3 Women in India Are Free, 2 Traffickers Are Facing Justice
Anti-human trafficking work is difficult, dangerous, and complex. Operatives who are investigating cases face countless obstacles — one of which is the challenge of getting accurate evidence in unclear circumstances.
When The Exodus Road’s BRAVO team found these 3 women, it had been 9 days since they had arrived at the brothel, sold into sex trafficking by their own families. BRAVO team spent 3 days working quickly to separate rumor from fact, to collect enough concrete evidence to warrant police intervention.
As soon as they had the facts that they needed, BRAVO and local law enforcement moved swiftly. In an operation carried out over 7 hours, they were able to raid the hotel where the women were being trafficked. Police identified and arrested 2 traffickers, who are now facing fines and imprisonment of 10 years to life.
The traffickers lied, pulling every string in an attempt to convince law enforcement to let them go. They were aware of the serious consequences they were facing.
The women who had been trafficked were dressed in saris, their faces hidden behind heavy makeup. Even after police arrived and arrested the traffickers, the survivors remained trapped by their own fear and anguish. They were not ready to share details of their stories. Their healing process will be a long one, a journey that began when they were transported to a government aftercare home where they will be supported and kept safe.
It’s a difficult process to glean the truth from the tangled web of traffickers’ lies. Those challenges are why the work of The Exodus Road’s investigators is so vital.
At the end of the operation, police asked BRAVO team: “please, keep sharing this evidence with us.”
Investigative work allows law enforcement to cut through the haze of human trafficking to find and free survivors. That work is only possible because of the continued support of generous donors. Thank you for being a part of the freedom story for these 3 women!
*Names changed for safety and privacy. Imagery representative.