I never imagined I would go back to the brothel of my own free will. It was two years since I had been rescued from the dark world. It took most of that time to begin recovering from the horror I had been sold into as a little girl. It was the only life I knew, Until one night, I was rescued and brought to the Mahima.
As weeks became months and months became years. I experienced healing and learned skills to start a new life. I was only four days away from returning to my home country of Nepal when I received a call to go back to the brothel. I knew I had to go. A rescue was being staged that night for a girl I had known when I was there.
Trafficked girls desperately fear the unknown.
When you are living in the brothel, you don’t want to leave. I know it may sound crazy, but the brothel owners – the very people who have taken away your dignity are also the only ones you can remember who provided for you. They put a roof over your head, food in your belly. They become your family. Besides, they tell you it’s worse out there and that this is all you’re worth. And you believe them. Because you have seen the police frequent the brothel. And you have heard the stories of the girls who are promised rescue. Only to be caught again.
Because of fear, girls often resist their own rescue.
On the street outside the brothel with one of the aunties from the Mahima home, I heard the shouts that erupted inside as the police struggled to bring the girl with them. They had to restrain her with handcuffs on her hands and feet. Her eyes were wide with fear. But I wanted this girl to believe that she can be free. That there is hope beyond the four walls at the brothel she has called home since she was 11 years old. I wanted her to know that there is another home waiting for her.
One girl’s transformation leads to another.
Arriving at the police station. I sat in the car and gently spoke to her. Don’t be afraid I told her. I was in the brothel with you. And you’re going to a safe place now. We know what you have been through. And you don’t need to be ashamed. After an hour, the girl finally calmed down. I told the police they could remove the handcuffs. That she wouldn’t be violent anymore. I cared for her that night at the Mahima home. Applying pain balm to her bruised body and combing her hair late into the evening. The next morning when I came to the daily devotion the girl was already waiting, bathed and with their hair oiled and combed and radiant. The change she had already experienced in one night was amazing.
Mahima means glory.
I am so thankful for the Mahima home. This is where girls like us learn that we have dignity because we were created for God’s glory. This is where we are loved. This is where start a new life.