News / Africa

Liberated Nigerian Sex Slave Still Not Free

After Five Years in Captivity, Nigerian Woman Never Really Freedi
|| 0:00:00
X
December 04, 2012 11:19 PM
In this video profile, we meet a woman who tells us how she was held captive in Italy for five years and forced into prostitution. She says when she was no longer useful to her captors, she was deported back to Nigeria but she was never really freed. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Edo State, Nigeria.

After Five Years in Captivity, Nigerian Woman Never Really Freed

Heather Murdock
During VOA’s series on sex trafficking in Nigeria, Patience Ken told how she was forced into five years of prostitution in Europe. Now, Ken said she returned home, but never was really freed.  

“Somebody tells me, ‘Do I want to go to Europe?’ He said I am going there to be doing farm[ing] where they produce those tomatoes. At the end of the day, I do not know I would be doing prostitution,” she explains.

Like other women we have talked to in this series, Patience donated hair, nails and clothing to a juju priest or shaman and vowed to pay the handlers for her travel to Europe or die. But the “magical” oath never really mattered to her.
 
At the home of her “madam,” Patience was beaten if she did not make enough money. On the streets, local thugs kept her from running or calling the police.  

“I wanted to run away, but I can not because they have a lot of friends hanging around looking at me. So I have to finish paying the money,” she explains.

Patience lived in a room packed with 20 girls, all of whom worked day and night. For all five years, she said she was deliriously tired and deeply lonely. And although she made tons of money, she never saw a penny.
 
“You can not call your family. You can not send money to your family. You cannot eat very well. That is it,” she says.

When Patience finally paid off her debt - $40,000 - she thought she was going to continue. She was pregnant and didn’t want to go home broke.  But as soon as she stopped paying the madam, she was arrested, jailed and deported. She said she does not know if it was the madam who turned her in.  

I ask if her family was happy to see her home safe.
 
“No. They feel bad. A lot of them say a lot of things: 'Now you are here. To feed is very hard,'” she recalls.

Years later in Benin City, Patience says the horrors of Italy never really left her. Her only real goal is to keep her daughter in school she confides, so she is never desperate enough to travel abroad for what she thought was going to be low-paying menial work, but turned into sexual slavery.
 
Just talking about the experience, she adds, still hurts.
 
“I do not feel strong. I feel bad any time I remember those things I started crying. Anytime I feel those things I do not eat. I lose my appetite. As I am saying it, when I get home I can not eat very well because I feel bad," she says.

As bad as she feels, Patience says she has no interest in turning in the people that trafficked her. They will be punished, she adds, but by God, not by her.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: emma from: Nigeria
December 04, 2012 6:58 AM
Patience should stop fooling herself with self-made religion. If she is a christian let her know that it is part of her christian duty to expose the works of darkness. The Bible says

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible,Eph 5:11-13 NIV
About her spiritual problems there are many living churches in Benin that can help her. Let this not become another fund raising avenue.
Patience look for a living church. Call this number if you need direction +2348035724526


by: Pat from: Nigeria
December 03, 2012 12:27 PM
This crime against humanity and womanity is going on in a civilized European society and nothing is done about it. This insensitivity to the plight of helpless diminishes all of us

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid