A Brazilian maid who reportedly spent nearly 40 years in servitude was finally rescued from her captors late last month.
The woman, now 46, was just 8 years old when her destitute mother handed her over to Dalton Cesar Milagres Rigueira, a professor at Patos de Minas University, otherwise known as UNIPAM, authorities say.
Rigueira’s mother raised the young child, and she’s spent the past 38 years working for the family without pay or any time off. She was relegated to a life of cleaning and even forced into marriage.
Brazilian news site Fantastico broke the news on Dec. 20 and identified the woman as Madelena Gordiano. According to the reports, she is a Black woman. During her captivity, Gordiano was granted limited freedoms and remained under constant watch by the family.