I was very happy because I thought I had finally found someone who loved me enough to take care of me.
My name is Shristi*. I was three years old when my parents died. My uncle and his wife raised me alongside their three kids. They could not afford to send me to school. My aunt wasn’t fond of me and put her own kids first.
At age 16, my uncle and my aunt informed me I would marry a man 10 years older than me. I could say little in protest to their decision. I had no voice.
The first few months of my married life were great. Although my husband would be gone for long periods, he would always return with a nice paycheck to run our household.
One day, I had some stomach problems. My husband said he would take me to India for treatment. I was very happy because I thought I had finally found someone who loved me enough to take care of me.
The next day we headed to India. We were at one of the border crossings when some young ladies stopped us for questioning. My husband’s behavior started changing.
During the questioning I learned the ladies were KI Nepal staff doing surveillance against human trafficking. They told me my husband had already taken another women to India, claiming her to be his wife.
I was devastated. Suddenly, his travel and money made sense.
I had nowhere to go. The KI Nepal staff told me they provide safe homes and skills development trainings to girls like me. I was so happy to go.
I stayed for six months and received sewing training and other life skills. KI Nepal helped me to set up a business that included a sewing machine and some seed to start my own tailoring shop.
Today, I’m living a dignified and self-sustaining life back in my own community in western Nepal.
*Name changed to provide confidentiality