Healing Saina with art therapy, counselling, medical aid and legal help
Saina* dreamt of a happy, peaceful and fulfilling long life with her husband when her aunt spoke about her marriage. Little did she know it was a trap for her. Her aunt had already made a deal with a known trafficker.
After a few days, Saina found herself in a dark room with black tinted glass where was tortured and raped multiple times by her trafficker. It was a gruelling grooming session for Saina to say 'yes' and satisfy the customers.
Being young (minor) and a fresh face at the brothel, Saina was in high demand and forced to have sex with 18-20 customers every single day. She was on heavy intoxicants and could hardly recall the details of what was happening. She was given strong contraceptives that completely stopped her menstruation. With no way to escape, no one to rescue and no strength to fight, Saina resigned to her fate.
Her father, a poor fisherman, living in the rural parts of West Bengal grew suspicious and reached out to VIHAAN in October 2019. The team of VIHAAN immediately forwarded the request to CID (Criminal Investigation Department), Kolkata. The CID worked rigorously on the missing complaint, investigated the case. After being tortured for three months, Saina was finally rescued.
Medical tests revealed a severe vaginal infection that needed immediate intervention. We helped her and she was handed over to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). Because of VIHAAN's expertise in the reintegration of survivors of human trafficking, the Chairperson of the CWC passed an order for VIHAAN to support Saina’s reintegration as well as provide her with legal support.
Saina was kept in the Child Care Institution (CCI) for 13 months and was released to her father on 26 December 2020. While she was in the CCI, she attended VIHAAN's Foundation course and art therapy sessions organised by VIHAAN. In addition to it, we assisted Saina with legal help and she received INR 4,00,000 as victim compensation.
However, her ordeals did not end. She was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and had to be admitted to a mental care set up for treatment. VIHAAN provided financial aid for her medical treatment and facilitated regular counselling sessions such as rapport building and trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy. After intense therapy and medication, she slowly began to recognise people in her surroundings and recall her memories. Following six months of continuous interventions, Saina was able to go to court and record her evidence which was pending for her unstable mental health.
Currently, Saina lives in a safe house and the VIHAAN team makes frequent visits to ensure her complete recovery and re-integration.
*Names changed to protect identity. Images are for representational purposes only.