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Ca mahila hero

From being trafficked to passing the bar exam

Mahila is the first survivor of sex trafficking supported by IJM South Asia to become a lawyer

Mahila* was just 13 years old when she was trafficked. She was sold to a brothel in Mumbai. There, the owner forced her to perform sex acts with hundreds of paying customers.

While Mahila was trapped in the brothel, days became weeks, weeks became months. And eventually, Mahila says she stopped keeping track of time. She stopped dreaming of her escape.

But, there was hope…

…she just didn’t know it yet.

An IJM-supported team was investigating brothels in the region where Mahila was trapped.

Thankfully, they found her.

Once she was located, IJM collaborated with local authorities to bring her freedom.

It takes a team of determined and dedicated people—that includes people like you—to rescue others trapped in sexual exploitation, just like Mahila once was.

In 2005, she started her journey of restoration. Mahila would meet with IJM social workers multiple times a week to help her heal from the trauma she faced and deal with the changes in her life. She attended school and began to open up to new future possibilities.

In 2014, Mahila got accepted to attend a law college in Mumbai. She made and sold jewelry to fund her education.

In 2015, she interned with IJM in Mumbai, even though that meant making her way all across the busy city to fit in work and studying.

Ca mahila img

In 2021, she graduated with a law degree and last year she passed her bar exam, becoming the first survivor of sex trafficking, supported by IJM South Asia, to become a lawyer!

"My IJM family helped me a lot in my growth. You all are my roots and support on which I'm standing today. Whatever I have achieved in my life... is because of my IJM family. Thank you so much." - Mahila

What an incredible story of triumph over darkness! You can help more survivors rebuild their lives by giving a generous gift today.

*A pseudonym

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