Woman sold into slavery as a child meets – and FORGIVES – mother who gave her away
A Taiwanese woman, sold to a family as a slave at the age of seven, has just been reunited with the mother that sent her away.
Going by the fake name 'Isabel' for fear that her former owners may track her down, the domestic slave spent around 20 years in squalid conditions, dreaming of the day when she could see her mother again.
Until her escape last year, Isabel had been living in captivity, cooking and cleaning for a wealthy Taiwanese family first who made her sleep on the garage floor and fed her only discarded scraps.
Going by the fake name 'Isabel', the domestic servant spent around 20 years in squalid conditions, dreaming of the day when she could see her mother again.
Speaking to CNN as part of a special
report on slavery, the young woman told how during the time she was 'owned' by the family, she was regularly beaten with a spatula.
On one occasion, after being accused of drinking a cup of tea, she was even subjected to torture with a toilet brush.
Recalling the horrific memory and holding back tears, Isabel told CNN: 'She grabbed the toilet brush, put it in my mouth and then twisted it.
And it hurt my mouth… I was so so sad… it hurt me so bad.'
When the appalling treatment showed no signs of changing after their move to the U.S., the young captive thought only about running away but had no idea how.
She had no friends and was only allowed to begin escorting the family in public from the age of fifteen.
Victim services expert, Heidi Thi, from the Human Trafficking Program explained: 'She would tell you that she didn't know where she would go if she
didn't speak the language, if she didn't know anyone else, if she didn't
even really have any sense of where she was.'
Then one day she met a woman while out
with the family who suspected that there was something wrong with the
situation. Giving Isabel her number she told her to call her if she
Together they plotted her escape and one
night while Isabel was taking out the household trash, the unidentified
guardian angel drove up in an SUV and rescued her from the hellish
servitude she had endured, forever.
Forgiveness: 'Isabel' was sold to a wealthy Taiwanese couple who later moved to California. She managed to escape with the help of a stranger.
The Taiwanese girl remembers she was told to: '”Run run run to car”, my heart was beating so hard, so scared.'
Moved by the CNN report at the end of last year,Tawain's Foreign Minister, Timothy Yang, stopped over in LA in November on a trip to Central America, and asked to meet the victim.
He promised to help find her mother assuring CNN that this kind of humanitarian travesty would not
happen nowadays. 'People now are much more human rights conscious…' he explained. 'Today's Taiwan is different.'
Even despite having lived in America for most of her adult life so far, Isabel neither reads, drives nor, until recently, knew how to use money.
She told CNN: 'The first time I remember I just walked
out the store because I didn't know how and I was embarrassed.'
her new-found freedom, Isabel now has her own apartment where she
babysits for children and hopes to one day run her own daycare centre.
Ms Thi affirmed: 'She knows who she is, she knows what she's worth, that she's valued
and that she has potential and that she can do things on her own.'
Finding her mother, she told CNN, was always the most important thing for the former
slave. She wanted to tell her: 'Mum I love you so
much. I just want to find you.'