Every week our team ministers to women and children living in slum and street dwelling communities. These at-risk areas are full of poverty, corruption, and injustice. Many are living in situations of modern-day slavery, trapped by their situations and living day-to-day only to survive.
This week several of the women there shared their stories.
As the ladies shared, we noticed that although slightly different, their stories were entirely the same. They all had the same story of poverty and pain, and all of the women had encountered some situation or person that forced them into prostitution. Prostitution is not a choice!
- One of the ladies shared that her boyfriend had sold her into prostitution. He had persuaded her to go to Thailand for better job opportunities, and once she was there, he sold her to a mama-san that locked her in a room and held her captive. When she begged to go home, she was told she had a debt and had to stay until she paid what was owed. She was forced to service 7 – 10 men for sex per day and needed to work one full year before she was finally released. When she returned from Thailand, she was considered “used” and without job skills. So she continued to work in prostitution, and today still finds herself in the same position – trapped in sexual exploitation.
- Another lady we met with shared that her family was in great poverty when she was younger. Her father had died, and her mother couldn’t support her with all of her siblings. Since she was one of the older children, she had to collect garbage and recyclables to make money for the family. She tried to make enough money collecting garbage but was unable to earn enough. She had no job skills and little education. So, at the age of 15, she began to sell herself for money. She hated what she was doing but knew no other way to provide for her family. The pressure was great, and she ended up trapped in years of abuse and sexual slavery. Just recently she escaped the cycle of prostitution and is now married with a child. She said she hopes she never has to do that again, but her husband is not getting enough money to support the family, so she is considering once again selling herself for sex. Her husband directs traffic and collects garbage on the street, and her dream is to learn to sew and someday open her own clothing store.
Both women cried out for help that day. XPMissions is working with several outside persons and organizations to get these women alternative job training. It’s our hope that their destinies will be changed – that they will be free from the bonds of slavery. We will do whatever it takes to get them there.
Their backgrounds are also identical to the current situation of the children we are working with. These children are extremely at-risk, and if they don’t get help, their futures are likely to be the same as that of the women.