Most trafficked persons, at the beginning, are leaving home to pursue a good job abroad. Then they find they have been sold, they owe tens of thousands of dollars
  and will have to buy themselves back. Read the words of trafficked women and try to imagine what that journey must be like.
  I was 19. My boyfriend told me I could be a waitress in Portugal. We had been together for a year and a half.-Lena, Moldova. When I was 24, I visited St. Petersburg. I was preparing to return the train station a woman suggested that she could help me to get work somewhere abroad. She told me she had an acquaintance in Germany, a woman who could connect me with a family for whom I could be a housemaid.-Marsha, Russia
...He said that he was a model agent ... They said they were on their way to California ... to do some more photo shoots, and they wanted me to go along with them. He said that I could probably make about a thousand or more. ... He said I could try it for three days. ... And so I went with them. -Miya, United States. A friend ... told me about the opportunity to work in factories in Japan. I had divorced my Thai husband ... my son was three years old... I was finding it difficult to make enough money ... I thought if I went for just one year I could make money for my family and son. -Pot, Thailand
...I was not allowed any chance to say goodbye to my family ... I heard the agents talking about the price for each woman being between 150-160 bai [1.5-1.6 million yen; US$10,000-11,000], but I ... did not realize that we were being sold into prostitution. I was feeling suspicious but still wasn't clear about what was going on.
  -Pot, Thailand
After a few days, Geanna told me she could not find a family who would hire me as a housemaid. She said I owed her 2,000 German marks (about $1,000 USD) and said that I would earn that money by providing sexual services to men. I was afraid to say no because she had taken my passport, and I didn't know any German. She and her husband, who was a drug dealer, threatened to beat me if I tried to leave, and said if I went to the police, I would be deported. -Marsha, Russia; ...When we enter the house ... Some men were sitting inside, they laughed and looked at us in bad way and speak to Damir in Italian, which we did not understand. I asked him who they are, but he grab my arm and said something very bad in Albanian. He hit me ... he pulled me by hair into a room and hit me more than once until my face start bleeding ... I heard other girls screaming. And then he raped me. -Maria, Albania
  I held out for five days, crying, with no food. Eventually I lost my honor and my virginity for $25.   -Name Unknown, Dominican Republic
That was when I realized I had been sold. Because she gave money to the Arab guy, and my passport was taken. - Lena, Moldova
One can endure anything except hunger. If I were a man, maybe I would have committed murder to fill my stomach. But as a woman, I became a prostitute. -Manju, Nepal
 I saw that I had traded one type of hell for another. I did what I had to do, because I was doing it for my daughter. -Sasha, Amsterdam
I'm no star; I'm just a whore, that's all. -Siri, Thailand
If you see us only as victims you have missed the point. -Cherry, Canada
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