Untold Stories from Nepal | Ceta
[Content trigger warning: physical and sexual violence]
“My life has changed … I am happy now.”
Ceta sat alone and frightened on a cold floor.
The darkness was overwhelming. She couldn’t see her own hands, shaking from hunger and despair.
How long had she been here, in this darkness? One week? Maybe two?
“My brain wasn’t working,” says Ceta. “I didn’t know what to do. I was totally lost.”
Ceta was somewhere in India; she knew that much. Her husband had sold her to a brothel, trafficking her across the India-Nepal border and into a life of prostitution.
Ceta’s last memory, before being locked in this room, was of being raped by her captors. It had happened more than once.
The horror of it clung to her body like a physical being, making her feel sick, making sleep impossible.
The dread in the pit of Ceta’s stomach grew heavier each day. She cried desperately into the blackness:
Please someone help me, please let me go.
And then one day, help arrived.
The police raid on the brothel’s halfway house happened quickly.
One moment, Ceta was locked up and alone, without hope for the future. The next, she was stumbling into blinding sunshine, tears of relief streaming down her cheeks.
The police helped Ceta find her way to a nearby bus station. She travelled by bus to the India-Nepal border, where she was met by staff from 3 Angels Nepal. They provided her with safety, care and further transport back home—where she was reunited with her sons.
“After I found 3 Angels Nepal, my life changed.”
Ceta was given refuge at the 3 Angels safe haven—and protection against her husband’s continued threats from afar. He remained in India, while Ceta and her sons resettled in Nepal, painstakingly pulling the pieces of their lives back together.
With their safety secured, Ceta was able to focus on healing from the trauma she had experienced.
Ceta gained access to education, vocational training and counselling. Her life was hers again—and slowly, her confidence, hope and joy were restored.
“I don’t think about my past as much now, because I am happy.”
The help Ceta received allowed her to find her feet in the community—and even to open her own shop near the Dhangadhi border. The shop provides her family with a humble income, enough to meet their basic needs and put her sons through school.
“Not only did 3 Angels Nepal give me good food, and a good environment in which to live, but they also taught me skills to cope in my community and earn a living.”
Ceta shares that her sons’ education is important to her—especially now, as she grows older and starts to think about the impact of the next generation.
As a mother, she couldn’t be prouder of the young men they are becoming.
Ceta’s biggest hope is that their future is bright—and that they never know the same horrors that she experienced.
“I want to see my boys grow up and become good people, with a good education.”
“I hope they fight social discrimination, which is so prevalent in our society.”
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*Name changed and representational photo used to protect the individual’s identity