Young girls are at a stage in life when they are beginning to spread their wings. They are starting to relate to others differently than when they were younger, are aware that they are at the cusp of adulthood and consciously attempt to grow valuable relationships, and invest in education that will enable them to fly high. Young girls also lack self-esteem because of bodily changes and a growing awareness of themselves. This lack of self-esteem makes them vulnerable because they easily trust those who enter their lives, sometimes their emotions get the better of them and they jump into romantic relationships. 

How traffickers lure young girls
Traffickers don’t look like our typical movie villains. They probably are the person-living- next-door could be a woman or a man, a young boy in college, or a girl who has already been convinced that the only way to find self-worth, discovery, and money is by exploiting vulnerable people. Traffickers play on these vulnerable points in a young girl’s life and lure girls into prostitution with false promises of love, money, or simply a better life. Once in their clutches, traffickers instill fear in victims to ensure that they remain under their control. 

Fears that bind victims of trafficking

  1. Fear of retribution
    Victims of trafficking are physically restricted in the brothel. They live under constant surveillance, and fear running away because of the possible consequences if caught – forced back to the brothel, verbal and physical abuse, no food, and the brothel keeper taking away part or all of the earnings. 
  1. Fear of authority
    The brothel keeper has told them time and time again that if they leave the police will hold them in custody. Girls fear that traffickers and brothel keepers will tell the police that they were complicit in their trafficking. Girls are groomed into this situation and therefore are loyal to their brothel keepers and often call them aunty. In most rescue operations girls either hide or run away so as not to be caught by the police. 
  1. Fear of returning home
    Having lived under constant surveillance, living in freedom could overwhelm some survivors. Returning home also means that they have to live with the past and the trauma associated with it. Marriages might become complicated as they might fear that their families will learn of their past and therefore do not want to be associated with anyone from the past including social workers involved in their rescue.  

Fear is Real
These fears are real for victims of trafficking. They have either seen other girls in the brothel experience it or experienced it themselves. Trafficked victims living in constant fear for their safety day in and day out, are traumatized and lose hope. 

Freedom Firm’s mission is to find and rescue young girls trafficked into prostitution in India, restore their identities, and bring their perpetrators to justice – to ensure that trafficked victims can begin to hope again.