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Liswini's Story: From Captivity to Freedom

Liswini's Story: From Captivity to Freedom

This video depicts a similar story to Liswini’s. It tells the fictional story of one girl, who represents the thousands who are lured into human trafficking every year, and how Love Justice works to intercept them before they are trafficked!   

Sixteen-year-old Liswini* is like so many young girls growing up in an area of the world where poverty is rampant and jobs are few. Born into a poor family living in a district of South Asia, her father had to leave them behind and travel to India in order to find work. He never returned.

In his absence, Liswini’s family struggled to find ways to meet their basic daily needs. Eventually, the two oldest boys got married and moved away, leaving Liswini the sole responsibility of caring for her younger sibling and her mentally ill mother. In order to try and support her family, Liswini had no choice but to drop out of school, even before she had completed her middle school education, and begin working as a laborer in various jobs she could find.

Human trafficking preys on the struggles and misfortunes of primarily women and children, offering them false promises of opportunity and wealth. The traffickers entice their victims with unimaginable hopes and dreams they have never before had the luxury of entertaining. Liswini’s desperation to provide for her family put her in a very vulnerable state.

During this time, Liswini met a 23-year-old man named Hartaj* who promised to marry her and take care of her family. Just think of the relief she must have felt, knowing the weight she’d been carrying on her shoulders would soon be lifted. At his request, she traveled with him to another district where he said they would be married. When they arrived at their destination, Hartaj introduced her to a man named Juddha*, and they stayed at Juddha’s house for several days.

Hartaj explained to Liswini that before they could be married, they needed to travel to India in order to find work and earn some money to help begin their life together. Juddha also accompanied them saying he had business to attend to there.

Once they reached their destination in India, Hartaj left Liswini with Juddha, promising he would return soon. However, shortly after he left, Juddha told Liswini that Hartaj had sold her to him for $350. He then proceeded to rape her multiple times, “breaking her in,” before later sending her to “service” other customers in his brothel. Liswini was experiencing a horrific depravity and an unspeakable reality she would have never thought existed. She had been degraded to a piece of property, valued as nothing more than an “object” for sale to the highest bidder.

While held captive inside the brothel, Liswini met a 17-year-old girl named Ehani* who had also been lured to India under false pretenses. She had been promised a job as a prestigious dancer in an orchestra only to find herself a prisoner in the same unimaginable hell as Liswini. Liswini shared her story with Ehani, and both girls devised a plan to escape and run away from the brothel together.

To make sure everyone else would be asleep, Liswini and Ehani waited until the middle of the night to make their way out of the brothel. Once free, they ran through neighboring fields until they reached the border to cross back into their home region of Asia. At the border, they were stopped by Love Justice International staff who monitor that area daily, looking for signs of potential trafficking.  

Once the Love Justice staff heard their story and had a clear understanding of what had happened to them, they instructed each of the girls to call the traffickers who had sold them to the brothel and tell them they were alone and didn’t know what to do or where to go. So Liswini called Hartaj, and Ehani called her trafficker. They both pretended to be desperate and afraid, asking for help.

Meanwhile, the LJ staff contacted the local authorities who were then ready and waiting to arrest both of the traffickers when they arrived. After the traffickers were taken into custody, Liswini and Ehani were escorted to a shelter for safety where they were guided through the process of filing a report against their traffickers. Liswini and Ehani were provided with safe travel back to their homes, and both of their traffickers were eventually prosecuted and convicted to five years in prison for their crime.

Not only do the Love Justice staff members help ensure potential trafficking victims are returned to safety and put known traffickers behind bars, they also share the life-saving grace of the gospel with the victims and provide them with vital resources that will help them navigate their own personal journey to know Christ as their Savior.

Over the past five years, the number of people living in the bondage of human trafficking is estimated to be close to 45 million total slaves (UNICEF), with a staggering 71% of the victims being women and children (UNODC). Of this total number, it is estimated that 4.5 million are victims of forced sexual exploitation (Global Slavery Index).

Each one of these numbers represents a child of God. He knows every one of them by name and counts the number of hairs on their heads. Each beautiful life is worth everything to Him. They are not just faceless victims. They are innocent lives made in His image, precious to Him and deserving of freedom!

Love Justice’s mission is to share the love of Jesus Christ by fighting the world's greatest injustices. To date, they have helped intercept more than 16,000 potential victims to prevent them from being sold into human trafficking, and in the last six months alone, their work has resulted in the arrest of 117 perpetrators.

*Names have been changed and some location details omitted for both privacy and security purposes.

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