CNN’s Arwa Damon sat with 2 victims of sex trafficking in Nigeria, to hear their accounts of how they were lured abroad, and the horrors they suffered.
Sandra, not her real name, discussed being tricked by a man she met in a church in Edo State, who said he was an assistant pastor.
He had a vision from God that she traveled abroad, he said, and his sister could help her get a job at a hair salon.
As added security, Sandra said he took: “my pants, my bra, the hair from my head, the armpit and my private parts,” to a medicine man for juju.
Owing her trafficker $45,000 for covering her flight to Europe, the juju was to ensure she’d pay back.
Talking about a particularly awful experience, Sandra said:
There were five of them. They were brutal, they beat me up, they brought out a knife and tried to stab me. They might even kill you if you try to defend yourself. That’s the reason why it is very horrible. And in that process most Nigerian girls lose their life, because not every girl can withstand the pressure of 10 men.
The men eventually pushed her out of a second-story window for not submitting.
Ede‘s story is quite different. She was sold into sexual slavery in Libya.
“He used to hurt me, apart from work,” she said of the man who bought her. “That is how they do there. When you finish paying your money [to your captor], if you are staying with a wicked somebody, they will sell you to another people so you start all over again.”
“Especially they hate us, we Nigerians … they don’t even want to hear anything concerning Nigerians,” she continued. “They treated us like a slave, as if we are nothing. So we went through a lot there.”