CASE STUDY: Human Trafficking via Sakeenah Homes
TRIGGER WARNING This article or section, or pages it links to, contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.
“I worked with a woman for a number of years who came to see me because of trauma. Overtime her story emerged that she had gone through many things since she was young. When Ayesha was six years old her family migrated to Canada. She was the youngest of five children. Often times, she was left out by her siblings as they played together as they were closer in age.
Ayesha and her family lived in apartment and next door there lived a couple of the same ethnic background. The families grew close and invited each other over for dinners and attended various ethnic and cultural events together. When she was 12 years old the family next door invited their nephew to come live with them. The nephew was about seven to eight years older than Ayesha. The nephew became her person of confidence -anytime she wanted to to tell anybody anything she told him. Eventually she stopped telling her family things all together. When she reached 18 years old the families decided that it would be in their best interest if the two got married. The marriage was a happy occasion for both families. After they were married the nephew moved her away from her family and she was not in any contact with her family. The nephew had taken her documents for safekeeping and also did not provide her with a cell phone. She stayed at home always feeling isolated and alone however the nephew took really good care of her.
He showered her with presents took her out on dates brought her flowers and made her feel like she was really special. If she did anything wrong in his eyes however, that’s when the abuse started. It started with elevated voices, screaming, yelling and led to physical abuse and sexual abuse.
One day the nephew said that he would be taking her away for a few days. She was so excited. He took her to his friends house and told her that she had to pleasure them in any way that they asked for and she could not come home until she did. This went on for many years.
She was a mother to a daughter and a son. When her daughter was about 10 years old she noticed some strange things happening. Her husband would ask her daughter to sit on his lap sit on his friends lap and insisted that she sleep in the same bed as him.
Ayesha was scared that the same thing that happened to her would happened to her daughter and so one day when she was alone at home, she took her children and left.”
-Mariyam Zaidi, Mental Health Lead Sakeenah Homes
“Every night, hundreds of Muslim women and children in Canada face homelessness, poverty, and trauma. We’re on a mission to change that.”-Sakeenah Homes
The Muslim Advisory Council of Canada believes education is what leads to awareness and through open conversations we hope to shed light on matters that pertain to the Canadian Muslim community, such as Human Trafficking.