Helping those hurt by human trafficking
100K fed grant keeps outreach alive in tough economic times
Bukola Oriola came to Minnesota from Nigeria in 2005 to join the man who was chosen to be her husband.
The two had been introduced over the phone by a friend of the man’s, and their families had agreed to a traditional marriage. Bukola thought she was going to start a new chapter in her life in the United States that would involve pursuing her career as a journalist.
But her life here quickly became more of a nightmare, Bukola, 32, explained in fluent English at a state Capitol news conference on Thursday.
During the next two years Bukola became a victim of human trafficking – at the hands of the man she married.
“I was alone in the house. I cried to go out. I was always looking forward to Sunday to go to church,” Bukola said.
When she was pregnant, the man had her confined to the house. After she gave birth, she was turned into the man’s sex slave. When the man realized she could braid hair, he’d have her work in Brooklyn Park and then take her wages, even after her visa expired.