Friday, November 18, 2011

Woman Forced Into Slavery In The U.S.A

CNN) – One was sold by her impoverished parents, the other willingly left her family to become a nanny. But both found years of their lives turned to domestic servitude before finally finding freedom.

CNN's Martin Savidge tells the story of Isabel. Her mother sold her into slavery at around age 7 to a Taiwanese family who later moved to the United States in an upscale southern California neighborhood.

So as other children went to school, Isabel cooked and cleaned. Her bedroom was the garage, her bed the floor. Her food - whatever the family didn't want, often spoiled or soured. And there were the beatings, she says, often with a spatula and once, when her owner accused her of drinking a cup of tea, a toilet bowl brush.

Isabel finally met someone who helped her escape and is now in her 20s and trying to learn what many her age have already mastered: driving a car, ordering at a restaurant, understanding money. No criminal charges were brought against the family who brought Isabel to the U.S. from Taiwan. But she has settled a civil lawsuit with that family and is no longer in touch with them. Watch more of Isabel's story above

CNN's Gena Somra reports on Laome, who was 17 in Nigeria when she thought she was getting an education in the U.S. in exchange for becoming a nanny for a wealthy Nigerian American woman, Bidemi Bello. Instead, she says, she had instead become a slave. Bello, Laome says, instilled that fear in her right from the beginning, abusing her almost every day.

She later escaped with the help of friends, and Bello was brought to trial. Found guilty of human trafficking, Bello faces 11 years behind bars. After that, she will be deported back to Nigeria.

For Laome, she says that with the trial behind her, she is finally free.

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