Maya wanted to go home. Even though it was her brother who sold her into prostitution, she still stubbornly insisted on seeing him again. She had been with the Freedom Firm Aftercare Program for just six months. Usually we don’t grant a trip home before a girl has been with us for one full year. But Maya was an exception. She was a simple, sweet girl, who was clinging to our promise that we would send her home for a visit. She didn’t seem to understand the time frame we had explained. It became, in her mind, a test to see whether we would keep our word, or not.

Despite the staff’s best efforts, Maya was still a silent and withdrawn girl. A psychologist had evaluated her and said she was mentally slow. That helped to explain why she was not able to learn to read or write. We suspected that she had a severe trauma block that made her unable to learn. All of us were afraid that Maya would see her family and without the mental and emotional capacity to make a good decision, would return to the unstable and dangerous poverty of her family. Maya would be vulnerable once again.

Knowing the trip had reached a level of great importance in Maya’s mind, Freedom Firm made the decision to take her back to her village.

* Name changed