When Nook escaped to Bangkok, she was looking for freedom — freedom from her abusive father and her abusive husband. What she found were chains of a different sort.
We’ve changed Nook’s name for her own safety, but safety is something she’s hardly ever known. Like many girls in rural Thailand or India’s Banchara community, Nook only had access to a few years of education. By the time she was a teenager, she was married to a man who treated her like property.
Without an education, girls have few options when it comes to escaping poverty or abuse. Far too many end up in early marriages like Nook or are forced into the sex industry as she eventually would be. But that doesn’t have to be the end of their story. Today, July 30, is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, and it’s a day to remind you that you can help rescue girls like Nook from a life of pain.
Some of Nook’s earliest memories were watching her father abuse her mother. In fact, abuse was a companion she knew all too well.
But when she turned 15, she thought she had finally found freedom. She got married and left her father’s home. For the first time, she would be out of his reach. But Nook’s suffering continued — just at the hands of a different man. Within a short time, she lost her beloved mother and her once kind husband suddenly became abusive.
One day, the violence came to a head. Nook’s husband picked her up and slammed her against the wall. Frightened, she ran for her life.
Nook made her way to Bangkok, thinking she would find more job opportunities in a big city. She was afraid but cautiously optimistic, hoping to find work at a local factory. Unfortunately, she soon found herself following in the steps of so many women before her — working at a bar in one of Bangkok’s most prominent red-light districts.
Nook believed she had no other choice. She was alone. She was frightened. She was angry. And the physical and emotional pain was crippling.
But her story doesn’t end in that bar. Nook was introduced to freedom when she was invited to an English class at one of our Freedom Homes. There, she was given the chance to believe in another future — one where she could finish school and pursue a job she loved. But most importantly, she was surrounded by people who loved her and supported her.
That’s where freedom starts.
In India and Thailand, many girls bear the financial burden for their families. Even if they don’t endure physical abuse like Nook, they experience emotional and mental abuse that teaches them to believe they have no worth. These girls have been conditioned to think they are good for only one thing — the money they can bring home from selling their bodies.
This belief takes a toll on the mind and the body. But for just $50, you can help give a girl like Nook access to healing. Your gift will help provide critical needs like a safe place to live, counseling, education, nutritious food, medical care, outreach, and more. Because of you, girls who have known only pain and suffering will finally know what it means to have hope.
Nook eventually moved into one of the Freedom Homes, where she finished high school and began to study textile design at university. Over the next few years, Nook began working at a local textile factory. Today, she helps run the sewing classes in the Freedom Home’s vocational program.
Because of generous donors, Nook has finally found what she longed for … love, happiness, and a bright future. But today, another girl just like her is waiting for hope — waiting for you. Today, you can help break the chains of cultural slavery and the trafficking industry by helping rescue one girl and introducing her to freedom.