Sex Trafficking is not as common as forced labour and forced marriage in Australia, but it still happens. Here is a story from one of our survivors.
I am from Asia where I studied business, and saved up for a long time to further my studies in Australia – so one day I could run my own restaurant in my hometown.
When I arrived in Sydney, I was picked up by my recruitment agency and they took my passport so they could ‘sort out my visa’.
They took me to a ‘hotel’ where I was locked in and forced to have sex with up to 20 or more men a day. My captors told me that if I told the police or tried to escape I would be arrested and never be able to return home again.
I did not understand why this was happening to me.
This was not what I came to Australia to do. I did not want this job.
I didn’t sleep much and I could not eat much because I always felt sick. This made me tired.
I was scared.
Eventually I was forced to take drugs to ‘keep my energy up’ – and then had to sell them to others.
I was moved to six other ‘hotels’ over two years.
Free from Sex Trafficking
Then, one day, the police came and shut down my last ‘hotel’ – and I was taken to a safe house. I was so relieved and so grateful for the people who help me. In my country sex trafficking and slavery is common. But I never expect this in Australia. I feel so stupid falling into this trap. Somehow I think I am one of the lucky ones.
My New Freedom:
Since that day I celebrate my freedom every day.
Although I have lost two years of my life and still suffer nightmares, I have discovered strength, endurance and the importance of freedom.
I now attend lessons at The Freedom Hub four times a week, learning new life and work skills to prepare me for working in Australia. One day I would still like to run my own restaurant, so The Freedom Hub has given me the opportunity to learn barista skills at college in the city as a first step.
Soon, when I am working, I will be able to send money back home to my family to support them. And, one day, when my trial is over, I hope to go home and see them again.
[*This is an account of one of our survivor’s slavery situation, however some details are changed to protect identity.]
Tomorrow’s Blog Post: Partner to End Slavery – a look into how a group of hair salons have united to be a voice against slavery.
ABOUT 16 DAYS OF FREEDOM
Thank you for your part in this 16 Days of Freedom. We cannot change culture without awareness, so please help raise awareness with us and share this post with your friends. Here are the hashtags for your share: #16daysoffreedom #freedomhuborg #womensrights #orangetheworld
16 Days of Freedom is a campaign we are running to align with the UN awareness campaign United Nations’ UNiTE campaign on gender violence against women and girls. As a result we are focussing on abuse of women and girls through the lens of modern slavery. So for 16 days we will post a story to highlight the issue. To end the 16days we invite you to come to or host a Festive High Tea for Human Rights. These will be held on or near the UN Human Rights Day on the 10th December.
You can join our High Tea for Human Rights in Waterloo, Sydney, by clicking HERE.
Or you can Host your own High Tea by registering HERE and we will send you an information and fact sheet to read or distribute to your guests.
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