You may know that approximately 200 girls and women are forced into prostitution each day. You may know that the average age that a young girl is forced into prostitution is 11. You may also know that approximately 70 percent of the young women forced into prostitution develop HIV/AIDS. But what does this knowledge really mean to you?
Knowing the statistics and facts is important. Statistics are powerful for creating positive change. We encourage you to do the research and come to grips with the magnitude of Human Trafficking in the world. It is our hope, however, that this section will encourage you to stop swimming in a sea of faceless facts and statistics, help you to realize that each statistic has a face and a story, and challenge you to step up to the plate in a tangible, realistic way.
We hope to accomplish this transformation by using tools that range from mere stats to true stories of women who were once held captive in a place of hopelessness but have found hope and purpose once again.
Please take a few minutes to read the remarkable stories of some of the women of Rahab’s Rope in India. As the stats turn into real people, we hope you will be propelled to join us in the fight to restore lives - one young girl or woman at a time.
September 23, 2015
Rhadika was born in Bangladesh, the oldest of 6 children. With her mother regularly pregnant and both parents working in the fields, Rhadika was left to tend to her siblings, as well as take care of the household chores. Neither of her parents were educated, and there was no school in the village, so education was not an option for Radhika, despite her eagerness to study. Read More
September 1, 2015
Joseph lives with his wife and three children in one of the slums of Goa. As one of our partner’s teams were ministering in the area, they met Joseph and his family. The team began talking with them, but Joseph did not seem particularly open or welcoming, actually looking quite unhappy and uncomfortable with the team’s presence. Read More
June 15, 2015
Last month in New Delhi, one of the girls from Rahab’s Center of Hope was married to a man from her church. Lakshmi* came to the safe home from an orphanage she had been living in with other children. Her story is one of sadness and tragedy like many of the young women who come into the home. Read More
June 15, 2015
Mackey Hooper had everything figured out. She was going to retire and move to Honduras for six months to do missions work. However, her plans changed when she walked into Rahab’s Rope store in Gainesville and saw the faces of the women and children in India. Next thing she knew she was packing all her things in storage and making arrangements to live in India for two years. Those two years turned into seven years working in a brothel in Mumbai, India. She authored a book journaling her experiences working in the brothels of India. Read More
July 30, 2013
Mandy Dobbelmann, a singer/songwriter who calls Los Angeles her home, traveled to India with Rahab’s Rope this past year. As a child, she visited many countries on lengthy mission trips with her family, who is filled to the brim with musical talent, and has continued to have a heart for helping others ever since... Read More
July 29, 2013
Did you know, each day in India approximately 200 women and girls are forced into the commercial sex trade of India? The statistics are daunting. But we must remember that each number has a name and is intricately loved and pursued by the God of the universe. This is a story about how Jesus showed His love… Read More
July 29, 2013
The sewing machines have fallen silent; the flying hands crocheting headbands lie still; and even the riotous laughter that usually fills this space has been replaced by a heavy hush... Read More
July 24, 2013
Thump. Whir. Creak. Thump. Whir. Creak. Since the day of its invention, the distinctive song of the manually powered Singer sewing machine has filled countless homes and businesses. Trousers and trousseaus, wedding quilts and military uniforms, lacy dresses and sturdy knapsacks…all have emerged from the timeless machine as it sang through history... Read More
June 12, 2013
Tears fill Nabeela’s eyes nearly every time we talk. At age 28, she is completely alone with no friends, a family who sees her as bad luck for having produced three girls and neighbors who are business competitors also struggling to get by. Of all the things that burden her, it is her love for her daughters and fear for their future that keep her awake at night. Read More
June 11, 2013
In March, this sweet little one would be horribly afraid of us every time we walked into the aftercare center. All we had to do was look at her, and she would start screaming. She would try to run when the ladies would try to get her to shake our hands. We never tried to shake hands, but even just the suggestion was scary for her. Not all of the babies are like this. Sometimes they are unsure, but never have they been completely horrified. Read More
June 5, 2013
The other day I was riding in a car and gazing out the window. Then, all of a sudden, there was this sheep. It was grabbed by the neck and slaughtered. It was a traumatizing moment... Read More
May 22, 2013
There are no words to describe the beauty of what the Lord has done the past several months here in the community and red light area that we work in. We have always been known as the people who pray. In fact, the first week that we arrived in our locations we had women stop us to ask if we would pray for them and then lined up “their” girls so we could pray over them too. It’s been a common theme…everyone wants prayer. So there was little surprise when the women started asking us to have a prayer meeting at the center... Read More
May 22, 2013
A young Indian woman sits in the corner of an aftercare center for commercially, sexually exploited women. During the first four visits, she sleeps through the class. There could be many reasons for this, but it is likely because she is exhausted from the terrors of her night. However, during the fifth class she remains awake and sits in the corner, listening from afar... Read More
May 22, 2013
For some reason, our home has been collecting plastic bottles over the past two months. Finally, today I remember on my way out to bag them up and take them along. There is usually a plastic truck or two in passing that they could just be thrown into. However, those bottles didn't even make it ten feet down our road. Read More
May 22, 2013
I stop. Renounce guilt curdling inside of my spirit. Shame that is unrightly founded in the lies of the Enemy. He has crafted such a deceptive case for me to contend with. One that takes my eyes from the Father, into my own heart’s follies. This guilt has no end, just a never ending chase.
And by His Spirit, I stop... Read More
May 21, 2013
This story was posted on our facebook back in 2012:
It's a forty-five minute train ride and eight minute walk to get to the brothels where I would do ministry for the day. As I walked down the street my ministry contact, a dear friend, began sharing stories of the women that work at this particular brothel. Although I had been to the brothel once before, there was anticipation in my spirit to see these women. Read More
April 3, 2013
Emilla found herself in yet another painful situation and knew the drill. She would go down the street and have the painful procedure administered, go back to work a few days later, and hope that another mishap would not occur for a long time. Only this time, there was a man in her life; a man who badly wanted a child—badly enough to convince Emilla it was time to start a family despite her occupation. Emilla obeyed his wishes and four years ago, she gave birth to Alice... Read More
April 3, 2013
I sit on a cool marble floor in a large open room with two beautiful little girls. They are not related, but they do have a lot in common. They are four years old, have dark brown skin, hair as black as soot, and big brown eyes. They live in a home with eighteen other children, all of whom are old enough to attend school. Actually these girls are old enough, too; but no school will let them attend. I suppose, right now, I am the closest thing to kindergarten they have. They, like all the other children here, have lost both parents to AIDS... Read More
January 28, 2013
Jasmine is a tenderhearted, soft-spoken young girl who has been raised in a Muslim family in the slums of Goa. While her appearance would seem to the onlooker like a typical young girl, an internal sickness prevented her from living a normal life. When we first met Jasmine, we were informed that she “had strange fits”, mostly likely due to an extremely contagious infection called meningitis. After consistent prayer, we were confident that God wanted us to be more involved in her life. For the past several years, Jasmine’s illness has caused her to be alienated from society. She was forced to quit school, and unable to apply for any work to help her family. It is common belief in India that the sick are deserving of their illness because it is a just punishment for their former sins. Due to the shame of her sickness, Jasmine lived a life full of guilt and fear of the future. After some investigation by Rahab’s Rope staff, it was discovered that Jasmine’s “fits” were not side effects from the fatal infection of meningitis, but were symptoms of epilepsy. Read More
January 28, 2013
“I should be thankful for you, you changed my life, now I can provide for my kids!”
Laxmi was considered a normal participant in society until an unexpected tragedy changed her entire life. Laxmi’s husband passed five years ago, leaving her trapped in one of the most dreaded situations among women in India, living as a widow. In India, widows are subject to harsh treatment and brutal societal beliefs. A widow is sometimes called "pram" or creature, because it was only her husband's presence that gave her human status. They are often blamed for their husband’s death and considered unclean and unlucky, so Laxmi could not receive any invitation to rituals, celebrations, or social gatherings. The culture of her village forces her to be in mourning the rest of her life; she is prohibited from wearing any fancy jewelry and expected to follow a strict diet rejecting many pleasurable foods. The shame she receives from her community leaves her trapped inside her house and the lack of education leaves her with no opportunity to provide food for her three children. Hopeless and living in despair, she fell into the same mentality of widows all over India. Several of which can be caught saying, "I want nothing more now from life. I'm just waiting for death." Many widows like her in India revert to begging or prostitution to make a meager living. Some widows will even sell their children or sell their daughters in prostitution to survive.
January 22, 2013
Lalita and Ashwini are sisters whose father was a construction worker barely able to keep his family fed. As a baby Yashoda, the younger of the two, cried incessantly with raging ear infections without medical attention. Because of her crying she was slapped on her head. The result of the infections and the blows was total deafness in one ear and a 60% loss of hearing in the other. When the girls had become pre-teens, they caught the attention of the father's supervisor who offered him extra money for sexual privileges. Once the girls had been defiled and become a source of shame, their father started selling them to other men to generate income for the support of the rest of the family.
December 13, 2011
Can you imagine a 21 year old girl walking in your door; she cannot hear or speak - only utter sounds. She has deep dark sad eyes filled with pain. She never smiles and she withdraws from a gentle touch because she has never known one. You take her to the doctor and discover she has one-hundred percent permanent hearing loss in one ear and, with a hearing aid, can receive forty percent hearing in the other ear. Then the doctor says, “But this is not her main concern... Anna's sinus cavities are completely destroyed."
Anna had such a a severe and long-lasting sinus infection that we were told it would take several surgeries to correct the problem. The doctor said if we had not brought her in when we did Anna would have literally died within the year. Read More