After eight years at JWI, reading and hearing countless stories of abuse and survival, I tend not to get outwardly emotional about these things. But Nicholas D. Kristof’s op-ed in the New York Times yesterday, about the rescue of several young girls from sexual slavery in India, brought me nearly to tears.
Kristof joined the International Justice Mission in a raid to retrieve one teenage girl from a brothel in Kolkata; they came out with five. His account captures both the scope of the issue and the terror of a child threatened with harm – to herself or her family – if she attempts to escape.
India probably has more modern slaves than any country in the world. It has millions of women and girls in its brothels, often held captive for their first few years until they grow resigned to their fate… India’s brothels are also unusually violent, with ferocious beatings common and pimps sometimes even killing girls who are uncooperative.