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Samara's Story

24 04 April Newsletter Digital Storypage Hero 2x

Faith in the Future

Give survivors like Samara new hope for tomorrow.

What seemed like a promising new relationship turned out to be a trap when a man Samara* met online forced her into commercial sexual exploitation. For several years, Samara was subjected to trafficking and abuse in Romania and the United Kingdom.

But with the help of IJM supporters like you, she helped prosecutors bring the perpetrators to justice. In the process, Samara’s case provided crucial new insights in the fight to end trafficking.

“It was not just horror, but more than horror. He beat me on the street and people just turned their heads.”

— Samara, survivor of trafficking

24 04 April Newsletter Digital Storypage Body image 2x

Samara was very young when she met the man who would betray her trust. After starting a romantic relationship with her, he forced her into commercial sexual exploitation and used emotional manipulation and violence to control her.

The perpetrator and his family subjected Samara to constant physical and verbal abuse. They restricted her from going outside without being guarded and took her ID papers. They even deprived her of food and proper housing.

After many years of exploitation, the traffickers decided Samara was no longer profitable for them. They kicked her out of the house with nowhere to go.

Thank you for helping restore survivors like Samara. Please give today to help end sex trafficking and all forms of modern slavery.

Back in Romania, Samara’s case reached a specialized human trafficking prosecutor. He referred Samara to IJM for legal services, medical services, therapy, material support and professional training courses.

The abusers were sentenced to up to five years in prison. The court also ordered moral damages in the form of compensation for Samara. Her case allowed IJM and partners to gain a valuable understanding of how cross-border trafficking with the UK operates, including the tactics traffickers use to control their victims.

Today, resilient Samara plans to open a flower shop and eventually become a pastry chef. She draws strength from her faith as she reflects on her experience.

“I think that, well, God really loves me,” Samara says. “If I was still with [the trafficker] now, I would be either sold or dead. Yes, God was by my side. God protected me.”

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