I Was Trafficked as a Maid and Everyman in the ….

Reluctant Sex Slaves

I had heard about the dreadful treatment those girls got once they arrived in Dubai but I was so desperate. Despite my upper second degree class in public administration, I still could not get a job.  Not enough connections and the wrong tribe apparently. I had been working for a good solid three years. My shoes were getting worn out and I had that frustrated look of a long term unemployed youth. It was not the kind of life my parents had planned for me when they slaved away to pay for my fees. The family plot and animals had not survived my education. My parents reasoned that when I got a degree I would look after the family and pay it back in that way.

So they invested and invested everything they had into my education. My younger siblings were ordered out of school before finishing so that my parents could pay for my fees. I worked hard and passed. Now this. I was moving from office to office. I would send hundreds of applications without a single response. At one point I was so desperate, I began to imagine that it must be some kind of witchcraft that was keeping me in this state. It was a hard time for me and my family. My mother who had survived my dad was never condemnatory but I was feeling so guilty about not being able to help. This was a pathetic existence and one that was not giving me any dignity.

Unless you have been in this situation, it really hard to fully appreciate what I went to. I am ashamed to say that suicide briefly crossed my mind when I could no longer afford a cold soda in town. I was walking up to ten miles a day looking for work. My social life was dead. Then came what appeared to be an amazing opportunity. They had these wonderful brochures and television adverts about the great opportunities in Dubai. I had a choice of Qatar or Abu Dhabi. But then someone came and said that I should try Dubai. There was money to be made there since nobody wanted to do housework.

The Dilemma of Service

Although I was desperate, the idea of becoming a maid seemed a downgrade too far. So I said no. There was a man called Steve who was an agent for the agency. He kept calling me and sending me WhatsApp messages. The key message was consistent: I had to take charge of this opportunity. He had found me a wealthy family that were looking for a maid. They would pay me $600 per month and he would take a commission of $150. This was more money than medical doctors earned per month in my country. Meanwhile the biting poverty was not allowing me to think properly.

Eventually I said yes. Steve said something that bothered me at the time “You have been very difficult but you will be worth it in the end”. I asked him about it but he said he was joking. I had been taught by my parents to always look into people’s eyes in order to understand what they were really thinking. His eyes always spoke to me of deception but I just ignored my misgivings. I was literally and symbolically hungry. There was no time to waste by thinking about my doubts. I just had to go out there. My plan was to work very hard for a year so that I could save about $3000 which I would then use to start a poultry business back home. This was never meant to be a permanent solution.

When I was eventually called for a passport interview, the immigration officer took me aside. “You know you are making a mistake. This is not work for a graduate”. I explained that I did not have any options and he said that I should think about not going. According to him, many of the people that visited those countries ended up in a bad way. “They are different people with a different culture. Do not allow yourself to become a slave”. I had no options so I ignored those warnings too. The rest of the process was straightforward. I was granted a tourist visa. That bothered me a bit since I expected a work permit.

One-Way Ticket to Hell

The journey was a warning of things to come. We went to another country by bus (strange or what?) before catching an airplane. Later on, I realized that my country had me on a list of people that were at risk of being trafficked to the Middle East. In all likelihood they would have stopped me from boarding the airplane at my national airport as part of the adult protection procedures at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. That is why Steve arranged for me to travel by bus to a third country with less stringent measures. That was the last time I saw Steve. He switched off his phone and WhatsApp. When the police looked for him we realized that it was all a fake identity. I really did not know who he was. I cannot even accuse him unless by some remote chance, I get to see him physically.

Upon arrival I was met by two men and a woman, wearing full Islamic dress. I do not know their names because they were quite rude to me and would not give me any chance to talk back. The grabbed my passport. I was then blindfolded and taken to a big tent. There I found many African women who were desperate to go home. They had been rejected because they were reluctant to work but now nobody was allowing them to leave. They did not know where their passports were. One of them whispered to me “Don’t let them sodomize you. They are perverts here and will try to sodomize you”. A chill run down my spine. What had I gotten myself into?

Three men came and pulled me into a car. They did not say a word. I was driven to a huge house in the searing heat. There I started my life as a slave. A man was living with his harem of 4 wives, 12 sons and 18 daughters. I worked all the hours God gave and would hardly sleep. I was so tired but I could not get away. One of the boys spoke halting English and would translate a set of instructions and complaints to me. I could only eat from the leftovers of the family and never got rest. I asked him about my wages and said they had given all my money to Steve my agent. As far as they were concerned I had to work for them for six months for free to pay back their money. If they liked me enough, they might let me continue working for them at a wage of $200 per month.

Betrayed Beyond Belief

It then dawned on me that everybody was right when they warned me. I was in trouble and there was no way out. It was the end of the road for me. What made matters worse was that not only was the father regularly raping me but all his sons were doing it to. I was sickened when one of the boys suggested that I engage in orgy with the whole family. Who were these people? The girl in the tent was quite right, these people seemed to be addicted to anal rape. After my ordeal I suffered an anal relapse that has taken months to heal. Eventually I was rescued when I run away and went to my embassy who arranged for me to return home.

I got home penniless and very sick. I had syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes and even Candida. The only mercy was the fact that I was still HIV negative, but I am still haunted by my ordeal. My mother nearly went mad with grief when I told her what happened. She said that there was no option but to go back to the village and engage in small-scale farming. She said that she was never letting me out of sight and deeply regretting even sending me to town to school.  There are some things that I went through which I cannot even discuss with my mother. They are too disgusting and embarrassing to share with anyone half decent. I feel as if I have been used, abused and dumped by my trafficker. The sad thing is that the adverts for jobs in the Middle East are still running and there are plenty of gullible young women that are giving everything to get there. They do not quite believe what I tell them. It is only when it is too late that they will realize that home is best in almost all things, no matter how poor and disorganized our country is.