This tiny little baby was born 6 months ago.
Her mother is a young woman, who was trafficked for sexual exploitation and was raped multiple times by her trafficker.
She was already 4 months into the pregnancy when she found out about it. She went to the hospital with her trafficker, who pretended to be very happy with the news, and that they were going to be parents.
After they left the hospital he forced her to carry heavy things, beat her up, pushed her down the stairs, and pretty much did everything he could to get rid of the baby.
During this whole time, she was still forced to work as a prostitute and have dozens of clients a day.
The mother realized at that moment that her trafficker, who she saw as a boyfriend, didn’t love her as he always said he did. She realized the conditions in which she was living were not ok, and most importantly, she realized she would need a lot of courage to run away and save her child.
So she did. She planned it and ran as fast as she could. She went to the police and got shelter from a local organization. The baby was born in safety, and both lived in that shelter, getting a lot of love and care from all the other women and professionals working there.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget how trafficking affects and ruins many lives, not only the direct victim of the crime, but in this case, the child born from the abuse, maybe the wider family of the victim, and the persons working at the shelter.
One day she met a boy her age, she fell in love and was happy with a new life where she is free. After 6 months she decided to leave the shelter to follow her boyfriend. She also decided she didn’t want the baby.
She couldn’t do it.
She was too young to be a mother in a world she had never experienced before.
That miracle baby, that sweet girl that made everyone smile, that would never cry unless she really had to, that would let all these strangers take care of her without complaining… that baby is lost in the system now.
It broke everyone’s heart. One even tried to adopt the baby, but there is a system, and that was not possible.
We don’t know where this baby is now, but we only wish that she gets a wonderful family that will love her and protect her as any parent should.
As for the mother, we don’t know either.
Many of these women fall back into trafficking. But maybe she didn’t.
Maybe she is happy living a good life and discovering herself for the first time, and we truly hope so.
Many of these women live full and happy lives as well!
Trafficking is something that happened to them, not who they are. We support, we don’t judge, we listen. It is not our job to decide everything for them, our job is to empower them so they can make their own informed choices in life.
It is difficult to be on this side, the side that intervenes for a while but can’t control what will happen in the future.
This is just one of a million stories we work with every day.