Fighting for Family
Anna* walked down the red dirt road with her head held high, backpack on, and a bright smile on her face. It was morning and she was headed to school. She sang an enthusiastic greeting and shared how her kids were doing. To passersby, her joyful nature may not have seemed out of the ordinary. But for those who knew her story, Anna’s demeanor was something to marvel at—a testament of her extraordinary strength and courage.
Anna was rescued a year ago from sex trafficking in Thailand. A wealthy woman had promised her riches abroad through a waitressing job, but when Anna arrived she was forced into a life of sexual slavery. Anna’s exploitation in Thailand, China, and Malaysia left her pregnant, penniless, and traumatized.
Despite her past trauma, Anna continues to fight for a better life for herself and her children. Some days are incredibly hard. The pain and the shame feel overwhelming. Giving up hope would be easy, but Anna focuses on the future.
Anna lives in one of Willow’s loving aftercare homes with her children. Through the support of her case manager, she receives counseling, medical care, and daily encouragement. She also attends vocational training while her kids spend time in Willow’s daycare program. With Willow’s support, Anna has the space to heal and the resources she needs to start a new life with her family. Her determination and hope for a brighter future inspire those around her.
At Willow, we believe that every survivor of trafficking deserves the same opportunities as Anna and we will continue our work until that goal becomes reality.
*Pseudonym to protect survivor’s identity.