I knew that it would be hard… I didn’t have a Mickey Mouse notion that these girls are all just waiting to be rescued like damsels in distress. Or that I would end each day with the satisfaction that “I helped someone in need.” Quite the contrary, and it’s a good thing because, those unfamiliar with the ins and outs of trafficking, rescue, aftercare, etc are surprised to learn that many of the girls want to go back to the brothels or to the families that sold them.
Over the last five years, it hasn’t been amazing success stories that keep me going (cause they are few and far between). I founded International Sanctuary because I truly believe that I was called to do it. But yesterday was one of those moments when you question…am I doing the right thing?
My sweet Tanuja*shyly asks for an advance in salary. Of course I asked why (as I’m trying to get them to think about how they are spending their money). She said, “I need to give more money for my home for food and rent…my grandmother isn’t earning because there is a new police officer in town and he is doing many raids.”
The realization hit me like a kilo of bricks. Tanuja’s grandmother is a madam and her father is a pimp. When she turned 18 she made the choice to leave her aftercare home and go back with her family despite all of iSanctuary’s efforts. Now, as she earns a salary, some of her money is going into the hands of the very people iSanctuary stands against.
I think I had pretty realistic expectations when I started iSanctuary but I never expected this…
What do I do with this realization?
*Name has been changed to protect identity