Anna met Andis 7 years ago. Soon after they met, Anna got pregnant. Towards the end of Anna’s pregnancy she was unable to work and Andis was unemployed. He suggested that they move in with his mother and sister as they had no money and nowhere else to live. Firmly trusting Andis, Anna agreed to the move. It turned out that Andis’ mother and sister had been prostituted.
During pregnancy and more so after the child was born, Andis became physically and emotionally violent and forced Anna into prostitution, claiming that the family could not afford to buy food if she did not engage in prostitution.
Andis locked Anna in her apartment against her will, took her bank cards and the code cards for online banking, and hid Anna’s personal identification documents. Against her express wishes, Andis regularly placed advertisement of a sexual nature online. Later he forced Anna to place such ads herself as he knew that he might be sanctioned for selling sexual services. She was forced to answer phone calls and also engage in sexual activities in her place of residence. All of the money ended up with Andis. He spent the money on alcohol and gambling. He often forced Anna to accompany him to gambling venues, as he was afraid that she might flee. He fully controlled her, and if she did not comply, he would beat her.
Anna lived in permanent fear. She really wanted to end the relationship but she did not believe that it was at all possible.
Anna lived in permanent fear. She really wanted to end the relationship but she did not believe that it was at all possible. In her several escape attempts Andis always found her and persuaded her to come home by sending her threatening messages.
When Anna reached out to MARTA Centre they placed her in a safe home and took care of her basic needs for eight months. MARTA also worked on a protection order that prevented Andis from contacting her and prepared legal documents to support a criminal case against Andis for trafficking. This case is still underway.
Anna received psychological help from MARTA’s counselor for the sexual and emotional violence she had suffered as a child and a social worker helped her get housing from the municipality where she now lives with her children. Anna’s rehabilitation took almost a year and she continues to be involved in MARTA’s activities. While her children go to school Anna is pursuing a vocational training program in tailoring.
Many women like Anna reach out to Marta Centre desperately hoping to escape. Marta urgently needs resources to expand their support services for victims of trafficking and violence seeking safety and shelter. You can help!