Support for all UK slavery victims - FreedomUnited.org

Support for all UK slavery victims

Maya’s story highlights how important it is for victims to receive specialist long-term support and access to other services to overcome their traumatic experiences and rebuild their lives.

The law in England and Wales does not guarantee this. It offers an initial 45 days reflection and recovery period to those the government believes may be victims, whilst in Northern Ireland, and Scotland where this period is being extended to 90 days, legislation guarantees victims will be provided with support.

Lord McColl’s Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill would ensure that victims like Maya will receive a support worker and a care plan for 12 months immediately following their formal recognition as a victim to help them make that journey to survivor and a life that is free for good.

Although the UK government has pledged its commitment to ending modern slavery, if this Bill doesn’t receive the attention it deserves, it risks failing to successfully move through the parliamentary process. That’s why we’re joining forces with the ‘Free For Good’ coalition of UK organizations.

Maya’s* story in her own words:

“I am fortunate enough to say that I am a survivor and no longer a victim of modern slavery, however from the age of 12 to 19 I was a slave to sex trafficking.

Through this crime, everything was taken from me: my control, my dignity, my future, my voice. I became hidden, from the years of 2005 to 2013 I was a statistic, a number within the figure of ‘potential victims of trafficking within the UK’.

Nobody should ever become a victim of trafficking, I should never have been trafficked for those many years undetected. I was not only a child but I was a child in a school. A child with a GP, a child with foster parents and social workers, all which failed throughout seven years to identify that I was being tricked, controlled, tortured and sold every day.

I spent years accepting that what my life had become couldn’t and wouldn’t ever change. It was impossible for me to speak out and nobody around me took any notice of the signs right in front of them.

However, I was extremely lucky to have been rescued four years ago, and all it took was one individual police officer not to dismiss the signs and to look further than what you see on the surface. I then spent the standard 45 days in a safe house. Although I am extremely grateful to have been in a safe house, 45 days isn’t enough time to establish the needs in each individual case, let alone recover from them.

Long-term support is crucial for any survivor’s recovery, without it you may as well not have been rescued at all. I spent the first two years of my recovery moving to four different places, all which claimed to support survivors of trafficking. Unfortunately, they did not have the knowledge and training so there was no recovery. Those two years were unbearable and as a result, my mental health and physical health suffered hugely.

In July 2015 I hit the jackpot! The Snowdrop Project. The first charity to provide adequate and trained long-term support. Having a support worker, counsellor and supportive community has changed my life drastically.

Being a victim of trafficking leaves its mark mentally and physically, four years on and I am still dealing with the effects of this crime but I have not had to do it alone.

Each survivor should be as lucky as I was to have long-term support. The effects and obstacles that you are faced with when rescued should never be faced alone.

It is also vitally important when working with vulnerable people who have been through such a high level of trauma that you have the right training or knowledge. From my own experiences, I found the places I lived that didn’t have it were more detrimental to my long-term recovery… Conversely, I have been able to grow in independence, confidence and strength with the ability to now make choices for the future I have back.

I count it an honour to use my experiences and my voice to speak out on behalf of those who don’t have a voice to help make the necessary changes to survivor care and the movement to eradicate Modern Slavery.”

*The name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual survivor.

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28 Comments on "Support for all UK slavery victims"

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Peta Vaught
Guest

A major first step to stamp out sexual exploitation is to tighten up the law needing clear consent to the sex act. If a Prostitute cant speak or understand English adequately, how can she or he consent? If a few Punters and Pimps when down for hefty rape sentences the “Trade” would soon decrease! .

John Riggins
Guest

Does anybody believe the Mad Old Nazi Mazebot will take any notice?

Andrew (Andy) Alcock
Guest

Any society that claims to be democratic and to support basic human and worker rights must ensure that everything is done protect working people from exploitation and abuse.

Eva Paz
Guest

The individual has to be exploited one or more times to gain immunity. The function of “the system” is to control the depth of exploiting so that individuals do not become trapped, there must be a route to escape, but a non-trivial one. This is the reason Socialism fails, general imposition of the “no exploit at all” principle results in a non-immunized society after a few generations. The post-socialist society becomes exploited easier than before socialism.

Eva Paz
Guest

It shall be accepted that sex domination is a double fault, there is a vulnerability being exploited by someone with a different vulnerability.
The risk for a side effect exists: abused women using long term support to avoid solving their vulnerability. Never reward a victim. The length of support period must be determined by an expert. People eligible as experts shall have academic background, a sexual assault experience in the past, long overcome, and a successful relationship at present.

John Fullerton
Guest

So are you trying to say Maya and others like her are partly responsible??,she was a child and was then brainwashed by her captors that it was her fault she was in this situation which isn’t that far from what your trying to say and then to say that her captors are also vulnerable,they’re a criminal gang destroying peoples lives.

Eva Paz
Guest

The captors/rapers choose a victim for a reason, like predators. Due to infinite racial diversity if micro-details of personality are considered, there are people with some micro-vulnerabilities (like emotional tricks to gain confidence past logic used by parents), and other people with ability to detect some types of these “entry points” (this comes from unsolved conflicts of ancestors). As a consequence, both persons have to be reformed. Initially obedience is gained without force in all cases

Robert Edwards
Guest

Semantics I say.
The perpetrators are sociopaths with little to no regard for what they are doing to the victims. They know that they are doing wrong but care more about how much money they can make. Let them get their counselling in jail.
The victims should have access to the best, most supportive rehabilitation system available with the the ultimate goal being they are able to live as confident and independent lives as possible.

Rod
Guest

Eva Paz, Robert Edwards. Just been reading about a Manchester Lad who deliberately looked for the signs that Eva was pointing out all of his family were messed up. I think it illustrates the situation which ideally needs tackling from both ends. http://www.itv.com/news/2018-01-30/ex-gang-leader-i-groomed-young-kids-to-be-drug-mules-and-taught-others-to-do-the-same/
Of course those trafficked need the most support and it does usually need to be over a reasonably long duration to work. IMO

Gabriel Steinfeld
Guest

Support this law.

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Call on Theresa May PM to support the UK Victim Support Bill

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Dear Rt Hon Theresa May, PM:

To give victims of modern slavery the best chance of recovery and reduce the risk of re-trafficking, the government must provide a statutory secure pathway of support. Transparent and legal entitlements for victims must be set out, as in Scotland and Northern Ireland. All victims across the UK deserve equal rights to support.

The risk of homelessness and destitution of victims is real. Most do not qualify for discretionary leave or welfare benefits – only 12% did in 2015. This hinders efforts to increase the number of trafficking convictions which remain low.

Conservative Peer, Lord McColl of Dulwich has introduced a much needed private members bill – the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill – to the House of Lords to address these problems. The Bill provides victims with guaranteed support during the National Referral Mechanism period, and for 12 months afterwards, including special leave to remain enabling all victims to receive support.

We urge you to support the Bill and to ensure it is given enough time to be properly debated by MPs. Lord McColl’s Bill will enable you to make greater progress towards your objectives of reducing modern slavery and increasing conviction rates. These new standards will establish meaningful victim support services, putting the UK in a position to promote its efforts at the upcoming Commonwealth summit in London in April 2018.

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Our partners in this campaign:

Care – Christian Action Research and Education

CARE (Christian Action Research and Education) is a well-established mainstream Christian charity providing resources and helping to bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives across the UK. CARE has campaigned for a better response to human trafficking for more than ten years.

Free for Good

Free for Good is a coalition campaigning in the UK to ensure victims of slavery has the support they need, guaranteed, to live free for good. Free For Good came together to help ensure the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

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