Ha is now trying to forget the worst months of her life.

As a young woman growing up in southern Vietnam, she had heard of human trafficking but didn’t think it could ever happen to her.

She dreamt of opening a vegetarian restaurant. She was saving money to start her business when she met a woman online who said she could help. She offered Ha a job with a decent salary so she could quickly save the money she needed. Ha was really happy that she could fulfill her dream sooner, rather than later.

After 3 months of chatting online, Ha travelled to northern Vietnam to meet her new friend and start preparing to open her restaurant.

But this friend was not what she seemed.

2-children

Instead of arriving in Hai Phong city, Ha found herself in a place with an unfamiliar language and no way home. She had been taken into China. What happened next was too terrible to recall. Ha was sold to a brothel but kept resisting and fighting back.

After a while the brothel owner finally decided to sell her. A Chinese man called Zhu said he would take her for his wife. Sold now for the second time, Ha was in deep despair and didn’t know what to do.  She was taken to Zhu’s home near a small country town. When Zhu went to work, his mother would keep watch over her. Zhu’s mother disliked Ha and was deeply suspicious of her. So she watched her all the time.

One day, Ha took her chance and tried to run away. However, she was caught by Zhu. He dragged her home and beat her violently. Ha was not deterred. She decided to try another way. She started pretending to be cooperative and obliging. She did all she could to give the impression that she was now settled in China and happy to be Zhu’s wife. Finally, he let her use his phone to ring her family in Vietnam. At her first opportunity, she took photos of the street and house where she lived. She used the phone to send the photos back to her parents, who passed them on to Blue Dragon.

Blue Dragon’s Rescue Team put a plan into operation once they worked out where she was. Within a week, we had arrived in her town and secretly organized a meeting place. The team waited patiently until Ha was able to run there. Once Ha was with us, we raced back to the border.

Ha has been reunited with her family. She knows she could have been trapped in China forever. She still has dreams for the future, but for now she just needs time and care to heal.

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