Imagine being promised a future that would turn things around for your family. But that means you would have to leave your familiar home ground to work in a foreign place you have never heard of. And follow a stranger whom you barely know.
Would you agree to it? Atin, 23, did.
Atin lived in Medan, North of Sumatra. It all seemed like a fantasy; being approached by an agent and offered a restaurant job in Malaysia that promised to provide her a good salary that would enable her to support her children and her mother.
However, instead of a stable income job in Malaysia at a restaurant, Atin was trafficked to Singapore. At her arrival, she was sold to a dealer named “Ah Chuan” and was forced to work in the sleazy streets of Geylang. The decision couldn’t be reverted, Atin was full of regrets. Being trafficked to Singapore as a commercial sex worker was not something Atin pictured herself to be in. Her dreams of working in a restaurant were dashed, hopes of earning a stable income for her family quickly faded.
Drunken men, one night stands and sex. Atin was forced to serve numerous men everyday which killed her softly. Thankfully one night, the police raided the brothel, leaving opportunities for escape. During the raid, she seized the chance and fled from the dark room in search of a police station. Upon certifying her identity, the police put her at a shelter and that was when Atin was introduced to Hagar Singapore.
Atin showed signs of trauma, she would have flashbacks, feelings of worthlessness and even suicidal thoughts. Hagar provided Atin with trauma-focused therapy and walked with her out of darkness, day by day, step by step.
Slowly but surely, Atin’s condition improved and she regained her self-esteem. Following the closure of her court case in Singapore, Hagar arranged for her to return to her hometown in March 2015. Together with the help of another partner organisation, she continued to receive essential recovery services and livelihood support to help her start life anew. Today, Atin is a proud owner of a bedsheet-making business, and is able to support herself and her family.
There are many others like Atin that require immediate help. Hagar provides them each with a personalised recovery plan, including trauma counselling, legal aid, economic empowerment and resettlement support.
Play a part by empowering a survivor today.