Lynette grew up in a very impoverished country. From a young age, she was expected to work in the house while taking care of her younger siblings. Once she finished school, she began looking for work abroad so that she could better support her family. She secured a job in Qatar which promised a salary and housing. But after a few days in the country, Lynette was offered a new opportunity, this time to come to the United States for a childcare position with a wealthy family. Excited and eager to help her family, she jumped at the chance.
But when Lynette arrived in the U.S., her dreams were crushed. Her employers forced her to take care of their medically ill child day and night. And while she had been promised free room and board, Lynette and others working for the family were denied access to proper clothing, food, and medical care. The workers were subjected to emotional and physical threats, and their identification was confiscated so they couldn’t leave.
One day, Lynette and another housemate managed to escape, eventually managing to get all of her coworkers out. Local law enforcement connected Lynette to Polaris, and our Client Services’ crisis response team helped her find shelter and immediate medical care. Once her health and safety was ensured, she was matched with a case manager for legal counseling and emotional support.
She began working at an early education school as a substitute teacher and was eventually offered a permanent teaching position. She started taking classes at community college to receive her certification in child development and plans to continue working towards a degree in teaching, as she loves working and spending time with children. Polaris continues to support her as she adjusts to life in the United States and works to become a permanent resident.
Lynette has dealt with many unforeseeable obstacles since leaving her trafficking situation. But in a survivor expression exercise, she wrote: “I am very grateful that I have been given a second chance.”
In honor of #GivingTuesday, please support Polaris so we can continue to help survivors like Lynette.
*Name changed and model used to protect the identity of our clients.