Tima’s Story: Thriving not just surviving

December 16, 2019

36-year-old Tima* lives with husband and their family in Bangladesh. Tima’s life over the last four years has been a battle for survival as she has faced illness, exploitation and the dark realities of human trafficking.

In 2016, Tima’s husband became very ill and the family were forced to move from their village to the city of Dhaka for Tima to look for better work to pay for his medical treatment.

At first, Tima worked as a cleaner and then as a garment worker before hearing about an opportunity to go to Jordan to become a domestic worker. Unfortunately, she was tricked by traffickers who instead took her to Bombay, India where she was sold to a brothel owner for 70,00 rupees (£748).

In April 2018, Tima was rescued by police in Mumbai and taken to the safety of a shelter home. In August 2018 Justice and Care safely repatriated her back home to her family in Bangladesh.

Sadly during her time in the shelter home in India, Tima discovered that she was HIV positive. Our aftercare team provided Tima with intensive care and support in response to her HIV diagnosis. She has also received counselling and life-skills development training.

Becoming financially independent and stable was a key goal for Tima – to be able to provide for her family and pay for her husband’s medical treatment without facing the prospect of returning to the horrors of sexual exploitation.

Tima dreams of a better life filled with happiness and respect for herself and her whole family.

Each day Tima is making progress at rebuilding her life again. We helped her to establish a small business of her own which she now runs. She now plays a vital role in the decision-making process regarding her children’s future and feels empowered by being a financially contributing member of the family and being able to pay for her children’s education and daily needs.

Tima is a survivor of human trafficking, sexual exploitation and debt bondage. Every day she overcomes the stigma of being HIV positive and lives with the physical, mental and emotion wounds of her exploitation. She is very thankful to Justice and Care for the support and empowerment we have been able to provide so that she can thrive and not just survive.

*Name changed to protect identity