CHENNAI: The brutal “breaking in” of trafficked girls in Indian brothels, from rape to beatings to starvation, leaves girls unable to say “no to anyone” or escape, a new study has found. The testimonies of child sex trafficking survivors in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata offer a glimpse into the violence young girls endure before they are pushed into the sex trade.
“Traffickers are using the tactic of a ‘conditioning period’ to break the resilience of children,” said Saji Philip of the charity International Justice Mission, which co-authored the study with the government of West Bengal state. “Fifty-five percent of the survivors were beaten with objects and some were forced to witness murder of other minors. These are extremely violent and cruel methods.” The report into the prevalence of commercial sexual exploitation of children in Kolkata found more than half of the survivors had undergone a breaking in period involving being raped by the first customer, threats and physical violence.