The horrific personal stories of survivors of human trafficking are characterised by violence, rape and torture, as well as endemic corruption and negligence throughout the police and authorities. Unfortunately Abhaya's experiences given below are familiar to many girls.
“Manesh made me sit on his bike by threatening me with a gun along with his friends. I was raped for days and when I fell ill they brought me to my village by a vehicle and ran away after throwing me near my house.”
A fourteen year old girl called Abhaya, living in Varanasi, was kidnapped whilst she was returning from visiting her sister’s house. She was taken to Jharkhand, the state neighboring Uttar Pradesh, and was forced into a fake marriage there. Abhaya was then kept locked in a house and was raped continuously by a gang of men for ten days. In addition one of the men put vermillion dye in the girls hair parting – a symbol of marriage and took photos with her.
When Abhaya fell ill due to being raped and severely abused the kidnappers returned her to her home by driving back to her village and throwing her out near her family home. Abhaya’s family made complaints to the police - they refused to take action. Instead the police threatened the family, along with the kidnappers family, to keep quiet. During this process Abhaya was illegally detained under police custody in a police station for two days whilst they pressured her to withdraw the case. The family contacted Guria who forced the release of the girl from the police station, ensured the complaint was registered and succeeded in ensuring the kidnappers were sent to jail and that their bail was rejected. Concurrently Guria provided support to the girl and her family including witness protection which is not provided by the state.
The kidnappers remain in jail whilst the case is under trial and Guria continues to help Abhaya overcome the huge trauma she has been through.
* names of victim and accused have been changed