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Irina’s Story

Irina lived through hell for 8 years at the hands of human traffickers.

Irina was born in a small village in Moldova. After only three years of family life, she was taken away from her parent’s care and sent to an orphanage in Ukraine.

For 11 years, Irina was away from her parents and her home country; she felt lost and alone.

When Irina turned 14, the orphanage sent her back to Moldova to a vocational school. She thought things would be better back in her home country, but she felt unwelcomed and stranded. When Irina felt like there was no other option, she ran away from the school and spent her days on the streets.

It was there that she made friends with a woman who told her about the great opportunities in Russia, that she could have a prosperous future and a better life. Irina, with great hope and excitement, agreed to accept this work opportunity and travelled to Russia to meet her new boss.

On arrival, her new boss took away her passport. She was told she would have to work for a long time to earn back the cost he paid for her. He was a trafficker and she was now a new ‘product’ for him to claim and sell.

Irina was taken into an apartment in Moscow where she shared a room with other girls in her position. She was no longer free, her life had become a nightmare which would last for 8 years. During this time Irina was forced to work, to use drugs and was often starved. When she fell pregnant she was forced into having an abortion.

Running away was impossible, if one of them tried to escape, they would be badly beaten by the traffickers. Irina did get a chance after three years, to speak to the police, but to her shock, they did nothing to help her and returned her to the apartment, where she was brutally punished.

After 8 years of this nightmare, Irina’s traffickers were arrested and she was freed and sent home to Moldova. It was there that Beginning of Life cared for her through their rehabilitation programme.