“N” has cancer. N is an African woman who was offered a job working in Asia. She left her daughter and mother to travel abroad in search of better work and more money to support her family. When N got to Asia she found out there was no such job and she was forced into prostitution. N was severely raped during this time. When the injuries were not healing she went to the doctor who told her that the damage was such she needed immediate surgery. There was too much internal physical trauma and she was at risk of cancer. N was still in forced prostitution and getting the surgery was not an option for her. She felt trapped, desperate, and afraid.
When N was referred to us by another trafficked woman she was still bleeding heavily and in a lot of pain from the physical damage. We began to care for her and began the process of her repatriation. Though we took N to a doctor here, she was too afraid to have the surgery done here in a foreign country. She wanted to wait until she could get home and could be with her family.
After a long repatriation process, N finally made it home. The NGO that received her took her to a doctor immediately. N has been diagnosed with cancer. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. It seems so unfair and so harsh after all N has already gone through.
It is undeniably bitter, but there is a sweet side to this. N has been rescued from forced prostitution. She will not be dying on the street, forgotten and alone in some foreign country. Unlike her sister who left home years ago and never returned, N will not be listed among those missing. N has been rescued, she has been cared for, loved, given hope, and she will continue to receive support through the treatment process. Of those so unfortunate to have been trafficked, she is one of the more fortunate. She has been rescued.
Trafficking sucks. It’s devastating and destructive. It steals life from the vulnerable and makes a monstrous profit for criminals. It shouldn’t be happening in this day and age with all our modern technologies, resources and awareness campaigns. As a society we do not lack the financial or the human resources to put an end to this. (Consumers in the US spend more on potato chips than on anti-trafficking!) While many more have become involved, overall as individuals, we just seem to lack the will or commitment to redirect our disposable income, our time, and our energies. If we all did our part this could stop!
It has now stopped for one. She is safe and for that she is so grateful. On our way to the airport she said to me, “Miss Annie, so many women are dead…” N is grateful to be alive and to be rescued, but the consequences of her exploitation are severe. I thank God that she has been rescued and has hope for a full life with her mother and daughter.
There are many more out there waiting to be rescued. There are many at high risk of being trafficked. How long will we wait to lift our voices? How long will we wait to do our part? Someone’s daughter is crying out to be rescued. What if she was yours?