After nearly a decade of concealing terrible truths, a mother of four reveals an extraordinary tale of modern-day enslavement.
Hilda Chabuka claims that her terrifying incident occurred in private at a Harrison home.
Chabuka claims she was lured from her native Africa to New York by a prominent ambassador’s offer of a high-paying position at his estate in Westchester, and was soon pushed into a life of “modern day slavery.”
In the majority of instances, victims conceal their labour trafficking, as well as their identities. Chabuka, however, claims she is no longer ready to bear the stigma of her abuse.
She hopes that sharing her story with News 12’s senior investigative reporter Tara Rosenblum on Human Trafficking Awareness Day would assist other victims.
“When I was there, I was without shampoo. I was without any soap. I did not even visit the doctor “she asserts
After six months, she managed to escape.
“I just left,” she states.
Chabuka arrived at a deli one mile away and dialled a toll-free number for victims of human trafficking. It linked her to the LifeWay Network, an organisation that offers survivors safe shelter and education.
“Because if you do not receive assistance, you will die,” she warns.
She now works as a chef in the Bronx and claims to have healed significantly in the five years after she first met Rosenblum.
She claims that she received back compensation from her traffickers after filing a complaint with the labour department.
While Chabuka refuses to be silenced, new data reviewed by the Turn to Tara team indicates an unexpected reason why many other survivors struggle to obtain justice.
Recent analysis of five years of data on human trafficking revealed that local calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline have skyrocketed throughout the epidemic.
The number of calls for assistance in New Jersey increased from 491 to 621 in 2020, followed by 567 calls in 2022. While calls to New York increased from 1,256 to 1,764, an almost 30% increase. In 2020, Connecticut received 211 calls, up from 167 in 2019.
Despite the substantial surge in requests for assistance, News 12 has received government data indicating that fewer cases are making their way through the court system as victims like Chabuka seek justice.
In New York, only 22 traffickers were convicted of their crimes last year, and fewer than a third of them were ordered to make compensation to their victims.
In New Jersey and Connecticut, with a combined population of nearly 13 million, there were no reports of human trafficking in 2017.
“I am stunned. It should be considerably greater than that “LifeWay Network executive director Marion Kendall states. And I believe that COVID has had an effect on how cases are prosecuted and evaluated.
The FBI has already stated why cases such as Chabuka’s are exceedingly uncommon.
“Domestic servitude issues are usually associated with immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship; therefore, with the fear of deportation hanging over their heads, individuals who enable labour trafficking threaten deportation,” said FBI agent Michael Osborn.
You may learn more about Tara Rosenblum’s interviews and the information we unearthed in a special 30-minute News 12 programme appearing later this month.