDIA – This week, IJM Mumbai assisted local police to rescue two girls who had been trafficked and sold for sex. The suspected traffickers were arrested during the undercover operation.
The trafficking survivors were first taken to the police station, where an IJM social worker was able to provide support and reassure them they were now safe. The girls started to open up and share how they ended up in the hotel a few hours outside of Mumbai, trapped in an abusive nightmare.
One girl said that her mother had sent her to Mumbai with another woman from her village to find work in a beauty parlor. Instead, the girl was rented out for sex. She said she had been raped by up to half a dozen men every day for the last two weeks.
The other girl explained that a friend from school had promised her a well-paying job in Mumbai. Instead, she said, he forced her to do domestic work in his home for no pay at all. On several occasions, he took the terrified girl to a lodge, forcing her to have sex with other men. She knew no one in the massive city far from her home state. She endured the abuse for about four months.
After the survivors gave statements testifying to the abuse, they were accompanied to a protective aftercare home in Mumbai. IJM will continue to support the girls so they receive the care they need to heal from the abuse and thrive in freedom.
IJM advocates will work to ensure the suspected traffickers are held accountable according to India's anti-trafficking laws. "Thanks to the work of the police tonight, we believe that this is a very strong case so that the perpetrators will be held accountable for their crimes," said one of the IJM staff present on the night of the rescue operation.