[dropcap]S[/dropcap]uhana* was only 16 when she was rescued by IJM (International Justice Mission Canada) and local police from a Kolkata brothel. Brought to a secure and loving aftercare home, she began to thrive. After more than a year of healing, Suhana and her counselors decided she was ready to start a job outside of the shelter.
She made a new friends through this job, but the friendship had terrible consequences. The unthinkable happened: Suhana was trafficked to a faraway city. Tricked and betrayed, Suhana was sold to a pimp and returned to the nightmare she thought she had escaped forever. Night after night, she was raped, abused and exploited.
But Suhana was not forgotten. IJM was determined to rescue her – no matter how impossible it seemed.
Early investigative leads revealed she had been brought from Kolkata to Mumbai. And so began a desperate mission to find one lost girl in the huge city.
After four months of relentless searching, IJM investigators pinpointed Suhana’s precise location. In a city of 18 million people, in the middle of a massive red-light district, one girl was found.
Reunited with the IJM staff who had never stopped caring for her, Suhana felt how deeply she was loved. She says, “IJM didn’t give up on me. They searched for me and they found me, rescued me again.”
IJM lawyers fought for justice in court, and several of her traffickers have been convicted and sentenced to 7 to 10 years in prison. Confident in her freedom, Suhana is studying and hopes to become a social worker. “I’m just one of so many girls forced into prostitution who were lost, but now, are found,” Suhana says.
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