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Human Trafficking News

Dozens of women freed in South America thanks to one brave woman

The work of supporting law enforcement to unravel criminal gangs is extremely dangerous. For this reason, we are not stating exact numbers or locations.

The Exodus Road focuses on developing good relationships with local law enforcement in countries where we work. These relationships are vital to the rescue efforts of those trapped in slavery. 

So when law enforcement in an undisclosed Latin American country encountered someone in need — a survivor of human trafficking —  they knew they could reach out to The Exodus Road for help. This woman was a single mom who had left a trafficking situation and was in critical financial need. Thanks to our donors, The Exodus Road provided her with money for rent, food, and medicine. 

With her immediate needs taken care of, this brave survivor felt empowered to share her story. She also convinced three other women connected to her traffickers to share their experiences. 

The stories were harrowing and shockingly similar.

The traffickers had found them in low-income areas and promised them jobs in another country. Upon their arrival, their passports were taken. They were told that they’d accrued debt for their travel expenses and were taken to brothels to work off the debt. If they refused to do sex work, they were fined, increasing their “debt.” Their debt continued accumulating as their alleged living expenses were added to it. 

The conditions were awful. The women reported being locked in small rooms with unhygienic conditions. They didn’t have access to necessary medical care. The traffickers restricted access to their children. 

The dreadful place where they lived was also where they were forced to serve customers. Additionally, the traffickers forced them to create explicit videos, which they then used to blackmail them with threats of distributing the videos to their families. The traffickers employed many layers of abuse and neglect as methods of control and coercion.

After these four women bravely shared their testimonies, law enforcement was able to arrest an entire gang of traffickers. Thanks to their courage, dozens of additional women were freed from these atrocious conditions. 

You were a part of this story, and the ripple effects of your generosity are huge. Because of the financial stability you provided to one woman, an entire gang of traffickers was toppled. With the gang dismantled, dozens of women are free and the traffickers will no longer exploit victims.