Friends, three women are free today in India, and we want to thank our Search + Rescue supporters for making this possible!
In a country struggling with poverty and the effects of COVID lockdown on an already fragile economy, women are making choices out of desperation.
Their story of betrayal was especially bitter for Hitu, Ihina, Tike. They were offered arranged marriages, each communicated and coordinated by three women they thought they could trust. The hard reality is that these three traffickers may have been selling others to avoid their own exploitation.
Hitu, Ihina, and Tike were transported to a brothel, not to the homes of middle-class businessmen seeking wives, as they had expected. To settle for a transactional marriage, for life, was never a part of their childhood dreams. But times are hard now, and choices had to be made.
Survival became the focus, and dreams were let go.
But the thread of hope that once existed unraveled with the arrival of a dirty roadside brothel. Despair took hope’s place as Iniya was sold throughout the day and night alongside other girls. Trapped and far from home, they endured abuse.
But your national Search + Rescue team in India is determined…
Within two days of receiving a lead on this brothel, BRAVO team was on the case. They quickly conducted investigations and coordinated the operation with local Indian police.
Hitu, Ihina, and Tike were rescued. They had endured four long days at the brothel, but they are now free from their captors.
Three female traffickers were arrested and are awaiting prosecution. They face a potential minimum sentence of seven years in prison, as well as fines for their crime.
We are so thankful for our Indian team for their hard work, for taking action, and for the foundation of trust they have built with police to ensure collaboration when delivering solid cases.
We are also thankful for our Search + Rescue supporters. Their steady support ensures that rescue is possible for survivors, even when hope seems lost. These survivors may never know your name, but they will experience a lasting impact from your fingerprints on their lives.
*Names, images, and some details are representational.