In a bid to earn money to pay for her father's medical bills, 16-year-old Nishad agreed to an offer made by her neighbours that would allow her to make $1,500 within a month. Being the only child in the family, her father loves her and dotes on her. He became ill due to a heart condition and the family could not afford the medical treatment he needed. Nishad wanted to help him and accepted the offer, thinking it was a good opportunity.
She was met by two men at Changi Airport who brought her to a brothel in Geylang. Locked in the room, Nishad was forced to have sex with the men who entered. They each paid $30 for 15 minutes with her and every night she would have to do this with at least 20 men. This went on for two weeks until she was finally arrested by the police when she went soliciting for customers on the streets.
Ashamed of what happened, Nishad had a low self-esteem and often fought with the other women at the shelter. She lacked motivation and often slept through the day, achieving nothing even though there were opportunities to make some income. Feeling depressed, she would resort to self-mutilation and cut her body. Hagar tried to help her out of the darkness and pain. It took a while but over the months, her self-confidence began to grow and she managed to bounce back from her circumstances.
The legal trial concluded with the brothel owner being charged and Nishad has gone back home to Sri Lanka to be with her family. In preparation for her return, she packed coffee beans into sachets to sell them as air fresheners so she could bring some money home and return with pride. Hagar has arranged for a local church to help her and she will be working at the local bookstore. This will help reduce the risk of re-exploitation.