Priya is the eldest of seven kids. She loves her family, and when she found herself married to a much older man who was abusive towards her, at only 14, she wanted desperately to return to them. Sadly, her parents wouldn’t have her back. There’s so much shame associated with a woman who leaves her husband in their community, and they’d received payment from the man that they’d sold her as a bride to.
Three months into her marriage, Priya’s luck seemed to have changed. Someone she knew offered her a job in Singapore and promised her a good salary. Priya was so relieved. This would mean she could get away from her husband, and provide for her parents and her siblings education as well. She gratefully accepted the offer, and secretly left her husband late one night.
What Priya didn’t know was that she was about to be trafficked. Upon her arrival in Singapore, Priya was met by two men who took her to a house, where she witnessed women being forced to provide sexual services. After threats and abuses from the men who had brought her there, she had no choice but to comply.
But that’s not where Priya’s story ends. She’s brave and bold, and she dared to escape from the brothel with the help of people in the neighborhood. The police finally rescued Priya and she was placed in a shelter, but she was plagued by the trauma of her experiences, and would have horrible flashbacks. She contemplated taking her own life, as she saw it as having no value after what she’d been through.
But with the patience and care of Hagar’s counselling staff, Priya began to see herself as someone of worth once again. She’s a keen learner, and soon picked up English language classes. Priya can hold a decent conversation in English, and now, she’s got a job of her own. Better than that, Priya is fulfilling her dream of being able to support her siblings in their education.
Recently, Priya received some sad news. She found out that her family’s fields had flooded, destroying their only source of income and devastating their future prospects. We are currently fundraising to help Priya’s family rebuild their livelihood. You can help Priya by giving to Hagar Singapore.
*Hagar pursues the highest degree of care and protection for its clients; names have been changed and images do not necessarily reflect the individual profiled.