A Bright Student with a Dark Secret

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

In 15 years of rescuing girls, I have never heard a story like this one. I have never encountered teens like the friends of Pavitra. In a shame-based culture that doesn’t speak of incest or prostitution, these kids were incredibly brave. They were brave enough to ask questions of strangers until they found answers. They didn’t stop until she was free from her step-father, a pimp and pedophile. It's teenagers like this that face the darkness and change the world.

- Mala Malstead, Co-Founder, Freedom Firm USA


Pavitra studies at a girls’ school and always comes first in her 10th grade class. When you look at Pavitra, you see a bright and intelligent student, only 16 years old. Yet hidden beneath her impressive report card lies a heavy secret. A secret that Pavitra carried for years....

Pavitra’s mother Rani works as a prostitute in one of the red light areas nearby. After Rani divorced Pavitra’s father, she married Deepak and they had a son together. Deepak works as a pimp and started sexually abusing Pavitra when she was just 11 years old. Every day he raped her, threatening to hurt her mother and brother if she told anyone. In time he started taking Pavitra to the red light areas and forced her to sleep with customers. Back at home, he continued to rape her whenever Rani left the house. Deepak made her take pills to prevent pregnancy. This continued for over four years.

Rani soon learned that Deepak made money by taking her underage daughter to brothels. She did nothing to help. Instead, she became verbally and physically abusive toward her daughter.

Pavitra bravely shared her story in the police station
Pavitra bravely shared her story in the police station

High School Friends Intervene

Unable to bear the shame and pain any longer, Pavitra shared her dark secret with close friends from school. Absolutely horrified, they promised to help Pavitra. Afraid of approaching the police, her friends asked questions in their neighborhood until eventually they learned about Freedom Firm.

Police help Freedom Firm rescue Pavitra from this red light area
Police help Freedom Firm rescue Pavitra from this red light area

On October 24th at 3:30 pm, Pavitra’s friends called our team in West Bengal and shared her story with us. After verifying Pavitra’s information, we approached the Child Welfare Committee (CWC).


The CWC called the police and asked them to rescue Pavitra immediately.  



At 4:18 pm the next day, we rescued Pavitra from a brothel in the red light area. At the police station, she made a statement against her stepfather and mother. Freedom Firm social workers accompanied her from the police station to the hospital for her medical test. Then Pavitra was placed in a shelter home.



Freedom Firm staff protect and walk alongside Pavitra as she leaves the red light area.
Freedom Firm staff protect and walk alongside Pavitra as she leaves the red light area.

Today Pavitra is experiencing severe post-traumatic stress disorder because of the abuse from her family and customers in the brothel. Her healing and recovery will long-term care, commitment and support. We will start trauma counseling with Pavitra as soon as we receive permission from the shelter home. 


Together we can rescue more girls like Pavitra. Together we empower our social workers to provide the trauma counseling survivors need as they embrace new lives of freedom. Will you consider giving today?


Donate HERE

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