#WATWB: The Nun Rescuing Sex-Trafficked Women

Posted: 2018/05/25 in Blogging
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Some days you come across a horror story about the agonies of sex-trafficked women. Young girls in their teens–children, really–kidnapped or sold, enslaved, abused, tortured, raped, degraded, and dehumanized, their bodies full of cuts and burns and bruises and deformities, their eyes wells of deep-rooted fear and despair, their children sold without their knowledge–they have no hope but to die.

In the Italian town of Caserta, near Naples, a little hope shines there for these women, growing bigger and bigger every day.

Sister Rita Garietta dedicates her life to helping women trafficked for sex. She was initially a nurse and a trade union representative, but when she was 29, she quit her job to follow a calling, becoming a nun. Later on, she left her home city for Caserta where, together with other nuns, opened Casa Ruth, a shelter for victims of sex trafficking in Caserta.

When she first saw the young girls on the streets, she was worried. All of them were about fifteen and sixteen years old. Sister Garietta was with a few other nuns and they stopped the vehicle to talk to the girls, thereby beginning a new journey in her life which would see her become families with the enslaved women.

“When there are stories about loss of dignity, you never get used to them,” she says after encountering the young girls and listening to their harrowing stories.

“What happens to your heart is that it grows in tenderness. This is the essence of Casa Ruth . . . of feeling loved with no judgement. It is a process of healing to the girls. They call us ‘Mama’ and every time we hear this, it sends a shiver down our spines. Being a mother today is about joy, it is about responsibility. It is about the responsibility of being entrusted with the care of other people’s lives,” she says about her experience with the women.

“My reward is joy . . . and the smiles. When these women arrive, they are desperate, and the pain is etched on their faces. Then the lines relax, joy sets in, hope sets in . . . All I want to do is to bring light into these people’s lives.”

Sister Garietta’s rich story can be found here and also here.

Rita Garieta

Sister Rita Garietta, BBC

This is the 14th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are: Shilpa Garg, Damyanti Biswas, Andrea Michaels, Inderpreet Uppal, and myself.


To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.


  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List
  1. Susan Scott says:

    Thanks Peter for this amazing story. I read the 2nd link; would have liked to listen to the BBC audio link, but another time. Sister Rita’s story is extraordinary! Bless her forever for listening to that inner voice from her time spent in India. And seeing the face of Jesus Christ in every child she saw …
    Thank you also for co-hosting this month. Have a great weekend!

  2. dweezer19 says:

    There is so much heartbreak in this world that many of us never are aware of. It has always broken my heart about women in such desperate lives. I am vey encouraged when I hear of someone who can reach across that barrier to help them.

    • Peter Nena says:

      The stories about those women can break your soul. There is a young girl of 16 in the story whose child was taken away and every time she asked for him she was beaten and threatened with a gun. Some of the girls had cigarette burns on their bodies. I felt terrible. But, as you say, knowing about Sister Rita is encouraging. She herself is the hope we need. Thank you Cheryl.

  3. Shilpa Garg says:

    Sister Rita is a savior for these girls who have scarred memories of abuse and terror. That she is helping them to smile again and live with a sense of dignity and well-being is so wonderful. More power to her and thanks for sharing this positive story, Peter!

  4. Heartwarming! She not only has compassion she has a spine too for helping out women who are generally either under the thumbs of pimps or goons. Hats off to her courage!

    • Peter Nena says:

      Indeed. I thought about that. How she dealt with the awful people who were enslaving and pimping those girls, taking away what they consider “their property.” Sister Rita has courage. Courage plus compassion. A love that knows no bounds.

  5. It’s heart-breaking what atrocities we inflict upon one another. But reading the story of Sister Rita, Garietta and the other kind souls serving at Casa Ruth is truly something to celebrate. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story of courage and compassion, and thanks for co-hosting WTAWB this month.

  6. bikerchick57 says:

    “The faces of the poor I met were the face of Jesus Christ,” she said. “That suffering was revealing me the heart of humanity. Their respect for life needed to be helped.”

    From your link…it brought tears to my eyes. God bless Sister Rita and the beautiful heart she has for people and the abused women she gives her love to. I’ve always greatly admired those with unfailing love and compassion for others – no judgment – and how they are driven to help humanity.

    One more quote from the article: “What message can the church convey if it still treats nuns like servants? Here we are helping women, but society needs to start helping men, the clients of these victims.”

    So true. We’re quick to put a band-aid or rescue society’s ills, but we never seem to get at what really needs to be addressed. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story, Peter, and for hosting this month’s #WATWB.

    • Peter Nena says:

      “We never seem to get at what really needs to be addressed.” This is so true. We hack at the branches while the roots only get deeper and deeper. Thank you too, Mary.

  7. JoAnna says:

    I imagine this work would be heartbreaking at times, but the article about Sister Rita is full of love. I’m impressed by her statement, “Here we are helping women, but society needs to start helping men, the clients of these victims.” That is something I had not thought of. She is a woman of heart and wisdom.

  8. dgkaye says:

    Wow, what an inspiring story. I think that nun should made a saint! 🙂

  9. Peter Nena says:

    She is a saint already.

  10. ccyager says:

    Thank you, Peter, for this story of survival, rescue, and support. We need more Sister Ritas in this world and fewer of those who would hurt other people for their own benefit.

  11. What a beautiful story of this harbinger of hope, love, and joy. Your stories always move me, Peter. There’s so much goodness in this world, and such little focus on it–we focus our hate on the traffickers (and we must take every action against them), but we never take the time to laud the saviours. Your post just brought this angel’s beautiful story to so many of us–thanks of that.

  12. Wonderful story to share, Peter, and a wonderful woman. Places like Casa Ruth are needed everywhere; may this become a trend worldwide. Thanks for co-hosting this month’s WATWB!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

  13. These girls situation is heartbreaking but wonderful that the Sisters have created this refuge.

  14. simonfalk28 says:

    What a courageous and noble woman Sr Rita is. To gain the trust of those women would take some time as well. Such a wonderful story to choose, Peter. May we all appreciate human dignity of each person more and more. Thanks for sharing.

    • Peter Nena says:

      Thank you, Simon. The story touched me deeply. Like she says, you can never get used to stories about loss of dignity. Thanks for reading.

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