“We would rather die than live like this,” said ‘Ngoc’ and ‘Minh’ when they described their resolve to jump out of a 3rd floor window. They had been imprisoned for 10 days at that time, in an unknown house in China.
Ngoc and Minh were school friends. They are amongst the few girls from their village who had succeeded in going to secondary school. They had just finished their Grade 10 exams when they were invited on an outing by a friend of Ngoc’s brother. Ngoc had never met him in person as they had only talked on the phone. She had developed a little crush on him, and was eager to meet him.
He had suggested that they go sight-seeing together, and he asked her to bring a friend as he would do likewise. He said that it would be a happy group outing. She was very excited and asked Minh to join her.
The young men took them to a town on the border with China. The girls did not have a clue that the trip was just a bait used by the two traffickers. After having a good time, they made their way home. However, Ngoc realised that the route taken was not the same as the one they used earlier. Ngoc’s male friend said that he had to first make a stop to collect money from his brother’s house.
It was dark when they arrived at the banks of a river. They told the girls that the brother’s house was on the other side of the river, so the two men carried them on their backs across the river. The girls did not know that it was the river that flowed along the border between Vietnam and China.
When Ngoc and Minh got to the other side of the river, they were raped by the men. Then they were sold. A Chinese man took them to a house and locked them up.
They were desperate because they knew what was in store for them. The girls knew that they were just being held there before they were sold again, this time, to a brothel. They had noticed one window on the third floor which they could break, and when the man went out one day, they decided to escape.
They jumped and fortunately, they were not injured. They just ran and ran until they met a kind hearted couple who helped them get in touch with the Chinese police.
Blue Dragon was contacted and brought them back to Vietnam in May 2014. With support from Blue Dragon, Ngoc and Minh returned to school in the new academic year. We also helped them to make a formal identification of their traffickers and represented them in court. Their traffickers received a 30 year sentence each in December 2015.
Ngoc and Minh are now preparing for their university entrance exam.
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