......................................................................................................................................................................................................................
 ​“That’s
where the police would take us to the forest. The boys, they would tie them up,
so if there were  ​two tree poles, they would tie their hands, then they would
kick and hit them. And that’s where they  ​would leave us. They would leave the
boys tied up. And then we, with pain and struggle, we would take  ​pieces of
glass or tin, because you can find them all around, and then cut free all you
can.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Tunde,
24-years-old, Cluj-Napoca, Romania  Tunde was living with a gang of street youth when she was trafficked by her
boyfriend. The gang was  ​regularly assaulted by the police as easy targets.
webtext_HT_introFINALmed.jpg
webtext_HT_tunde2.jpg
 ​As a victim of police brutality, Tunde and
her gang of homeless kids were routinely taken to a forest  ​outside the city,
tied to trees, beaten and left to fend for themselves.  ​ ​Revisiting this forest near the end of winter, Tunde found wildflowers
scattered and peeking through  ​the dead leaves, and began to pick them up one by
one. For nearly an hour, she quietly went about  ​gathering a bouquet, gently
pacing the ground and reflecting.
 ​Tunde grew up on the streets and was trafficked by her   boyfriend.
They had two children together,  ​both of whom were taken away by social services
because of his abuse. She has a third child with  ​another man, and is currently
happily married. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 ​“[the hole in
the hill] is built in, molded, so we would put in beds; we would bring them
from the trash,  ​sheets, whatever we could find, clothes, coats, and pillows. We
would make food here on the wood logs,  ​something like this, so we could make
food or take baths, otherwise we would go down to the Somes ​[river] where
we caught fish. We would bathe in cold water.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Tunde on life in a park tunnel, where she had lived with a gang of street
children. While she was living  ​there and in other makeshift homes around the city, she was trafficked by her boyfriend.
  
  
   
  
    
  
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 “We were a
very large gang (group), we would live here, where I showed you. It was me, my
sister, her  ​boyfriend, my boyfriend, a whole bunch of us. [...] The hardest
thing is to end up in a hole like this where  ​you can’t even put away your
clothes neatly or to keep clean, only dirty is possible. It’s always dirty
here.”   ​- Tunde, about one of the several places she lived in while on the streets. During that time, she was ​trafficked by her boyfriend.​
 ​"Here
I came to earn money... It’s a place that people believe you stay at for a
special occasion, but [is  ​commonly used for sexual services]. And here you
never know who you’ll get, or who you’ll come  ​across, because you don’t know
him, you go only for the money... it was a horror. So, I would get  ​horrified as
soon as I saw the car pull up. Or they would come take you by force. It was
really bad."  Tunde was trafficked by her boyfriend with whom she lived on the streets.
 ​“You went, but you had to be
careful. You were going into risk. So either you would come back well  ​with
money in your pocket, or you would come back beaten without anything. So very
many things  ​happened.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 Tunde,
about the street corner where girls worked. Her boyfriend forced her into sex work.
 Tunde’s
trafficker, the father of her children, is currently in jail for unrelated
crimes. Today, she is  ​happily married to a different man, but two of her
children were taken from her by social services.  ​Tunde, her husband and a third
child live in poverty, and they are struggling to make ends meet each ​month.
Her biggest wish is a little house with a garden for her family. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 “Police caught him
and took him to the minors’ center where there were a bunch of children who ​had
 ​run away from their parents and who were abandoned from families who were
disorganized ​and didn’t ​have their head on their shoulders. [H]e stayed some two months and a bit then he was taken far away ​from the town where he was born he
was too small to realize where he would ​be taken and he said ​goodbye to the
other kids, where he had learned somewhat how to write and draw like a little child." ​ ​- Tibi, 27-years-old, trafficked his girlfriend Tunde while living on the streets of
Cluj-Napoca with her.  ​ He wrote about his life in a letter from prison where he
is being held for unrelated crimes, and used  ​the third person throughout to
refer to himself. This overrun orphanage (“minors’ center”) where he  ​spent some of his childhood is still in
use, though conditions have improved.  ​ ​This excerpt from his letters is a literal translation. 
 ​“In this journal we are talking
about a little boy who was born in a small town named Satu-Mare  ​(“The Big
Village”). He says that at the age of six-years-old, he was always troubled of
how he was small  ​and loved at his age he thought that in some 5-6 years he
would become a man with a [good] head on  ​his shoulders. But his Mother had, a
single saying [:] won’t you go to make money because mom doesn’t  ​have anything
to drink.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - An excerpt from Tibi’s letter from
prison.  ​ ​Tibi, 27, trafficked his girlfriend Tunde on the streets of
Cluj-Napoca, Romania. As a young child  ​living in the northern town of
Satu-Mare, he was sent by his mother and grandmother to beg for  ​money in the
marketplace. 
 ​Tibi, who trafficked his young
girlfriend Tunde on the streets of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, spent much of his  ​childhood
at this address—his grandmother’s house outside of Satu-Mare, Romania, a
two-hour drive  ​from Cluj-Napoca through the mountain region of Transylvania.
The fountain is all that remains of the old  ​home; everything else has been torn
down and rebuilt by the current inhabitants. Upon moving in, ​they  ​learned from
the neighbors and the village priest of the violent life that the original
gypsy family led.  ​Tibi’s mother had her throat slashed and was murdered at this fountain by an
estranged lover. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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awherenessLIGIA_web.jpg
 “Then,
having been left without a father at a young age, I had to get a job, to bring
some money home.  ​Being the oldest, I got a job, at a grocery store first, then
I started to look for work in bars. I don’t know... ​that’s how I stumbled upon a
bar as a bartender-waitress.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Ligia,
34-years-old, Cluj-Napoca, Romania  
The bar where Ligia worked for a year about a decade ago was the site of some
horrific instances of  ​human trafficking. Ligia’s boss was prosecuted for this
crime and many others and served time in jail ​(at the time of this photograph,
he was a free man). The case made headlines in Cluj-Napoca.  

 Ligia
spent a few months in treatment in this room at the local mental hospital for a
mental breakdown  ​that resulted from her work at the bar.
 ​“You have
to have the will, to know what you’re fighting for in life. [You have to know]
whether you want  ​to ​overcome this phase, or whether you want to stay the same,
you and your thoughts.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Ligia,
34-years-old, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, at the mental ward where she was
hospitalized twice as  ​a ​result of witnessing horrific instances of women
battered and trafficked while working as a waitress  ​at ​a bar.
 ​“Only once I went to the other
club, [...] Moni’s [...] was a much more select club. I don’t know if it still
 ​exists, ​but even presidents went there. The president of the country went
there; it also had girls, but it  ​was much more select. There they played more
games, it was different, much more select. And they  ​also had bedrooms upstairs.
It was a kind of hotel-bar. They could sleep there overnight. Whereas here  ​with
us, ​it was just non-stop (24 hours). I went when they did an inventory and they
needed me there.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Ligia, 34 years old,
Cluj-Napoca, Romania, talking about the club owned by her boss’ brother. Her
boss,  ​the ​owner of a club she worked for, was prosecuted and jailed for human
trafficking and other crimes  ​in ​a high-profile case in the mid-2000s.
 ​“Yes, it was here. Because that’s
where he lives. He called his lawyer and said that look, the masked  ​police
(a.k.a., special unit) is looking for me. What do I do? And the first day he
locked the door, he didn’t  ​want ​to come out, and then his lawyer told him that
now you don’t have an option, you have to turn  ​yourself in. And ​he didn’t have
a choice; he had to turn himself in. This is where they picked him up, ​yes,
right from his home.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Ligia describing her boss’
arrest. He was arrested for human trafficking and other crimes. He is now a
 ​free man. 
awhereness_CRISTINA_web.jpg
 ​“They wouldn’t even let me [stand]
at the gate. They wouldn’t let me go out into the village. I ran once  ​here
through the village, and I was running along, I don’t even remember what street
it was. Lord! I  ​would take ​off in the fields. His father would chase me with
the belt.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Cristina, 22-years-old, talking
about the house in which she lived with her boyfriend’s family in a village  ​outside
Timisoara, Romania. Cristina, who was trafficked in Germany at 17, grew up
mostly on the  ​streets. ​Violence makes up a large part of street youth’s lives. 
 ​“Yes, but then he would catch
me...how do I put this...when I would leave the minors’ center, he would  ​catch
me. For example, I would go out into town to make money for cigarettes or
something else, ​and then he would catch me because I wasn’t (paying attention).
I’d be walking through the center  ​of town, and all of a sudden he would grab me
and I couldn’t leave. And then he would take me either  ​to Gearmata, or here to
the pipes, he would find a place to take me to stay with him. And then when as
 ​soon as I caught him sleeping or something, again I would run away from him.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Cristina, 22 years old, talking
about living on the pipes in Timisoara, Romania, and frequently run- ​ning away
from an abusive ex-boyfriend, pictured here. Cristina, who was trafficked in Germany ​at 17,  ​grew
up mostly on the streets. Cristina is now happily married to another man, though still living on  ​the streets.  






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 ​“And also because of Rita I
hooked up with him. Because he would come by where we were living in  ​some
canals by the Little (train) Station, there, in some great pipes, and he would
come by, and she  ​hooked me up with him, because I didn’t want to be with him.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Cristina spent
some of her street life living on the pipes in Timisoara, Romania—the city that
brought  ​freedom from communism by igniting the 1989 Revolution. Rita was an
older girl who made ​money off  ​minors living on the street by forcing them into sex work. At one point while living on the pipes, Cristina  ​was
pregnant. The pipes act as a conduit for hot water to the city and keep homeless ​youth warm in the  ​winter.
 Cristina lives
under a bridge in Timisoara with her husband and a group of other
street youth. The bridge  ​is drafty and chilly. She grew up on mostly on the
streets and was trafficked both internally and in  ​Germany. As a teenager, she
would shave her head to look like a boy. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 ​"One
day, a girl named Calia, with her man, his name was Piti, they came and here he
raped me...  ​Since I was small, they grabbed me with their hands. And they
brought me here, supposedly to sleep.  ​And here they...they drugged me up with
the bag, aurolac (glue), I didn’t know how to sniff it. And I got  ​dizzy and I
was overcome by sleep." 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 Cristina grew up on the streets of Timisoara, the Romanian city that brought
the 1989 Revolution and  ​the end of communism. 
 ​"She
[visited me at the restaurant where I worked] in the [shopping] complex and for
a whole month she  ​was on me and kept telling me, come with me over there
because you’ll work with me at a restaurant,  ​you will bus tables, and so on.
And I told her I didn’t want to go, what if you’re lying to me and will ​take  ​me
somewhere else?" 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Cristina,
22-years-old, Timisoara, Romania ​ ​When Cristina was 17-years-old, she was talked into going to Germany by the
woman who visited her  ​at the restaurant and her husband. The bussing job turned
out to be prostitution. She was sold ​to a  ​VIP brothel for 1800 euros, and
locked in for about 5 months. Her cost was 150 euros/hour, but the ​ ​money ​was
not hers to keep. With another woman from the brothel, she managed to escape
and catch  ​​a bus back to Romania. 
 ​Cristina lives
under a bridge in Timisoara with her husband and a group of other
street youth. At this time,  ​she was in the process of getting
her papers with the help of a local psychologist. Because she had  ​spent most of
her life on the streets, this was an extremely difficult process that had been
going on for  ​months. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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awhereness_CRINA_web.jpg
 ​“When I was a minor, [I was
living] in the children’s home. But now, I’m no longer a minor, and I live
here.  ​And I’m afraid of the rain.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Crina, 23-years -old from Timisoara,
Romania makes her home in this abandoned car. Like many  ​street youth, she is
addicted to sniffing glue, which curbs hunger and cold. She is frequently raped
and  ​abused, and has turned herself into a loner. A local psychologist who works
with street youth identified  ​Crina as a victim of trafficking.
 ​“I’m missing three windows in the car!” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Crina spent the winter in this broken-down and abandoned car left on a busy suburban street nearby a  ​public park in Timisoara, Romania.
  
  
   
  
    
  
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 “[...] my
parents have left me; it’s been almost 6 years now, and I don’t know, I feel
lonely, upset. ​It’s like  ​I don’t have any solace. My sister died. I have no
comfort. Only constant upsets. But, God will help ​me  ​get over all this too.”  

 Crina, at "Phantom House", an abandoned building near a local college campus in Timisoara where  ​she sought shelter as a homeless teen and was gang raped.   ​
 ​“I’ve always considered my life to be a bitter coffee. But I
didn’t let it get to me.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 Crina spent some time living in an abandoned building known as the "Phantom House” with her sister,  ​who died in an accident. Like many street
youth, she is addicted to sniffing glue, which curbs ​hunger and  ​cold. She is
frequently raped and abused, and has turned herself into a loner. A local
psychologist who  ​works ​with street youth identified Crina as a victim of
trafficking.
 ​“It’s hard
to find love. To find love, for someone to love you, it’s harder. I’ve been
through many things,  ​and I’ve loved but been betrayed.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 Crina was raped and battered
here at the Phantom House where she sought shelter with her sister.
awhereness_ZALUSHKA_web.jpg
 ​“She was feeling
bad, there was no money in the house, and everyone began to put pressure on
her. ​I asked what she meant by pressure. So, she was feeling weakness in her
legs, and they started to beat  ​her." 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Case worker
translating for Zalushka, who, at 34-years-old is severely disabled as a result of multiple  ​beatings and drug abuse. Zalushka went 
from her native Moldova to Ukraine to earn money in order  ​to be reunited with her daughter who was taken from her by the state. There, she met a man whose  ​family abused
her and forced her to beg and work on the streets.
 ​As a
result of beatings and drug abuse in Ukraine by her husband’s family, Zalushka
is severely disabled:  ​her speech is slurred and difficult, and her movement is
severely impaired. She now lives in an after-care  ​center for trafficked women
in Balti, Moldova. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 ​Zalushka,
34-years-old, resides in a temporary shelter for trafficked women in Balti,
Moldova. She is the  ​center’s longest inhabitant, having far overstayed the
customary three to six months timeframe allowed  ​for ​most women seeking refuge.
The deteriorating state of her physical health and lack of familial  ​support
​determined the staff to keep her on the premises. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 Zalushka
was forced to beg on the streets of Ukraine by her husband’s family, who kept a
close watch ​on her and beat her to ensure her obedience.  

 “God saw
this and made it so that, in order to escape and run away, I stole a wallet
with money from a  ​person in order to be locked up again so that I could get
away from this situation.”  ​ 
- Zalushka, on how she was able to escape from Ukraine.
Awhereness_ANDREA_web.jpg
 Andrea scavenges for edible plants in the
fields outside of Chisinau, the capital of Moldova.   ​Two years before, burdened with an unemployed, abusive husband and three young
children, Andrea  ​decided to go work abroad. She learned of a job in a store in
Turkey and went with another woman.  ​Once in Turkey, the two were locked up in
an apartment and their paperwork destroyed. They ​were  ​forced into prostitution
for two months. The woman pimp beat and starved them when they ​disobeyed.  ​They
were released in a raid when the neighbors called the police after much
screaming, and eventually  ​found their way back to Moldova.
 ​Andrea reveals a
bruise that her ill-tempered husband had recently left on her. Two years prior, she left  ​for Turkey to provide for her family of three young children, and
was locked up by traffickers in an apart- ​ment ​which she eventually escaped. She
is now back with her abusive partner in her native Moldova,  ​making ​ends meet. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 ​Leaving Turkey, Andrea returned to her abusive
husband in Moldova, determined not to tell anyone  ​about being locked up and
trafficked in an apartment for two months. For fear
of rumors spreading, she  ​told everyone instead that she had been locked in a
basement and forced to wash floors without pay.  ​Eventually, she shared the real
story with her sister, who brought her to an after-care center.   






  
  
   
  
    
  
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Andrea currently lives on the outskirts of Chisinau in a complex of makeshift
homes.
 ​Like many survivors of human
trafficking in Moldova, Andrea lives among other impoverished families in ​communities made up of make-shift homes.  ​ ​  






  
  
   
  
    
  
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Awhereness_NATASHA_web.jpg
 ​Natasha, 26-years-old and suffering from
mental illness resides in this rancid and dirty, pitch-dark bedroom  ​in her
mother’s house on the outskirts of Chisinau, Moldova.  






  
  
   
  
    
  
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She left for Moscow to work in a restaurant prior to this, but ended up
trafficked on the streets ​instead.  ​One day, an unidentified driver ran his car
into her and a group of street girls. She suffered ​physical  ​injuries and her
already poor mental condition worsened. According to her file in an after-care
​center  ​where she came and went, “men (from her home village in Moldova) started
coming over ​(to this ​room),  ​taking her away and abusing her, whoever pleased.”
 ​Natasha, in poor mental condition, emerged from her mother’s house howling,
dancing, and curtsying. Her  ​mother has resigned to allow the village men to
come into the house at night and use Natasha as they  ​please, taking advantage of her reputation as a prostitute in
Russia.
 ​Suffering
from schizophrenia, Natasha will often visit a nearby bar to seek a cigarette
or an ice-cream from  ​men in exchange for sex. Feeling dirty, she would also
trade in wet towelettes. Sometimes, Natasha ​will  ​disappear for days, but her
family does not question where and how she is. This bar that she frequents  ​is
down ​the street from her mother’s house in a village outside Chisinau, the
capital of Moldova. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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​“That’s where the police would take us to the forest. The boys, they would tie them up, so if there were
​two tree poles, they would tie their hands, then they would kick and hit them. And that’s where they
​would leave us. They would leave the boys tied up. And then we, with pain and struggle, we would take
​pieces of glass or tin, because you can find them all around, and then cut free all you can.”

- Tunde, 24-years-old, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Tunde was living with a gang of street youth when she was trafficked by her boyfriend. The gang was
​regularly assaulted by the police as easy targets.

​As a victim of police brutality, Tunde and her gang of homeless kids were routinely taken to a forest
​outside the city, tied to trees, beaten and left to fend for themselves. 

​Revisiting this forest near the end of winter, Tunde found wildflowers scattered and peeking through
​the dead leaves, and began to pick them up one by one. For nearly an hour, she quietly went about
​gathering a bouquet, gently pacing the ground and reflecting.

​Tunde grew up on the streets and was trafficked by her boyfriend. They had two children together,
​both of whom were taken away by social services because of his abuse. She has a third child with
​another man, and is currently happily married.

​“[the hole in the hill] is built in, molded, so we would put in beds; we would bring them from the trash,
​sheets, whatever we could find, clothes, coats, and pillows. We would make food here on the wood logs,
​something like this, so we could make food or take baths, otherwise we would go down to the Somes
​[river] where we caught fish. We would bathe in cold water.”

- Tunde on life in a park tunnel, where she had lived with a gang of street children. While she was living
​there and in other makeshift homes around the city, she was trafficked by her boyfriend.

“We were a very large gang (group), we would live here, where I showed you. It was me, my sister, her
​boyfriend, my boyfriend, a whole bunch of us. [...] The hardest thing is to end up in a hole like this where
​you can’t even put away your clothes neatly or to keep clean, only dirty is possible. It’s always dirty here.”

​- Tunde, about one of the several places she lived in while on the streets. During that time, she was
​trafficked by her boyfriend.​

​"Here I came to earn money... It’s a place that people believe you stay at for a special occasion, but [is
​commonly used for sexual services]. And here you never know who you’ll get, or who you’ll come
​across, because you don’t know him, you go only for the money... it was a horror. So, I would get
​horrified as soon as I saw the car pull up. Or they would come take you by force. It was really bad."

Tunde was trafficked by her boyfriend with whom she lived on the streets.

​“You went, but you had to be careful. You were going into risk. So either you would come back well
​with money in your pocket, or you would come back beaten without anything. So very many things
​happened.”

Tunde, about the street corner where girls worked. Her boyfriend forced her into sex work.

Tunde’s trafficker, the father of her children, is currently in jail for unrelated crimes. Today, she is
​happily married to a different man, but two of her children were taken from her by social services.
​Tunde, her husband and a third child live in poverty, and they are struggling to make ends meet each
​month. Her biggest wish is a little house with a garden for her family.

“Police caught him and took him to the minors’ center where there were a bunch of children who ​had
​run away from their parents and who were abandoned from families who were disorganized ​and didn’t
​have their head on their shoulders. [H]e stayed some two months and a bit then he was taken far away
​from the town where he was born he was too small to realize where he would ​be taken and he said
​goodbye to the other kids, where he had learned somewhat how to write and draw like a little child."

​- Tibi, 27-years-old, trafficked his girlfriend Tunde while living on the streets of Cluj-Napoca with her.

​ He wrote about his life in a letter from prison where he is being held for unrelated crimes, and used
​the third person throughout to refer to himself. This overrun orphanage (“minors’ center”) where he
​spent some of his childhood is still in use, though conditions have improved. 

​This excerpt from his letters is a literal translation. 

​“In this journal we are talking about a little boy who was born in a small town named Satu-Mare
​(“The Big Village”). He says that at the age of six-years-old, he was always troubled of how he was small
​and loved at his age he thought that in some 5-6 years he would become a man with a [good] head on
​his shoulders. But his Mother had, a single saying [:] won’t you go to make money because mom doesn’t
​have anything to drink.”

- An excerpt from Tibi’s letter from prison.

​Tibi, 27, trafficked his girlfriend Tunde on the streets of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. As a young child
​living in the northern town of Satu-Mare, he was sent by his mother and grandmother to beg for
​money in the marketplace. 

​Tibi, who trafficked his young girlfriend Tunde on the streets of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, spent much of his
​childhood at this address—his grandmother’s house outside of Satu-Mare, Romania, a two-hour drive
​from Cluj-Napoca through the mountain region of Transylvania. The fountain is all that remains of the old
​home; everything else has been torn down and rebuilt by the current inhabitants. Upon moving in, ​they
​learned from the neighbors and the village priest of the violent life that the original gypsy family led.
​Tibi’s mother had her throat slashed and was murdered at this fountain by an estranged lover.

“Then, having been left without a father at a young age, I had to get a job, to bring some money home.
​Being the oldest, I got a job, at a grocery store first, then I started to look for work in bars. I don’t know...
​that’s how I stumbled upon a bar as a bartender-waitress.”

- Ligia, 34-years-old, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

The bar where Ligia worked for a year about a decade ago was the site of some horrific instances of
​human trafficking. Ligia’s boss was prosecuted for this crime and many others and served time in jail
​(at the time of this photograph, he was a free man). The case made headlines in Cluj-Napoca.

Ligia spent a few months in treatment in this room at the local mental hospital for a mental breakdown
​that resulted from her work at the bar.

​“You have to have the will, to know what you’re fighting for in life. [You have to know] whether you want
​to ​overcome this phase, or whether you want to stay the same, you and your thoughts.”

- Ligia, 34-years-old, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, at the mental ward where she was hospitalized twice as
​a ​result of witnessing horrific instances of women battered and trafficked while working as a waitress
​at ​a bar.

​“Only once I went to the other club, [...] Moni’s [...] was a much more select club. I don’t know if it still
​exists, ​but even presidents went there. The president of the country went there; it also had girls, but it
​was much more select. There they played more games, it was different, much more select. And they
​also had bedrooms upstairs. It was a kind of hotel-bar. They could sleep there overnight. Whereas here
​with us, ​it was just non-stop (24 hours). I went when they did an inventory and they needed me there.”

- Ligia, 34 years old, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, talking about the club owned by her boss’ brother. Her boss,
​the ​owner of a club she worked for, was prosecuted and jailed for human trafficking and other crimes
​in ​a high-profile case in the mid-2000s.

​“Yes, it was here. Because that’s where he lives. He called his lawyer and said that look, the masked
​police (a.k.a., special unit) is looking for me. What do I do? And the first day he locked the door, he didn’t
​want ​to come out, and then his lawyer told him that now you don’t have an option, you have to turn
​yourself in. And ​he didn’t have a choice; he had to turn himself in. This is where they picked him up,
​yes, right from his home.”

- Ligia describing her boss’ arrest. He was arrested for human trafficking and other crimes. He is now a
​free man. 

​“They wouldn’t even let me [stand] at the gate. They wouldn’t let me go out into the village. I ran once
​here through the village, and I was running along, I don’t even remember what street it was. Lord! I
​would take ​off in the fields. His father would chase me with the belt.”

- Cristina, 22-years-old, talking about the house in which she lived with her boyfriend’s family in a village
​outside Timisoara, Romania. Cristina, who was trafficked in Germany at 17, grew up mostly on the
​streets. ​Violence makes up a large part of street youth’s lives. 

​“Yes, but then he would catch me...how do I put this...when I would leave the minors’ center, he would
​catch me. For example, I would go out into town to make money for cigarettes or something else,
​and then he would catch me because I wasn’t (paying attention). I’d be walking through the center
​of town, and all of a sudden he would grab me and I couldn’t leave. And then he would take me either
​to Gearmata, or here to the pipes, he would find a place to take me to stay with him. And then when as
​soon as I caught him sleeping or something, again I would run away from him.”

- Cristina, 22 years old, talking about living on the pipes in Timisoara, Romania, and frequently run-
​ning away from an abusive ex-boyfriend, pictured here. Cristina, who was trafficked in Germany ​at 17,
​grew up mostly on the streets. Cristina is now happily married to another man, though still living on
​the streets. 

​“And also because of Rita I hooked up with him. Because he would come by where we were living in
​some canals by the Little (train) Station, there, in some great pipes, and he would come by, and she
​hooked me up with him, because I didn’t want to be with him.”

- Cristina spent some of her street life living on the pipes in Timisoara, Romania—the city that brought
​freedom from communism by igniting the 1989 Revolution. Rita was an older girl who made ​money off
​minors living on the street by forcing them into sex work. At one point while living on the pipes, Cristina
​was pregnant. The pipes act as a conduit for hot water to the city and keep homeless ​youth warm in the
​winter.

Cristina lives under a bridge in Timisoara with her husband and a group of other street youth. The bridge
​is drafty and chilly. She grew up on mostly on the streets and was trafficked both internally and in
​Germany. As a teenager, she would shave her head to look like a boy.

​"One day, a girl named Calia, with her man, his name was Piti, they came and here he raped me...
​Since I was small, they grabbed me with their hands. And they brought me here, supposedly to sleep.
​And here they...they drugged me up with the bag, aurolac (glue), I didn’t know how to sniff it. And I got
​dizzy and I was overcome by sleep."

Cristina grew up on the streets of Timisoara, the Romanian city that brought the 1989 Revolution and
​the end of communism. 

​"She [visited me at the restaurant where I worked] in the [shopping] complex and for a whole month she
​was on me and kept telling me, come with me over there because you’ll work with me at a restaurant,
​you will bus tables, and so on. And I told her I didn’t want to go, what if you’re lying to me and will ​take
​me somewhere else?"

- Cristina, 22-years-old, Timisoara, Romania

​When Cristina was 17-years-old, she was talked into going to Germany by the woman who visited her
​at the restaurant and her husband. The bussing job turned out to be prostitution. She was sold ​to a
​VIP brothel for 1800 euros, and locked in for about 5 months. Her cost was 150 euros/hour, but the ​
​money ​was not hers to keep. With another woman from the brothel, she managed to escape and catch
​​a bus back to Romania. 

​Cristina lives under a bridge in Timisoara with her husband and a group of other street youth. At this time,
​she was in the process of getting her papers with the help of a local psychologist. Because she had
​spent most of her life on the streets, this was an extremely difficult process that had been going on for
​months.

​“When I was a minor, [I was living] in the children’s home. But now, I’m no longer a minor, and I live here.
​And I’m afraid of the rain.”

- Crina, 23-years -old from Timisoara, Romania makes her home in this abandoned car. Like many
​street youth, she is addicted to sniffing glue, which curbs hunger and cold. She is frequently raped and
​abused, and has turned herself into a loner. A local psychologist who works with street youth identified
​Crina as a victim of trafficking.

​“I’m missing three windows in the car!”

- Crina spent the winter in this broken-down and abandoned car left on a busy suburban street nearby a
​public park in Timisoara, Romania.

“[...] my parents have left me; it’s been almost 6 years now, and I don’t know, I feel lonely, upset. ​It’s like
​I don’t have any solace. My sister died. I have no comfort. Only constant upsets. But, God will help ​me
​get over all this too.”

Crina, at "Phantom House", an abandoned building near a local college campus in Timisoara where
​she sought shelter as a homeless teen and was gang raped. 

​“I’ve always considered my life to be a bitter coffee. But I didn’t let it get to me.”

Crina spent some time living in an abandoned building known as the "Phantom House” with her sister, 
​who died in an accident. Like many street youth, she is addicted to sniffing glue, which curbs ​hunger and
​cold. She is frequently raped and abused, and has turned herself into a loner. A local psychologist who
​works ​with street youth identified Crina as a victim of trafficking.

​“It’s hard to find love. To find love, for someone to love you, it’s harder. I’ve been through many things,
​and I’ve loved but been betrayed.”

Crina was raped and battered here at the Phantom House where she sought shelter with her sister.

​“She was feeling bad, there was no money in the house, and everyone began to put pressure on her.
​I asked what she meant by pressure. So, she was feeling weakness in her legs, and they started to beat
​her."

- Case worker translating for Zalushka, who, at 34-years-old is severely disabled as a result of multiple
​beatings and drug abuse. Zalushka went  from her native Moldova to Ukraine to earn money in order
​to be reunited with her daughter who was taken from her by the state. There, she met a man whose
​family abused her and forced her to beg and work on the streets.

​As a result of beatings and drug abuse in Ukraine by her husband’s family, Zalushka is severely disabled:
​her speech is slurred and difficult, and her movement is severely impaired. She now lives in an after-care
​center for trafficked women in Balti, Moldova.

​Zalushka, 34-years-old, resides in a temporary shelter for trafficked women in Balti, Moldova. She is the
​center’s longest inhabitant, having far overstayed the customary three to six months timeframe allowed
​for ​most women seeking refuge. The deteriorating state of her physical health and lack of familial
​support ​determined the staff to keep her on the premises.

Zalushka was forced to beg on the streets of Ukraine by her husband’s family, who kept a close watch
​on her and beat her to ensure her obedience.

“God saw this and made it so that, in order to escape and run away, I stole a wallet with money from a
​person in order to be locked up again so that I could get away from this situation.”

- Zalushka, on how she was able to escape from Ukraine.

Andrea scavenges for edible plants in the fields outside of Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. 

​Two years before, burdened with an unemployed, abusive husband and three young children, Andrea 
​decided to go work abroad. She learned of a job in a store in Turkey and went with another woman.
​Once in Turkey, the two were locked up in an apartment and their paperwork destroyed. They ​were
​forced into prostitution for two months. The woman pimp beat and starved them when they ​disobeyed.
​They were released in a raid when the neighbors called the police after much screaming, and eventually
​found their way back to Moldova.

​Andrea reveals a bruise that her ill-tempered husband had recently left on her. Two years prior, she left
​for Turkey to provide for her family of three young children, and was locked up by traffickers in an apart-
​ment ​which she eventually escaped. She is now back with her abusive partner in her native Moldova,
​making ​ends meet.

​Leaving Turkey, Andrea returned to her abusive husband in Moldova, determined not to tell anyone
​about being locked up and trafficked in an apartment for two months. For fear of rumors spreading, she
​told everyone instead that she had been locked in a basement and forced to wash floors without pay.
​Eventually, she shared the real story with her sister, who brought her to an after-care center.  


Andrea currently lives on the outskirts of Chisinau in a complex of makeshift homes.

​Like many survivors of human trafficking in Moldova, Andrea lives among other impoverished families in
​communities made up of make-shift homes. 

​ 

​Natasha, 26-years-old and suffering from mental illness resides in this rancid and dirty, pitch-dark bedroom
​in her mother’s house on the outskirts of Chisinau, Moldova. 


She left for Moscow to work in a restaurant prior to this, but ended up trafficked on the streets ​instead.
​One day, an unidentified driver ran his car into her and a group of street girls. She suffered ​physical
​injuries and her already poor mental condition worsened. According to her file in an after-care ​center
​where she came and went, “men (from her home village in Moldova) started coming over ​(to this ​room),
​taking her away and abusing her, whoever pleased.”

​Natasha, in poor mental condition, emerged from her mother’s house howling, dancing, and curtsying. Her
​mother has resigned to allow the village men to come into the house at night and use Natasha as they
​please, taking advantage of her reputation as a prostitute in Russia.

​Suffering from schizophrenia, Natasha will often visit a nearby bar to seek a cigarette or an ice-cream from
​men in exchange for sex. Feeling dirty, she would also trade in wet towelettes. Sometimes, Natasha ​will
​disappear for days, but her family does not question where and how she is. This bar that she frequents
​is down ​the street from her mother’s house in a village outside Chisinau, the capital of Moldova.

 ​“That’s
where the police would take us to the forest. The boys, they would tie them up,
so if there were  ​two tree poles, they would tie their hands, then they would
kick and hit them. And that’s where they  ​would leave us. They would leave the
boys tied up. And then we, with pain and struggle, we would take  ​pieces of
glass or tin, because you can find them all around, and then cut free all you
can.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Tunde,
24-years-old, Cluj-Napoca, Romania  Tunde was living with a gang of street youth when she was trafficked by her
boyfriend. The gang was  ​regularly assaulted by the police as easy targets.
webtext_HT_introFINALmed.jpg
webtext_HT_tunde2.jpg
 ​As a victim of police brutality, Tunde and
her gang of homeless kids were routinely taken to a forest  ​outside the city,
tied to trees, beaten and left to fend for themselves.  ​ ​Revisiting this forest near the end of winter, Tunde found wildflowers
scattered and peeking through  ​the dead leaves, and began to pick them up one by
one. For nearly an hour, she quietly went about  ​gathering a bouquet, gently
pacing the ground and reflecting.
 ​Tunde grew up on the streets and was trafficked by her   boyfriend.
They had two children together,  ​both of whom were taken away by social services
because of his abuse. She has a third child with  ​another man, and is currently
happily married. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 ​“[the hole in
the hill] is built in, molded, so we would put in beds; we would bring them
from the trash,  ​sheets, whatever we could find, clothes, coats, and pillows. We
would make food here on the wood logs,  ​something like this, so we could make
food or take baths, otherwise we would go down to the Somes ​[river] where
we caught fish. We would bathe in cold water.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Tunde on life in a park tunnel, where she had lived with a gang of street
children. While she was living  ​there and in other makeshift homes around the city, she was trafficked by her boyfriend.
  
  
   
  
    
  
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 “We were a
very large gang (group), we would live here, where I showed you. It was me, my
sister, her  ​boyfriend, my boyfriend, a whole bunch of us. [...] The hardest
thing is to end up in a hole like this where  ​you can’t even put away your
clothes neatly or to keep clean, only dirty is possible. It’s always dirty
here.”   ​- Tunde, about one of the several places she lived in while on the streets. During that time, she was ​trafficked by her boyfriend.​
 ​"Here
I came to earn money... It’s a place that people believe you stay at for a
special occasion, but [is  ​commonly used for sexual services]. And here you
never know who you’ll get, or who you’ll come  ​across, because you don’t know
him, you go only for the money... it was a horror. So, I would get  ​horrified as
soon as I saw the car pull up. Or they would come take you by force. It was
really bad."  Tunde was trafficked by her boyfriend with whom she lived on the streets.
 ​“You went, but you had to be
careful. You were going into risk. So either you would come back well  ​with
money in your pocket, or you would come back beaten without anything. So very
many things  ​happened.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 Tunde,
about the street corner where girls worked. Her boyfriend forced her into sex work.
 Tunde’s
trafficker, the father of her children, is currently in jail for unrelated
crimes. Today, she is  ​happily married to a different man, but two of her
children were taken from her by social services.  ​Tunde, her husband and a third
child live in poverty, and they are struggling to make ends meet each ​month.
Her biggest wish is a little house with a garden for her family. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 “Police caught him
and took him to the minors’ center where there were a bunch of children who ​had
 ​run away from their parents and who were abandoned from families who were
disorganized ​and didn’t ​have their head on their shoulders. [H]e stayed some two months and a bit then he was taken far away ​from the town where he was born he
was too small to realize where he would ​be taken and he said ​goodbye to the
other kids, where he had learned somewhat how to write and draw like a little child." ​ ​- Tibi, 27-years-old, trafficked his girlfriend Tunde while living on the streets of
Cluj-Napoca with her.  ​ He wrote about his life in a letter from prison where he
is being held for unrelated crimes, and used  ​the third person throughout to
refer to himself. This overrun orphanage (“minors’ center”) where he  ​spent some of his childhood is still in
use, though conditions have improved.  ​ ​This excerpt from his letters is a literal translation. 
 ​“In this journal we are talking
about a little boy who was born in a small town named Satu-Mare  ​(“The Big
Village”). He says that at the age of six-years-old, he was always troubled of
how he was small  ​and loved at his age he thought that in some 5-6 years he
would become a man with a [good] head on  ​his shoulders. But his Mother had, a
single saying [:] won’t you go to make money because mom doesn’t  ​have anything
to drink.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - An excerpt from Tibi’s letter from
prison.  ​ ​Tibi, 27, trafficked his girlfriend Tunde on the streets of
Cluj-Napoca, Romania. As a young child  ​living in the northern town of
Satu-Mare, he was sent by his mother and grandmother to beg for  ​money in the
marketplace. 
 ​Tibi, who trafficked his young
girlfriend Tunde on the streets of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, spent much of his  ​childhood
at this address—his grandmother’s house outside of Satu-Mare, Romania, a
two-hour drive  ​from Cluj-Napoca through the mountain region of Transylvania.
The fountain is all that remains of the old  ​home; everything else has been torn
down and rebuilt by the current inhabitants. Upon moving in, ​they  ​learned from
the neighbors and the village priest of the violent life that the original
gypsy family led.  ​Tibi’s mother had her throat slashed and was murdered at this fountain by an
estranged lover. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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awherenessLIGIA_web.jpg
 “Then,
having been left without a father at a young age, I had to get a job, to bring
some money home.  ​Being the oldest, I got a job, at a grocery store first, then
I started to look for work in bars. I don’t know... ​that’s how I stumbled upon a
bar as a bartender-waitress.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Ligia,
34-years-old, Cluj-Napoca, Romania  
The bar where Ligia worked for a year about a decade ago was the site of some
horrific instances of  ​human trafficking. Ligia’s boss was prosecuted for this
crime and many others and served time in jail ​(at the time of this photograph,
he was a free man). The case made headlines in Cluj-Napoca.  

 Ligia
spent a few months in treatment in this room at the local mental hospital for a
mental breakdown  ​that resulted from her work at the bar.
 ​“You have
to have the will, to know what you’re fighting for in life. [You have to know]
whether you want  ​to ​overcome this phase, or whether you want to stay the same,
you and your thoughts.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Ligia,
34-years-old, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, at the mental ward where she was
hospitalized twice as  ​a ​result of witnessing horrific instances of women
battered and trafficked while working as a waitress  ​at ​a bar.
 ​“Only once I went to the other
club, [...] Moni’s [...] was a much more select club. I don’t know if it still
 ​exists, ​but even presidents went there. The president of the country went
there; it also had girls, but it  ​was much more select. There they played more
games, it was different, much more select. And they  ​also had bedrooms upstairs.
It was a kind of hotel-bar. They could sleep there overnight. Whereas here  ​with
us, ​it was just non-stop (24 hours). I went when they did an inventory and they
needed me there.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Ligia, 34 years old,
Cluj-Napoca, Romania, talking about the club owned by her boss’ brother. Her
boss,  ​the ​owner of a club she worked for, was prosecuted and jailed for human
trafficking and other crimes  ​in ​a high-profile case in the mid-2000s.
 ​“Yes, it was here. Because that’s
where he lives. He called his lawyer and said that look, the masked  ​police
(a.k.a., special unit) is looking for me. What do I do? And the first day he
locked the door, he didn’t  ​want ​to come out, and then his lawyer told him that
now you don’t have an option, you have to turn  ​yourself in. And ​he didn’t have
a choice; he had to turn himself in. This is where they picked him up, ​yes,
right from his home.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Ligia describing her boss’
arrest. He was arrested for human trafficking and other crimes. He is now a
 ​free man. 
awhereness_CRISTINA_web.jpg
 ​“They wouldn’t even let me [stand]
at the gate. They wouldn’t let me go out into the village. I ran once  ​here
through the village, and I was running along, I don’t even remember what street
it was. Lord! I  ​would take ​off in the fields. His father would chase me with
the belt.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Cristina, 22-years-old, talking
about the house in which she lived with her boyfriend’s family in a village  ​outside
Timisoara, Romania. Cristina, who was trafficked in Germany at 17, grew up
mostly on the  ​streets. ​Violence makes up a large part of street youth’s lives. 
 ​“Yes, but then he would catch
me...how do I put this...when I would leave the minors’ center, he would  ​catch
me. For example, I would go out into town to make money for cigarettes or
something else, ​and then he would catch me because I wasn’t (paying attention).
I’d be walking through the center  ​of town, and all of a sudden he would grab me
and I couldn’t leave. And then he would take me either  ​to Gearmata, or here to
the pipes, he would find a place to take me to stay with him. And then when as
 ​soon as I caught him sleeping or something, again I would run away from him.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Cristina, 22 years old, talking
about living on the pipes in Timisoara, Romania, and frequently run- ​ning away
from an abusive ex-boyfriend, pictured here. Cristina, who was trafficked in Germany ​at 17,  ​grew
up mostly on the streets. Cristina is now happily married to another man, though still living on  ​the streets.  






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 ​“And also because of Rita I
hooked up with him. Because he would come by where we were living in  ​some
canals by the Little (train) Station, there, in some great pipes, and he would
come by, and she  ​hooked me up with him, because I didn’t want to be with him.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Cristina spent
some of her street life living on the pipes in Timisoara, Romania—the city that
brought  ​freedom from communism by igniting the 1989 Revolution. Rita was an
older girl who made ​money off  ​minors living on the street by forcing them into sex work. At one point while living on the pipes, Cristina  ​was
pregnant. The pipes act as a conduit for hot water to the city and keep homeless ​youth warm in the  ​winter.
 Cristina lives
under a bridge in Timisoara with her husband and a group of other
street youth. The bridge  ​is drafty and chilly. She grew up on mostly on the
streets and was trafficked both internally and in  ​Germany. As a teenager, she
would shave her head to look like a boy. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 ​"One
day, a girl named Calia, with her man, his name was Piti, they came and here he
raped me...  ​Since I was small, they grabbed me with their hands. And they
brought me here, supposedly to sleep.  ​And here they...they drugged me up with
the bag, aurolac (glue), I didn’t know how to sniff it. And I got  ​dizzy and I
was overcome by sleep." 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 Cristina grew up on the streets of Timisoara, the Romanian city that brought
the 1989 Revolution and  ​the end of communism. 
 ​"She
[visited me at the restaurant where I worked] in the [shopping] complex and for
a whole month she  ​was on me and kept telling me, come with me over there
because you’ll work with me at a restaurant,  ​you will bus tables, and so on.
And I told her I didn’t want to go, what if you’re lying to me and will ​take  ​me
somewhere else?" 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Cristina,
22-years-old, Timisoara, Romania ​ ​When Cristina was 17-years-old, she was talked into going to Germany by the
woman who visited her  ​at the restaurant and her husband. The bussing job turned
out to be prostitution. She was sold ​to a  ​VIP brothel for 1800 euros, and
locked in for about 5 months. Her cost was 150 euros/hour, but the ​ ​money ​was
not hers to keep. With another woman from the brothel, she managed to escape
and catch  ​​a bus back to Romania. 
 ​Cristina lives
under a bridge in Timisoara with her husband and a group of other
street youth. At this time,  ​she was in the process of getting
her papers with the help of a local psychologist. Because she had  ​spent most of
her life on the streets, this was an extremely difficult process that had been
going on for  ​months. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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awhereness_CRINA_web.jpg
 ​“When I was a minor, [I was
living] in the children’s home. But now, I’m no longer a minor, and I live
here.  ​And I’m afraid of the rain.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Crina, 23-years -old from Timisoara,
Romania makes her home in this abandoned car. Like many  ​street youth, she is
addicted to sniffing glue, which curbs hunger and cold. She is frequently raped
and  ​abused, and has turned herself into a loner. A local psychologist who works
with street youth identified  ​Crina as a victim of trafficking.
 ​“I’m missing three windows in the car!” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Crina spent the winter in this broken-down and abandoned car left on a busy suburban street nearby a  ​public park in Timisoara, Romania.
  
  
   
  
    
  
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 “[...] my
parents have left me; it’s been almost 6 years now, and I don’t know, I feel
lonely, upset. ​It’s like  ​I don’t have any solace. My sister died. I have no
comfort. Only constant upsets. But, God will help ​me  ​get over all this too.”  

 Crina, at "Phantom House", an abandoned building near a local college campus in Timisoara where  ​she sought shelter as a homeless teen and was gang raped.   ​
 ​“I’ve always considered my life to be a bitter coffee. But I
didn’t let it get to me.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 Crina spent some time living in an abandoned building known as the "Phantom House” with her sister,  ​who died in an accident. Like many street
youth, she is addicted to sniffing glue, which curbs ​hunger and  ​cold. She is
frequently raped and abused, and has turned herself into a loner. A local
psychologist who  ​works ​with street youth identified Crina as a victim of
trafficking.
 ​“It’s hard
to find love. To find love, for someone to love you, it’s harder. I’ve been
through many things,  ​and I’ve loved but been betrayed.” 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 Crina was raped and battered
here at the Phantom House where she sought shelter with her sister.
awhereness_ZALUSHKA_web.jpg
 ​“She was feeling
bad, there was no money in the house, and everyone began to put pressure on
her. ​I asked what she meant by pressure. So, she was feeling weakness in her
legs, and they started to beat  ​her." 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 - Case worker
translating for Zalushka, who, at 34-years-old is severely disabled as a result of multiple  ​beatings and drug abuse. Zalushka went 
from her native Moldova to Ukraine to earn money in order  ​to be reunited with her daughter who was taken from her by the state. There, she met a man whose  ​family abused
her and forced her to beg and work on the streets.
 ​As a
result of beatings and drug abuse in Ukraine by her husband’s family, Zalushka
is severely disabled:  ​her speech is slurred and difficult, and her movement is
severely impaired. She now lives in an after-care  ​center for trafficked women
in Balti, Moldova. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 ​Zalushka,
34-years-old, resides in a temporary shelter for trafficked women in Balti,
Moldova. She is the  ​center’s longest inhabitant, having far overstayed the
customary three to six months timeframe allowed  ​for ​most women seeking refuge.
The deteriorating state of her physical health and lack of familial  ​support
​determined the staff to keep her on the premises. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 Zalushka
was forced to beg on the streets of Ukraine by her husband’s family, who kept a
close watch ​on her and beat her to ensure her obedience.  

 “God saw
this and made it so that, in order to escape and run away, I stole a wallet
with money from a  ​person in order to be locked up again so that I could get
away from this situation.”  ​ 
- Zalushka, on how she was able to escape from Ukraine.
Awhereness_ANDREA_web.jpg
 Andrea scavenges for edible plants in the
fields outside of Chisinau, the capital of Moldova.   ​Two years before, burdened with an unemployed, abusive husband and three young
children, Andrea  ​decided to go work abroad. She learned of a job in a store in
Turkey and went with another woman.  ​Once in Turkey, the two were locked up in
an apartment and their paperwork destroyed. They ​were  ​forced into prostitution
for two months. The woman pimp beat and starved them when they ​disobeyed.  ​They
were released in a raid when the neighbors called the police after much
screaming, and eventually  ​found their way back to Moldova.
 ​Andrea reveals a
bruise that her ill-tempered husband had recently left on her. Two years prior, she left  ​for Turkey to provide for her family of three young children, and
was locked up by traffickers in an apart- ​ment ​which she eventually escaped. She
is now back with her abusive partner in her native Moldova,  ​making ​ends meet. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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 ​Leaving Turkey, Andrea returned to her abusive
husband in Moldova, determined not to tell anyone  ​about being locked up and
trafficked in an apartment for two months. For fear
of rumors spreading, she  ​told everyone instead that she had been locked in a
basement and forced to wash floors without pay.  ​Eventually, she shared the real
story with her sister, who brought her to an after-care center.   






  
  
   
  
    
  
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Andrea currently lives on the outskirts of Chisinau in a complex of makeshift
homes.
 ​Like many survivors of human
trafficking in Moldova, Andrea lives among other impoverished families in ​communities made up of make-shift homes.  ​ ​  






  
  
   
  
    
  
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Awhereness_NATASHA_web.jpg
 ​Natasha, 26-years-old and suffering from
mental illness resides in this rancid and dirty, pitch-dark bedroom  ​in her
mother’s house on the outskirts of Chisinau, Moldova.  






  
  
   
  
    
  
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She left for Moscow to work in a restaurant prior to this, but ended up
trafficked on the streets ​instead.  ​One day, an unidentified driver ran his car
into her and a group of street girls. She suffered ​physical  ​injuries and her
already poor mental condition worsened. According to her file in an after-care
​center  ​where she came and went, “men (from her home village in Moldova) started
coming over ​(to this ​room),  ​taking her away and abusing her, whoever pleased.”
 ​Natasha, in poor mental condition, emerged from her mother’s house howling,
dancing, and curtsying. Her  ​mother has resigned to allow the village men to
come into the house at night and use Natasha as they  ​please, taking advantage of her reputation as a prostitute in
Russia.
 ​Suffering
from schizophrenia, Natasha will often visit a nearby bar to seek a cigarette
or an ice-cream from  ​men in exchange for sex. Feeling dirty, she would also
trade in wet towelettes. Sometimes, Natasha ​will  ​disappear for days, but her
family does not question where and how she is. This bar that she frequents  ​is
down ​the street from her mother’s house in a village outside Chisinau, the
capital of Moldova. 






  
  
   
  
    
  
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