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A Hefty Conviction

We are celebrating a powerful conviction that was decided in the Nagpur Sessions Courts this month, May of 2023. 4 people who were responsible for sexually exploiting 15 year Simi (rescued from an apartment in Nagpur on 3rd February 2022) were convicted in a Sessions Court in Nagpur and received a 10 year prison sentence. This is a huge victory for the fight against trafficking, and an even bigger one for Simi. Every conviction is powerful, but this is the first one in Freedom Firm's history that came with a lengthy 10 year sentence -- a sentence powerful enough to stop these traffickers in their tracks and make others reconsider the potential consequences of trafficking in minors.


On January 11th, 2023, Simi shared her testimony in the Nagpur court. She courageously spoke against the people who sexually exploited her. This case has also been unique in that it has taken just over a year to reach completion, since her rescue in February of 2022. All too often these cases drag out for years, hindering true justice from taking place. Some survivors have had to wait anywhere between 2-10 years for justice, while others are still waiting (some from 2009!) as their cases are stuck in court. But this Nagpur court acted efficiently, and thanks to Simi's bold testimony, the judge handed out a fine of Rs 4000 (~$48 US dollars) and 10 years rigorous imprisonment to the four accused.


Simi sharing with other girls

On May 30th the shelter home where Simi currently resides was in celebration mode. At first, Simi had no idea that the program was to celebrate her. She was a little surprised and then overjoyed when her name was called out. 48 other survivors in the home watched with pride as Simi shared with them about giving her testimony in court,"There is no need to have any advocate for you if you are bold enough to speak for yourself. I was scared in the beginning. How could I speak against these people? If they trouble me in future, how would things go? Will my life be in danger? But then the shelter home staff and Freedom Firm staff counseled and motivated me to speak up. This made me speak boldly in court. I don't want what happened to me to happen to other girls, so this is the main reason why I testified in court."


Simi with FF Staff

Our staff shared that even though the defense lawyer tried to manipulate Simi and scare her, she was focused and stuck to her statements in court. Freedom Firm Program Associate Asha Lokhande K shares, "I was so happy to see the joy on Simi's face. She was wearing a new dress, dancing, and motivating the survivors who were looking at her and listening to every word."


Simi is an inspiration and now a role model to other victims and survivors of sex trafficking. We are sure that many more survivors are going to stand up and fight for justice.




The Gathering in the Shelter Home

1 Comment


Such courage. Great to see a breath of fresh justice -- hopefully a sign of much more to come

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