A teenager who was kidnapped and forced to marry a man twice her age has been rescued 17 years later when an SOS letter finally reached her family.
The woman, who has only been identified as “A Hua”, disappeared suddenly in 1999 when she was just 15.
At the time there was no evidence she had been abducted and her family believed she may have run away.
Now aged 32, the woman, from the city of Jinjiang, in East China’s Fujian Province, has finally been reunited with relatives after a letter she wrote five years ago was finally delivered.
A Hua said she had befriended a boy who lived next door with his relatives – a group of construction workers from south-western China’s Guizhou Province who had arrived for a job.
On the day of her kidnapping, A Hua was invited by the group to “travel” with them to Guizhou – several hundred miles away – with them as their work had finished, and the innocent girl said yes, believing that the seemingly trustworthy men would do her no harm.But she was taken to the village of Huangkan in Guizhou’s Renhuai City where she was forced to marry the man in his 30s, surnamed Huang, whose wife had recently died.
Held against her will, A Hua had two sons with Huang and was unable to leave or even contact her family.
Five years ago A Hua secretly wrote a letter addressed to her parents and begged one of her village neighbours to deliver it.
But the neighbour reportedly believed she was meddling in another family’s affairs and never posted it, despite witnessing firsthand the poor conditions in which A Hua lived and the treatment she received from her husband and in-laws.
The woman kept the note for five years until she recently felt she would never be able to forgive herself if she did not speak up.
She said she tried to run away once but was quickly brought home and beaten.She attached the SOS letter to a note of her own, delivering it to the address told to her five years ago and apologising for taking so long to send it out.
A Hua’s family contacted police right after receiving the letter and the woman was finally freed and reunited with her relatives.
Authorities are now looking into the human trafficking case, but have yet to announce any formal arrests.