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The Travails of a Trafficked Victim

Updated on December 3, 2009

Travails of a Trafficked Victim

This is a story that is a compilation of my personal experiences in this book IMPRISONED: The Travails of a Trafficked Victim. I hope to use this opportunity to reach out to those who do not have access to the book. Also, I would be publishing it little by little until it gets to the end. The most important thing is that anyone who knows someone going through a similar experience should know that help is available. Also, if this story is similar to your personal experience and you need help, please reach out for help. Read along as I release this 'capsule' one after the other.

 

PREFACE

Human trafficking is when a person is here in the United States as a result of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of being subjected to involuntary servitude, forced labor, debt bondage, slavery or commercial sex exploitation. Force includes physical abuse of the victim while fraud may be luring someone through false offers of employment or marriage. Coercion on the other hand means threat to the victim or her family, debt bondage and psychological abuse.

This book, however, is destined to be an eye opener about the reality of domestic abuse and human trafficking, most especially, among immigrants now living in the United States. Even though there is domestic abuse in the African country, Nigeria, where I hailed from, it is not taken as a serious issue that should be addressed as it is in the United States.

Family takes more preference in Nigeria about family issues than the law. So, family members always intervene whenever something is amiss in a marriage. Maltreatment from one spouse to the other among the immigrants here in the United States, is therefore common, especially when there is no family member to intervene.

The shocking aspect, however, is that, spouse who joined the one who is already a resident, or had been naturalized as an American citizen, becomes a slave. In essence, the American citizen or resident was only looking for a victim that he would traffic into the United States, pretending to be a spouse. The victim is then turned into his slave for use as a material for his personal gain rather than a relationship of love. It is sad to note that this happens without anyone being suspicious - the victim or family members from their country of origin.

I therefore, hope to use this book to educate and reveal what happens among immigrants in the United States, in terms of domestic abuse and human trafficking through my own personal experience.

I am doing this to educate other women who are either presently living in such a situation, or might find themselves in the same scenario. They need to know that life is not a bed of roses and that coming to America does not necessarily mean upgrading ones status. For me, I lost my status, career, self esteem and it was just a thin line that kept me wavering between life and death. I almost lost my life in the process.

I suffered isolation for two years. I could not go wherever or whenever I wanted. I was at the mercy of my husband who took me whenever he felt it was necessary, or, on his own condition, and sometimes, for sex. I suffered through pregnancy. I could not eat whatever I craved. And, sometimes, I was at home in pain with little or no help. He pretended to care for me when others were around. When I worked, he took most of my money leaving me with virtually nothing to survive upon. It was a situation of a slave at the beck and call of her master. It could be described as the Israelites in the hands of Pharaoh and the Egyptians.

Therefore, I implore all victims to be conscious of the fact that there is help out there. There are shelters for battered women. There is immigration help too because abusive men and slave masters always use immigration as a weapon against their victims. You would not be deported if the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) found out that you have been abused and enslaved of a truth by a United States citizen or permanent resident. So, please, I beg, do not waste away at a man’s hands, or worse still, lose your life. Go for help.

I also want to use this opportunity to encourage survivors to stop living like victims. Please, go for mental health therapy. It helped me. I believe it would help a lot of women who have gone through hardship in the hands of men. You do not only need legal status, but also your total health. As this book opens the eyes of many to be aware of their surroundings and the slavery going on around the world in recent times, I urge those who need help to speak out.

Readers should take note that the book is written in plain language and there are uses of words like the private part in it. Therefore, it contains adult content. Due to privacy issue, some names have been changed, but, like I mentioned in the beginning of this message, it is a true life story and I hope that many would take advantage of my experience to seek for help.

 

 Cover
Cover

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