Thanks to my educational training, I managed to save a girl whose parents exposed her to the sex trade.
*The victim’s name has been changed to protect her identity.
SAO PAULO, Brazil — I am a sign language interpreter, and I love my job.
However, everything changed when I discovered an atrocity.
Thanks to my educational training, I saved a young girl named Jane from the sex trade.
On my first day at a school for the hard-of-hearing, a young girl named Jane arrived and she caught my attention.
A large man who presented himself as the responsible adult accompanied her.
Jane looked timid and afraid. I assumed it was because she was entering a new school, but I was wrong.
Before admitting a new student, the school asks some routine questions. I decided to listen to what was going on in the management room.
“I take care of the interests of her family,” the man said. He pointed to Jane, adding: “If a boy approaches you or sends you a letter, let me know immediately.”
What caught my attention was his following statement. The man said he took great care of Jane since she had been abused in another school.
I was paralyzed.
The school director appointed me as her guardian due to her hearing problems.
In the following days, my closeness with Jane grew as she needed my help to get through school.
Jane was 13 years old and was reticent. She hardly spoke to me when I tried to start a conversation.
I felt like she needed my help outside of the academic content.
Without knowing precisely what was happening, I had a bad feeling. Something was wrong.
Speaking of the man one day, Jane confessed, “He takes me for a walk as if I were his wife.”
Inwardly, I had known something was wrong with this man who, Jane told me, was a pastor.
All I wanted to do was take care of her; to take her away from the dreadful life she was leading.
I immediately ran to tell the educational authorities what was happening.
They discovered that the guardianship documents the pastor had submitted were false. However, that was not the creepiest part.
When they informed Jane’s family of what was happening, her mother attacked me violently, accused me of being a liar, and said that I was making everything up.
Police studies confirmed that Jane had suffered abuse daily.
That little girl I had grown so attached to – who appeared uncomfortable with the man – had confessed to me with all her innocence what he was doing.
Not only had he abused her daily, but the pastor also paid Jane’s parents $271 (USD), so she could stay with him on weekends.
In essence, Jane’s parents sold her. It was the most profound thing I ever faced in my profession.
Thanks to my training, I was able to express what Jane felt about this terrible secret that tortured her day after day.
Today, the São Paulo Public Security Secretariat, the Women’s Police Station, and the Juvenile Court have taken over the case, and Jane is safe.
My convictions prevented that man from abusing her further; sign language saved Jane from the horror of sex trafficking.
Translations provided by Orato World Media are intended to result in the end translated document being understandable in the end language. Although every effort is made to ensure our translations are accurate we cannot guarantee the translation will be without errors.
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