[The following is a true story, written down by another Russian-speaking Israeli who knows “G.” well. ]
History of “G.”
Arrival to Israel.
“G.” came to Israel with her husband while her son stayed behind in the Ukraine with his grandmother. Here in Israel, G. and her husband met the same people who helped them to leave Ukraine. They helped the family to legalize all the documents for new immigrants, to open a bank account, get a check book, and rent a flat. They also helped G.’s husband to find a job at a factory. At first, all went well; the husband worked while G. stayed home. Only one thing was strange– the same people who helped them began to carry G. and her husband to banks and encouraged them to sign some papers in Hebrew. G and her husband signed, trusting their benefactors.
Two weeks later the benefactors said that work was found for G., too.
G. was very happy because she had been accustomed to hard work a lot in the former Soviet Union. The next morning she was brought to a brothel, and the “benefactors” said that now she will “work” here. She was facing gunpoint because of the papers that were signed, and the family’s cash and checks were taken away from them.
From life to death.
G.’s husband ran back to the Ukraine very quickly, but G. was supposed to
repay the “benefactors” debt of 25,000 dollars.
For ten years G. went by the way of living death – forced prostitution, alcohol, soft drugs, hard drugs, attempted suicide… At first she rebelled, fought, ran away. But the “benefactors” knew what to do; she was not the first or the last in their “business.”
Once she was able to escape all the same and found the work at a hospital.
After the month of work G. went to a bank to receive a salary. An official at the bank said, “You can not get a single shekel – your account is arrested. You have a debt of more than 100 thousand shekels.”
G. returned to the brothel.
Three years ago we received a call from the police. They asked us to help a woman without a home, belongings, or documents.
“If you give not something to eat me – I’ll not speak” – were her first words. G. looked like a survivor of Auschwitz–wild, angry, like an animal on the last stage of exhaustion. Only tears rolled from under the big black glasses, when I said that we came to help her. A week later she called us after a failed suicide attempt under the bus. She agreed to let us help.
Countdown: from death to life.
Since that day three years have passed together. Since that time she experienced living in a “Christian monastery,” [not a traditional monastery but a place to recover in safety and purity], the beginning of a new life without prostitution, rehabilitation from drugs, ups and downs, mistakes and victories…
As soon G. began to make her first steps, tsuris [sorrows] as an avalanche struck her as both her mother and sister died in the Ukraine. She had not seen them for many years and could not go to the funeral. It was impossible to leave the country because of debts, of which neither she nor we knew. The debt in her name was two and a half million shekels for buying some kind of real estate…and other smaller debts…. Now it was clear why “benefactors” drove them to bank.
We were together the entire road to recovery.
There were hours of phone calls and personal meetings, support groups, assistance in finding work, study, support in court, police, social department, hospital, disability benefits, legal support, humanitarian assistance, and financial assistance.
G. is a surprisingly strong personality. Today she is free from prostitution and drugs. She is beautiful– the “best worker” at her work–charming, positive, sociable, has a sense of humor, knows how to support others. G. is a great friend and helping other perishing women. She has already saved the life of one of those who was together with her in prostitution several years ago. G. goes to prison to visit the women. She also takes calls from women who also want escape bondage to prostitution and drugs.
The happy end?
However, this is not a “happy ending” of Hollywood because G. continues to struggle to survive in Israel. For example, G. receives an allowance of NIS 1,540 and NIS 1,000– a partial salary. Her apartment rent is NIS 1600, leaving little for the payment of debts, electricity, water, taxes, etc…
There is no money for food, clothing, transportation, or medicine. G. lives a permanent life on the brink of poverty. G. works on the dirtiest, heaviest and lowest-paying jobs in Israel. Not all are able to withstand such hard work.
We continue our road to victory next to G. and dozens of her friends and their children. We [Israelis and others who partner with them] have a plan to help pay part of the apartment rent for women walking along the path of recovery from prostitution, so they can meet their other basic living needs of their own.
We invite you to join our ministry if your heart is responding. “