NZ woman kidnapped, kept as sex slave in the Philippines
A New Zealand woman was kidnapped, beaten and forced into prostitution after heading to the Philippines for what she believed was a martial arts school trip.
Mary Elizabeth Jones said she was imprisoned in a filthy room for five and a half months and forced to have sex with up to nine men a day.
The 39-year-old was invited via Facebook by a top martial arts group to partake in a month’s intense training in the country in October.
But when she was met at Iloilo City’s airport, she was robbed of her belongings and thrown into the bug-infested room.
“I felt utterly disgusted, and I was treated like a piece of meat,” she told the New Zealand Herald. “It was meant to be a trip of a lifetime but it has destroyed my whole life instead.”
Any attempts to escape and fight back resulted in severe beatings, which caused her to lose several teeth.
After months of horrific abuse, she was dragged from the room and dumped on the streets of Manila.
She told the NZ Herald that “even now, I still wake up shivering and can still smell the stench of the enclosed room I was kept in”.
She lost around 30kg, dropping from 90kg, during her imprisonment.
“I don’t know whether it was because I grew too weak to continue servicing the men or they had found a replacement, but they just came, dragged me away, and I was dumped on the streets in the city,” she said.
She was taken in by a women’s refuge centre and stayed at the Haven National Centre for Women before receiving help from the US Embassy to return to New Zealand.
Philippines consul-general Emilie Shi said the sex trafficking problem in her country involved mainly “domestic people”, and cases involving foreign nationals were “extremely rare”.