Human and organ traffickers frequently know the exact time that a 16 or 17 year-old girl is turned out of an orphanage. Our Moldovan contact informed us that, on many occasions, these foul men even sit in vans that park curbside, waiting to snatch up the departing teenager.


I again tried to look at this from the viewpoint of the girl graduating the institution. She may have been a ‘lucky’ one, one that wasn’t prostituted out while in the orphanage. Perhaps her orphanage director didn’t want to ever take that risk, choosing instead to take a fee for simply alerting abusers and traffickers of her pending release.

She is unsure of herself as the doors of the state orphanage open. She is unprepared for the world outside since she never received any skills training or transitional counseling. She feels very nervous and vulnerable. At the same time, she is excited to break away from the monotony and bleakness of the institutional environment that stifled her creativity and enthusiasm for life. She musters up courage, holds her head high and walks out in wonder and amazement at her new-found freedom and opportunity.

Twenty feet and twenty seconds later, she is shoved into a van.

A few hours after that, her clothes are ripped off of her and she is being forced upon by smelly, hairy men who slap and punch her when she offers resistance.

This is the new life that was ready to pounce and prey upon her. This is her commencement.


(Image: Anti-trafficking billboard in Chisinau, Moldova)


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