*To protect the identity of this survivor, his name and image has been changed*
Tanvi covered her face as she stood in a busy train station in India. Two adult males, Rohit and Ashok, were there with her and appeared to be waiting for someone else. When questioned, Rohit claimed that Tanvi was 18 years old and was his wife, but neither was entirely true.
Child marriages are common in this part of the world and are often used as a luring tactic by human traffickers, who will commonly sell their new brides to brothels. At only 15 years old, Tanvi ran away with Rohit — she was taken by his promises and her strong love for him. The two eloped in a secret ceremony, after knowing each other only six months.
Two months after their wedding, Rohit’s brother-in-law, Ashok, told him that he was traveling to Delhi. Rohit quickly agreed that he and Tanvi would go with him. When the three arrived in Delhi, our partner’s transit monitors noticed Tanvi’s young age and confused body language. They approached the group and explained the risks that exist in the city for human trafficking through marriage. Although she was initially resistant to accept assistance from monitors, after speaking with them alone, Tanvi came to understand the dangers that she faced as a runaway teenager and agreed to contact her parents. Tanvi was placed in the care of her aunt who lived nearby and could arrange for her safe transportation home. Today, Tanvi is safe with her family and thankful she avoided the risks of trafficking that many youth like her face.
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