Superheroes are real. I met one.
Trigger Warning: sexual abuse, sexual content
This past week I met a man who is no less than a superhero to me.
As a matter of fact, I’ve met a few superheroes this week, but I’d like to highlight one man in particular today. I’ll call him, “S”.
S is an Indian man who works with The Exodus Road and goes undercover into the brothels of India to gather evidence of minors being bought and sold for sex. And when I say minors, we’re talking as young as 7 years old.
Take a minute.
I have a 7 year old daughter and a 10 year old daughter. Not too long ago S was part of a rescue that included 7 and 10 year old sisters who had been found in a brothel. See in India brothels are a bit different than the ones in Thailand. It’s all horrific, but there are certain places in India (always the lower castes) where daughters are sold by their parents so men don’t have to work, and where there are street-side brothels with minors set up for miles and where “fresh” young girls (ages 10-13) are sold for a premium. These young ones being forced to have sex with 35-45 men a day.
Take another minute.
We asked S how he got into the business of rescue and he said his sister was trafficked. He found her and he rescued her, and that is how it all began for him. Since then he has worked for last 20 years tirelessly, putting his life literally on the line, working with local nationals and police to free hundreds of girls from sex slavery. He is a hero, a superhero. Oh, and by the way, his sister now helps with the rescues. She works in aftercare. Incredible. Beautiful.
“I don’t do it for the numbers. To me, a single girl is very important. I do it for the one.” -S
One last thing I want to share about our time with S (there are so many things). One of the stories he told us is that they went undercover in a brothel recently, gathered evidence, and was able to be part of rescuing a couple of minors. During this time they found out that the brothel owner, a woman, was planning on selling her own 15 year old daughter in the brothel. They had a team in place to try and rescue this girl before it was too late.
We wrapped up our session and just as we were sitting down for lunch, S got the call. Right then. He said, “They got her!” She was rescued.
Friends, this is what The Exodus Road does. They go to battle for the vulnerable. They go under cover. They put their lives at risk. They gather evidence. They work with nationals (so important) and local police, and they are effective in rescue. 700 girls (and counting) have been rescued because of the collaborative efforts of nationals and The Exodus Road.
If you want to help The Exodus Road in the fight to end slavery, here is a tangible way: I need 50 people who are willing to donate $35/month to help get these girls out of the brothels. This is specific to India, and 100% of your donation goes to funding investigations that lead to the freedom of these minors. I know it’s hard to read these stories and feel so helpless, but you *can* help. You may not be able to go onto the front lines and kick down brothel doors, but you can hire those who can and who are. To join the 50 who are willing to not look away, to carry the burden that is a gift, head HERE. Thank you so much!