Zoe's Story

Updated: Mar 14, 2021

Warning: Zoe's story discusses sexual assault which may be triggering for some people. Please visit our "Where to get help" page for details on what support is available in NZ if this story is difficult to read.


Growing up in a small community as a single mother, Zoe* enrolled in college and graduated as a teacher. However, her local community was not accepting her as a single mom with an education and career, so she was persecuted and forced to leave.

At that point, Zoe just needed to survive. In search of the next step, she took up an opportunity to work in a restaurant abroad. But once she arrived, she realized the job offer was a lie. She was forced to meet multiple men’s sexual demands—under the threat of her child’s life. Her traffickers watched her at all times. But one day, she escaped and fled to Greece by boat.

Thankfully, the A21 Greece Hotline was called when Zoe was noticed by a partner organization. She was then placed in our care—free, safe, and no longer on the run.She attended our Freedom Center and participated in language classes and A21 Life Programs. Today, Zoe has a job taking care of elderly people in need and she has regained the dignity that was once stolen from her. She is now financially stable and has money to pay for her son’s education and future.

*Name has been changed for survivors protection. Story taken from A21 with permission

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