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Hansi’s Story: Drugs or Vagrancy

Over the coming months she faced sexual violence in this place. On some days she had to please 10 to 15 customers per day as, due to her young age, she attracted a lot of attention from the customers. When she was not engaged in pleasing the customers she was locked in a room to prevent her from running away.

by Harshi. C. Perera


(September 20, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Hansi is a 19-year-old girl from Upper Kandegama, Punewa. Her separated remarried and she spent her childhood with her grandmother under very severe economic difficulties. She went to school up to grade 11 following which she started work at a garment factory. It was there that she started a love affair with a boy. She came to know he was a married man only after lost her virginity to him.

After that she felt difficult to live in her village because of the shame she bore. She met an older lady who became friendly. This lady promised that she would find Hansi a job in a garment factory in Colombo. They travelled to Colombo together and the lady brought her to a guest house called Nalin in Kiribathgoda. It was only after their arrival that Hansi discovered she had been sold into sexual slavery and prostitution.

Over the coming months she faced sexual violence in this place. On some days she had to please 10 to 15 customers per day as, due to her young age, she attracted a lot of attention from the customers. When she was not engaged in pleasing the customers she was locked in a room to prevent her from running away.

Hansi decided to escape and by pretending to be ill she was able to convince her captors to allow her to see a doctor. She was able to run and hide and then sought out the house of a friend where she hoped to take shelter. However, she had not seen her friend from some years and did not know what the lady did for a living. After it was too late Hansi found out that her friend was involved in the drug business and she too sold her as a prostitute.

This 'friend' usually brought Hansi to Kirulapana junction to find customers. She had to please middle class men who came in cars for Rs.8000 to Rs.10000 per day. Hansi herself received only Rs.2000 to Rs.2500 from this sum of money.

After two weeks both she and her friend were arrested by the Wellawatta police while they were on the road side in front of her friend’s house. At the police station policemen asked her what which charges she preferred, drugs peddling or vagrancy and she chose vagrancy. Then the police advised her to plead guilty because then she was free to go home after paying a fine. She was remanded and nobody from her family came to see her. The sad truth is there that there was nobody to come.

On 26 August, 2010 her case came up before the Magistrate. After considering the medical reports on the sexually transmitted diseases and the fact that there were no previous convictions she was freed for a Rs.100/= fine and three months imprisonment suspended for five years. Tell a Friend

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