The Chilling Technique Used to Enslave A Woman For 5 Years

The woman goes by the name of Zunduri, a name she adopted after gaining freedom that means "beautiful girl" in Japanese.
06/02/2016 01:34 pm ET Updated Jun 03, 2017

Known for its powerful special reports, CNN has an entire project, dubbed as the "CNN Freedom Project", dedicated to exposing modern-day slavery. Just a couple days ago, CNN shared the horrifying story of a woman from Mexico who endured 5 years in slavery.

The woman goes by the name of Zunduri, a name she adopted after gaining freedom that means "beautiful girl" in Japanese. Zunduri's story reveals all the hallmark signs of captivity I describe in my book, Ending Domestic Violence Captivity: A Guide to Economic Freedom. Initially, the woman who took her in, the owner of a dry cleaner, treated Zunduri nicely. In fact, Zunduri felt so close to the owner that she began to call her mother. Abusers often establish this type of trust with their victims to exploit it later, as seen in the story of Diane in my book.

Once trust was established, the abuser incrementally began to repress Zunduri's self-worth. She first would degrade Zunduri by telling her she was worthless or that her real mother did not love her. The violence of the abuses gradually escalated. Her workload at the dry cleaners began to increase as the amount of food she was given began to decrease. She endured physical beatings that escalated into being placed in chains, around her neck and waist. As I explain in my book, this tactic utilized by abusers leads to gradual disempowerment of the victim.

Thankfully, Zunduri was able to escape her abuser when the chains were accidently left lose. Since then, she has traveled across the world to share her story of slavery. Although stories like Zunduri's are chilling, sharing and studying them helps us to understand the steps that abusers can take to "capture" their victims, both physically and emotionally.