Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) is inviting people to mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30 by donating to its work.
ACRATH fights against human trafficking, forced marriage and forced labour via a variety of ways, including practical assistance, advocacy and education.
One measure is the provision of ACRATH Companions, who support more than 30 trafficked women and children Australia-wide.
Maria was only 22 when she responded to an advertisement with a job agency in Malaysia. She arrived in Sydney to start work as a domestic helper in a home. Her dreams of a job earning her enough money to help her family at home, turned into a nightmare. She was locked up in the home and sexually exploited over a long period.
Maria escaped and through the Australian Federal Police was linked to an ACRATH Companionship volunteer. This volunteer has supported Maria for the past eight years. With her support, guidance and companionship Maria has:
· Learned excellent English
· Engaged in study
· Worked in her chosen career
· Established a family, including two children
· Navigated the court system to receive Victims of Crime compensation
· Become an Australian citizen
“Maria was flying solo when she came here. Now she has a network of people in her life, including me. We talk as friends now, but I still offer support when it is needed,” the ACRATH volunteer said. “She turned her life around.
“It’s been my privilege to be part of her recovery journey.”
For more information on ACRATH’s work and to find practical ways of marking World Day Against Trafficking in persons on July 30, click here.