On the day everything changed, Fah* thought it would be like any other day: she would be picked up by Naiyana,* taken to a dubious resort, and forced to provide sex to a much older man.
Just 15, Fah lived in terror of the older teenager Naiyana. Naiyana was strong — strong enough to demand most of the money from each of these illicit encounters, to take all of it when she wanted to punish Fah for disobedience, and to cruelly beat Fah if she refused to service customers.
As strong as Naiyana was, her drug addiction was stronger. Even as a teenager, her desperate dependence on drugs had become so powerful that she would do anything to fuel it, including abusing vulnerable kids like Fah. Other adult traffickers had enlisted Naiyana as a recruiter, teaching her that she could get drugs by exploiting others.
It was dusk when Fah climbed onto the back of Naiyana’s motorcycle. They parked at the resort, quickly going inside. At first, waiting in the dingy room, everything still seemed normal to Fah. But then police and The Exodus Road’s team members came in; they’d been waiting just outside.
One of The Exodus Road’s social workers was waiting too, immediately reassuring Fah: you’re safe now. We won’t hurt you.
The Exodus Road’s team had found Fah advertised on Twitter (now known as X). They were able to provide law enforcement with enough evidence to intervene on Fah’s behalf.
Today, Fah is receiving healing aftercare at a government safehouse. Thank you for being a part of removing her from abuse!
Cases like this are an example of how often the lines are blurred between the exploiter and the exploited. Naiyana’s own experiences of abuse and addiction do not excuse her behavior, but it does give us a glimpse of the vulnerabilities and suffering that create cycles of trafficking.