The Brazilian living in Europe, Fit Gran Andrea Sunshine, reported for the first time the experience suspected of being similar to the slavery she lived, after accepting a supposed job opening to work in Spain.
Bodybuilder Andrea Sunshine, 53, today collects traumas from the time she left Brazil for Spain in search of work and better living conditions. She said that she agreed to move to the country under the promise of working as a bartender in 1989, but when she got there, she was surprised by abusive conditions. The work was also different from what was agreed upon — she was forced to prostitute herself.
On the first night everything went wonderfully, they put me in a fancy apartment and I didn’t suspect anything. Then I heard rumors of people talking, saying that I had to leave tomorrow, that I couldn’t wear a lot of clothes. They commented that I couldn’t find out anything. I had a flea behind my ear.” According to the athlete, the proposal for a better life in a foreign country appeared when she was going through several financial problems.
“They took me out of the apartment and he put me in a whorehouse. My passport was retained by the gang. I was in shock, very scared, it was a nightmare.” According to Sunshine, the victims received job offers in the country with a monthly salary of US$3000 – around R$15,400 at the current rate. After accepting the proposal and arriving in Spain, the Brazilians were unable to leave. Under threats, they would be forced to work in nightclubs.
“On the first night they gave me lingerie and told me to wear it. They didn’t explain anything to me, they just told me to be dressed because we were going to another place. I cried a lot.” Sunshine says that her humble childhood led to her experiencing this situation. “I was a single mother, my family was going through a lot of difficulties. I had been responsible for the household bills since I was 13.” At 19, she worked as a receptionist at a hair salon, and it was during the formation of a friendship that it all began. “A client who turned out to be my friend introduced her boyfriend to me. He was the one who offered me the job. I was young and immature, I just wanted to help my parents. At the time, $3000 was a lot of money.”
Sunshine worked at the place for months and only managed to free himself after deceiving some of the gang’s associates. “I got beaten up a lot, I didn’t want that life for myself. They drugged me; forced to drink. I only managed to get out because I managed to trap a woman who had my passport.” She says that leaving the ‘scheme’ was not so easy. “I had help from the regulars themselves to escape. I managed to leave Spain and went to Holland with a friend who knew my story. I was embarrassed to return to Brazil. But she pressured me and said she couldn’t stay there forever. He told me to go to work,” she said.
During her time in the Netherlands, Sunshine worked in various services. “I took care of children, I cleaned, and I was scared to death of everything, without the courage to talk to anyone, not even the police.” It was then that she began her story in Holland. “With so many people after me, I was kidnapped again, but I got help from the police this time. I was trapped for three days. I left because I managed to gain his trust. It was only when I asked to go to the bathroom that I plotted my escape.”
She continues: “I found the police and managed to free myself. Everyone wanted to take advantage of me. I met my youngest daughter’s father at that time and my life began to take a turn.”
The bodybuilder says she kept this secret for 34 years. “My youngest daughter’s father never knew this happened. Talking about it is a very painful relief.”
Photos: @andrea_sunshinee Instagram