Several weeks ago, an investigative team into sex trafficking which Messenger supports in India found a 16 year old girl, trapped in a private brothel. She was kept in a small locked room in a “normal” little house in India. The team discovered her, arranged police oversight and involvement, and then initiated a raid on her behalf.
A white van pulled to the curb and a team of Indian men shoved into a too-small space unloaded like circus clowns. Cameras. Men. Small pathways in a crowded neighborhood, past chickens and under laundry.
And then she emerged from the crowd– the only woman among men, running. She had beautiful black hair, a long traditional sari and as she ran, one hand clasped a purse to her shoulder. Together they entered, and stopped at a bedroom door. A colorful cloth curtain hung in front of the locked wood door like a thin prison veil. Knocking. The door opened with the same ensuing chaos of a reality TV Cop show bust. Men were speaking loudly, roaming the premises, arresting the pimps.
But the woman? She was single-focused. She immediately moved to the young teenager and held her, hugged her like a mother. Men were busy like warriors in a tangle of justice, but the woman understood a different part of the fight. She stepped into the mess, the fear, the confusion. And she offered safety and comfort that the men in uniforms couldn’t begin to provide.
The lead investigator explained that this woman was one of the two social workers that Messenger has provided a salary for this year. She has a heart for girls rescued from sexual slavery and consistently enters into the darkness on their behalf. The lead investigator said about her work on this case, as in so many others she works now with the team, that “she ran ahead.”
She didn’t wait to be invited, didn’t question the right course of action in a moment of intensity. She just ran ahead–towards a scared girl, abused and broken, offering the arms only a woman can give.
This social worker was brave enough to run into an actual prison, kind and strong enough to lead the victim to freedom.
This is an actual photo of the social worker and the 16 year old, during the raid.
To learn more about Rescue, the work accomplished in 2013, and how you can get involved, click here.