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Labor Trafficking Story | Domestic Work

December, 2014

Fatima came to the United States on a visa to work as a housekeeper for a diplomat. Soon after she arrived, Fatima's employer took away her passport and she was made to work very long days, every day of the week. Since Fatima did not speak English and was unaware of her employment rights in the United States, she worked under these conditions for a long time before confiding in a friend who provided her with the National Human Trafficking Hotline number to seek assistance. At first, Fatima was hesitant to provide the National Hotline with any information about her situation out of fear that her employer would find out she had called. However, after the Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocate reassured her that the hotline was confidential, she began to feel more comfortable speaking about what she was experiencing. 

After several conversations with the National Hotline to talk through her options, Fatima informed the Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocate that she wanted to leave but she was afraid to do so on her own. Fatima did not have her passport and was afraid of what her employer would do if she tried to leave. Fatima decided that she would feel safer leaving her situation with assistance from law enforcement. The National Hotline made a report to a trusted law enforcement agent and worked with both Fatima and the agent to come up with a concrete plan. The agent arrived at Fatima's employer's home at the agreed upon time and assisted her in packing her belongings and obtaining her documents from her employer. After leaving, Fatima continued to work with law enforcement and was connected with an attorney and a victim advocate to assist her obtaining legal and social services.