Begum was born in a village in Bangladesh.
“There were 11 of us, and my father really tried hard to provide for us, but we lived in really strict poverty,” Begum said.
Then came a rich man, Stefan Chapman Christopher, who found her father, built him a house, and said he could take the kids and give them an education.
“So what parent would say no to that?” Begum said.
Her father gave up his children for their chance in the land of opportunity.
“So my journey from Bangladesh: we’re excited, we’re going to come to America, get on a plane, never ridden in a car before, all these exciting things,” Begum said. “Well, what was supposed to be a dream come true was my nightmare when I was brought to Oakville, Washington, with nine of my family members.”
She was 4 years old. She had an 11-year-old sister that was forced to marry the man.
“We were tortured,” Begum said. “We lived in a farm, this man ran a farm, used us all as slaves, for quite a few years. Not only were we forced to get up and work all day and night, no electricity, hardly any food … now it’s a very rural area, it’s safe, people go where they need to go, they come home and they bury their head in their own mind and their own business and their own home.”
Begum and her siblings were tortured, beaten, raped and emotionally abused.
“We were scared to go anywhere and look at people in the eye,” she said.
Begum and her family were saved when her 14-year-old cousin committed suicide. That’s when law enforcement got involved.
“Many of you have children; can you imagine? A 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-, 9-, 10-year-old, 12-year-old being raped and beaten,” Begum.
Source: Daily Record News