Adelina's Story: Another Step Toward Full Freedom
Updated: Aug 2, 2022
Adelina attended a Survivor's Retreat at The Sanctuary. It was another step toward full freedom on what has already been long journey for her.
Reflecting back on her time at The Sanctuary, she said, “I liked the place, the landscape was amazing—right in the middle of the nature. The team is very well trained and full of love.”
The beautiful grounds and that team full of love are a far cry from Adelina’s past. I met Adelina earlier this year in Romania and she shared her story with me. I have carried it close to my heart. It is painful and hard to hear, but it helps explain why our mission is to be able to say, “Slavery no more!”
Adelina was rescued 7 years before we met from one of the most horrific situations you could imagine. She was trafficked to politicians and VIPs in Romania. Her trafficker then extorted her clients by threatening to make their encounters with her public, unless they paid him large sums of money.
Her trafficker used a typical ploy of convincing her he loved her. He told her he was buying them an apartment in another country in Europe and had many “business friends” who would
come to the apartment with many girls. One day he asked her to go with one of the businessmen for lunch and she believed she was helping in his work.
“You are mine now until you die,” the businessman told her when they entered his car and he locked the door. The man took her to a compound with tall walls, a fence, security cameras, and dogs. Politicians and police officers came to party every night. Adelina was just one of twelve girls who had to dance for the guests and sleep with many of them.
“No one should go through what we went through, day after day,” Adelina told me.She says she lost track of time and space and threats were made against her family if she didn't comply to demands. “I hated my bed so much that I would rather sleep on the floor. I would shower all the time just because I always felt dirty,” she recalled.
Her life changed when one of the guards showed kindness to her. “Instead of abusing me, he asked me my story,” she said. “He was told that we choose this life. I told him the truth. He thought I made lots of money from the rich businessman and politicians coming to us every day. He felt compassion and believed me.”
He devised a plan to help her and another of the girls out. He said they were infected with a disease and got them to the hospital, where they got a nurse involved. She was able to take them to a Catholic church clinic and then to a small monastery across the border where Adelina was able to call her parents. The girls received medical care, food, and safety.
“I am reborn, washed of dirt, loved again,” Adelina said when recalling how she escaped. She went on to tell me that she’s been looking for a way to get involved with anti-trafficking but never felt comfortable with anyone until she met our team at Uncaged. “I want to see more people lifted up, encouraged, and healed,” she told me. The next time I saw her she had a necklace with a key and butterfly on it, a reminder of the healing she’s received and that she wants to help other survivors gain.
We’re so excited because we know that survivors can bring light into the life of others like no one else. Seeing Adelina at The Sanctuary and knowing this freedom will continue to ripple outward to so many others is priceless, like each precious soul that will come to this place and be transformed.
You are the key that allows our team to come alongside survivors like Adelina.