Shefali* was just a young teenager living in a broken family when she met a woman who offered her a ticket out of her tiny village. She promised Shefali a good job in the massive city of Kolkata, and Shefali went with her.
The promise of a good job was a lie. Shefali was taken to a brothel and sold for sex to customers for a few dollars an hour.
After enduring rape and abuse for months, Shefali felt worthless, like her soul and body had been ruined. Little did she know that her life was about to change.
Members of the IJM Kolkata team found Shefali in a red-light district where more than 10,000 sex workers live. During a rescue operation with local officials, Shefali was found and brought to safety.
The woman who trafficked her was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison. Today, Shefali is free and happy, working at a local boutique and raising her young son. She loves sitting with him as he works on his homework.