AN ALMOST LOVE STORY
Everything seemed to start innocently… with phone calls from a wrong number. Looking back, however, Radhika thought the calls were odd and now wishes she had simply ignored them.
A BUDDING ROMANCE
By the age of 18, Radhika was already the provider for her family of six. She quit school to focus on the financial stability of her loved ones, but longed for the childhood she never knew. When a smooth-talking gentleman from an unknown number kept calling her home, she finally was able to feel like a teenager again. The man introduced himself as Dipesh, and the calls between the two began getting longer and more intimate. Dipesh expressed his admiration towards Radhika for how hardworking and loyal she was. After several weeks of lengthy conversations, the two finally met. Dipesh held Radhika close, expressed how deeply he was falling in love with her, and proposed.
DREAMS TURNING INTO NIGHTMARES
Against the better judgment of her family, the pair were quickly married. During the first leg of their honeymoon, Dipesh started changing the plans for the rest of the trip. Originally, the couple was supposed to travel to Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. This all changed, when Dipesh brought up the idea of traveling to India. Over a cup of tea, Radhika tried explaining her hesitancy on the sudden change of plans when she lost all control of herself and passed out—her tea had been drugged.
When she awoke, Radhika was struck with fear as she realized they had traveled almost 100 miles to the border of India. As the two were preparing to cross out of Nepal, Free for Life’s partner organization intervened. They separated the newly married couple and asked each individual a series of questions. After realizing their stories did not match, the border monitoring staff further investigated and uncovered that Dipesh had, in fact, sold his bride to a sex trafficker in India. Radhika was astonished—how could this man she thought she loved perform such a horrible atrocity?
NEWFOUND HOPE AND STRENGTH
Radhika is still coming to terms with the ordeal but has decided to pursue legal action against her ex-husband, Dipesh. Living within the family of a local safe home, she found joy in learning to sew and craft. Today, Radhika looks back on the strange phone calls she received and hopes that no other young woman falls victim to the horrible experiences she had to endure.
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