Breaking Cycles of Abuse With South Asian Safehouses

By Send Relief Staff

*Content warning: this article contains accounts of abuse, trafficking and adult thematic content. Reader discretion is advised.*

Mirza is one of fourteen siblings living in a remote region of South Asia.

Her father passed away when she was a baby, and her mother eloped with another man a few months later. After her re-marriage, Mirza’s mother passed Mirza from relative to relative, never showing her parental love or offering her the safety that a child needs to thrive.

One day, Mirza and her friend were tricked by a trafficker from a neighboring village.

The trafficker offered Mirza free transportation to a nearby city to which she dreamed of going, but, upon arrival, this woman locked her in a house and advertised her on the black market as a sex slave.

For the next few days, Mirza was repeatedly raped by four government officials before her captor returned Mirza to the village, threatening her with death if she disclosed what had happened.

Eventually, Mirza had the strength to come forward, and she was placed in protective custody prior to arriving at a partnering Send Relief safe home in the region.

After years of therapy and attentive care, Mirza has gone from a traumatized, unexpressive girl to a successful, ambitious young woman. Today, Mirza dreams of traveling the world as a flight attendant, so she is studying English at a prestigious secondary school near the safe home.

Similarly, Navi* came from a severely dysfunctional family.

Her father was an alcoholic who become violent during fits of rage, and, almost every day, Navi watched helplessly as her mother was beaten into submission. Often, Navi’s mother would take the children and run away to live on railway platforms until they were discovered.

During one of these attempts at escape, Navi’s siblings lost her.

She was left to beg for food and money on the streets of a nearby city, often being subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation by the men of the town.

Finally, she was referred to a Send Relief partner’s nearby safe home, where she was able to attend school for the very first time.

After completing high school, Navi got the news that she was accepted into a prestigious local college and committed her life to social work. She hopes to help other young girls find restoration.

Pray for Mirza and Navi to continue healing from their pasts and for more volunteers to keep the safe home secure and running effectively. If you would like to help more girls like Mirza and Navi find respite from their abusers, give below today.

*Names changed for security.

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Published January 12, 2023

Send Relief Staff