Survivor speaks out against trafficker and sees him jailed

Videoed naked by a boy who had drugged her, teenager Esha* was then blackmailed and sold into the sex trade.

The 14-year-old met her trafficker at a picnic. He had come along with her best friend’s boyfriend. Esha recalls drinking soda that the boys had supplied and having a lot of fun. That was until she felt dizzy and the rest of the evening she cannot remember.

The following day she received a phone call from the boy. He pressured her into meeting him that evening by promising her something special. But when she met up with him she was horrified to see a video of herself, naked, on his phone. He threatened to send the video to everyone in her school if she did not do what he said.

Deeply upset, Esha returned home and stayed off school for a week. When she returned she discovered the other students had seen the video.  Ashamed, Esha promised the boy she would do anything he asked if he would delete the video. He told her to meet him and she left home without telling her family. He then took her to another city before selling her for the equivalent of £350.

Each day she was forced to have sex with many men, in a city where she could not speak the language. She was beaten by the brothel manager as well the customers. At night, she was locked in a room where she would contemplate taking her life.

Several months later, Esha was rescued in a joint operation by the police and Justice and Care. Taken back to her home city and given a place to live and support by social workers, Esha began to heal and rebuild her life. She has reconnected with her family and continued her education. She aspires to become a police officer and to support her family.

A year after she was rescued, Esha testified against her trafficker in court. He was sentenced to many years in prison.