|The Reality of Anya17
Human trafficking is a $32 billion industry, second only in size to the drugs trade.
Cloaked by an impenetrable veil of secrecy, the very real threats of violence and death made against victims and families make it difficult to accurately assess the numbers violated.
One estimate however is that between 500,000 and 800,000 girls and young women are deceived and Trafficked into the EU every year.
90% are destined for a life of unprotected sexual slavery, sold and re-sold until their health fails, upon which point they either 'disappear' completely, are rescued, are cast into a gutter or are found dead. Some are even sent home in a box as a warning to anyone contemplating the idea of escape or reporting their exploitation to the authorities.
So it goes on, unreported, unseen.
Every day. in your country. your street.
On your very doorstep.
When our Librettist Ben Kaye first started researching this 'Trade', he explained to the experts that he lived in the depths of the countryside and therefore found it difficult to relate to the issue, which he thought 'only' occurred in cities. He was told in no uncertain terms that victims of Trafficking could be found within a 30 minute drive of where he lived, or indeed where you live, no matter how far you are based from a large conurbation. Human Trafficking is active in hamlets, villages and small towns all over the UK.
So why don't these girls and young women escape? Why don't we see their stories every day plastered across the media? Because if they try to escape and are caught. they're risking death. If they do escape. their families and loved ones back home are placed in very real mortal danger. Add to that the fact that victims are brainwashed into believing that they would be in worse trouble from the authorities than the Traffickers and you have a potent concoction for absolute secrecy.
Kept securely locked up and hidden from the light, victims are deprived even of the English language in order to ensure that they cannot communicate with others. Taught just enough to 'service' their Trafficker's clients, some women work up to 16 hours, having sex with as many as 30 men a day. Every day. For nothing.
But don't take our word for it and don't take 'No' for an answer.
Investigate yourself, research, probe, ask questions..
The next step. is up to you, so find out how you can get involved here.