In any given week, Blue Dragon receives calls for help from girls and women who may have been trafficked just a few days ago, or maybe have enslaved for several years.
Last week, one of the more exceptional cases came to us as a matter of extreme urgency: A woman named ‘Thuy’, now 43 years old, had been trafficked and sold into China when she was just 19.
In all these years, nobody ever thought they would see her again. They knew that Thuy had left her home in Nghe An province, of her own free will, heading off for a job so that she could have a better life.
What they didn’t understand was that Thuy had been deceived. The woman who trafficked her had no job for her to do; just a man waiting across the border in China looking to buy a wife so he could have children. In a time with no smartphones, and with communication in Vietnam and China still very limited, Thuy had no way of letting anyone know she was in trouble.
Thuy’s life took a terrifying turn as she found herself sold and enslaved. And this was just the start of over two decades of abuse and suffering.
Before Thuy’s rescue several days ago, she had made 3 attempts to escape China and return home. Each time, she was caught and severely punished.
After giving birth to a child, Thuy’s original buyer no longer needed her, so sold her to another man. And on it went – until she had been sold to 4 different men, giving birth to 5 children.
Thuy’s nightmare only ended this past week when by chance she met another Vietnamese woman who had a smartphone and recorded Thuy talking about her ordeal. Uploaded to the internet, word soon reached Thuy’s village that the impossible had happened; Thuy was alive and desperately wanted to go home.
When word reached Blue Dragon, we knew we had to be quick. If Thuy’s story was spreading across the internet, we feared that her traffickers and buyers would also see the news.
And so, 48 hours later, we had found her and Thuy was on the way home.
Most people we help at Blue Dragon are much younger than Thuy, but if any person needs our help we don’t stop to check their age. No person should live in slavery.
It seems incredible that anyone could be kept as a slave for so many years, and yet one day return to freedom. When we posted about this on the Blue Dragon Facebook page, one friend commented: “There is always hope.”
Thuy’s incredible story is living proof.