Mid-September, 17 year old Meera's parents asked the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) for custody of their daughter, who until that time had been staying in a shelter home since her rescue on June 4th, 2022 from a brothel in Moradabad, UP. End of September Meera was released from the shelter home in Meerut back to her parents in Moradabad.
When social worker Anjana last met with Meera at the shelter home, she said she would be testifying against the people who exploited her - Suri the brothel keeper who forced her into prostitution and Suri's husband Farhan who pretended to marry her. We were encouraged by her boldness.
On October 6th, when Anjana visited Meera at home, she learned that Farhan had visited her and claimed his undying love for her and that he wanted her back. Meera did an about turn and now doesn't want to give a statement to the police about Farhan. According to her, he didn't do anything wrong. Meera's parents were pleading with her to give her statement. They also tried to keep her away from Farhan, but failed. Anjana tried to reason with Meera as well but she wouldn't change her mind. Anjana told Meera's parents not to despair, since Meera was still a minor, they could file an application before the Superintendent of Police and pursue charges that way.
This is an example of why Freedom Firm fights hard to keep perpetrators from getting out on bail until their cases are heard and finalized. Pimps will often try to gain access to the girls they've abused and either threaten them or coerce them back, or pressure them not to press charges. It's also an example of how deeply the lies and brainwashing can reach in victims, children who endured traumatic actions at the hand of people who often claim to "love" them. It is a difficult web for the girls to navigate. Unfortunately, Meera is still believing the lies of her abuser. Still, we will do all we can to help protect her and let her experience true love that doesn't come at the price of exploitation.