Case Histories

Myrick (from Medaille Magazine, Easter 2015)

I was approached by a man in my home town and asked if I would like to go to the UK to work and earn money to better support my family.

I hadn’t had a bad life but was a young married man with children and wanted to do the best to provide for my family.  I agreed to go to the UK where I was put to work and several bank accounts opened in my name.  The trafficker persuaded me to bring my family to t he UK so I could be closer to my children.  When my family arrived in the UK we were all given jobs and working long hours over 6 or 7 days a week.  Throughout the entire experience we were never given any money for work we did, we were just fed basic rations like  bread in exchange for our labour.

Although I was not aware of this at the time I have since been told by the police that my trafficker was claiming benefits for my family in my name and keeping them for himself.  This has made me very angry as I did not bring my family to the UK for this.  I came to the UK for a chance of work and a chance to provide for my family but this man kept our salaries and left us with nothing in a country where I did not know where to t urn.  I wish I knew what was happening sooner as I now feel very foolish but I couldn’t even take my family away for the situation as the trafficker had taken all our ID documentation away from us. We were trapped and didn’t know what to do.

The police have told me that it I suspected that during my time in the UK the trafficker had fraudulently claimed roughly £12,000 in my family name. We did not receive a single penny of this money.

Even after we were rescued by the police and placed in the care of the Medaille Trust I am still terrified of this trafficker and the potential consequences for my family, if this trafficker suspects I am co-operating with any authorities.  I dread to think what he will do to us.  However I believe in right and wrong and I have trust that the British police with my help will stop this man and his associated from doing this to another family.

Staff and volunteers supported Myrick through the police investigation and to contact all the banks that his trafficker had created accounts with.  He was helped to get appropriate medical attention and has started to learn English. Unfortunately by the time it came for Myrick to move on from our service he had still not been able to have any money returned to him from his trafficker.

 

Mira (From Medaille Trust Magazine Winter 2014)

My name is Mira.  I am 29 years old and from a third world country.  For me the Medaille Trust is heaven on earth.  This is my story.

At home I did an MBA and was a very passionate and ambitious girl.  I wanted to become an executive in a good organisation.  Always looking for a good job I saw an advertisement in a newspaper saying a multinational company needed staff for their office and were offering a handsome salary plus commission.  I eagerly went along for an interview and was raped by the interviewer and his two companions.  They then started to blackmail me, forcing me to work for them or they would leak videos they had made of me.  I had no option but to do as they said.

After a while they told me I was to be taken to Europe.  When I arrived in the UK I was forced to work as a prostitute. They took money from my ‘clients’  in advance which left me in bad health as I had no money to support myself.  They also took my passport and papers and told me if I went to the Police I would be put in prison as prostitution is a crime.  After four months I manage to run from there as my life was miserable.  I contacted the Home Office and they referred me to the Medaille Trust.

The day someone came to collect me I was afraid and worried because I had already been through bad experiences and wasn’t able to trust anyone.  My solicitor told “You will be OK, I dam with you, no worries.

When I reached he house my world changed.  Everything seemed good, especially for a girl with no hope.  I felt blessed and before I came in I knelt and put my head to the grass to say thank you to God.  A staff member by the name of Lizzie helped me a lot , she put me at ease with her friendly attitude.  She showed me around and helped me to buy food. She also took me to the beach, this was a lovely experience as it was the first time I had ever been to one.

Due to bad experiences in my life I was a girl with negative thinking and left with no hope in my life.  I was thinking that I am a gad person and unable to make a good life and fulfil my dreams.  Now I am sure I am in good hands and everyone here is helping me at every step.  I am still confused about my life and future but the staff here give me hope and help me a lot ot stop the negative thinking.  I do not want to be forced to be a prostitute anymore and I am sure I can start my life again with new people, thanks to The Medaille Trust’s help.

 

Ugandan Lady (From Medaille Magazine Summer 2014)

I am Ugandan and was working in a restaurant there. There was a customer who used to come into the restaurant to eat every evening. She used to give me money for free! She told me I was too beautiful to work in a restaurant in Uganda, she told me to call her boss lady, since I had lost my Mum, the boss lady was like a mother to me and my younger sister.

She told me she could help, that I was to go to London for a better future; I said I did not have any money as any money I earned paid for my sister’s school fees and her and my son’s upkeep. The boss lady said not to worry that she would cater for us all and when I got a job in London I could pay her back. I was the happiest woman in the world, not knowing my fate was to become a prostitute!

I told my sister about it and she was happy for me. I took the boss lady to my house, she used to visit often. She arranged everything, she told me not to bother to get a passport as she had already got me one. I said I was scared to use it but she said not to worry as she had paid someone at the airport. She explained that in Europe they wouldn’t be able to tell that I was not the one on passport; she gave me a passport in the name of Kelly Jane.

In March we travelled from Entebbe airport to Turkey then Finland. We were in Finland for almost a month, she said she had business there. We left Uganda with a girl called Sophia. We took a ship from Finland to Sweden, from there we flew to Brussels, from there we picked up some men who were waiting for us. They drove us to France and from there a boat to Dover. We drove to the boss lady’s house, it was a long way.

We entered the house, she welcomed us, when we went inside we found three other girls and two men. We were three Ugandans and two Nigerians. Boss lady told us that we would be starting jobs in a week. I was very happy. After a week I asked her about the job, she said I should wait; she took me and Sophia shopping in a black car. The place was called Primark; we came back and went straight to our rooms.

After a few days she called me into her room and told me I should go to a special room, she had three bedrooms in her house. When I entered the special room there was a man in his boxers. I was scared, I shouted, the boss lady told me to shut up! She said if I wanted a job I should start sleeping with her clients. Oh my God I couldn’t believe her, I tried to fight but in vain. She said if I acted stubbornly then she would deal with my family (son and sister). I am Ugandan and was working in a restaurant there.

The men would come in and have sex with whomever they choose, some would wear a condom, some wouldn’t. I had no choice; a time came when I wanted to take poison but had nowhere to get it from, since we were not allowed to leave the house. Men kept on sleeping with us and paying the boss lady. I hated myself, we had to drink alcohol almost every day, and I hated that too!

To cut my story short, this is how I escaped, boss lady came in with a client, he went upstairs, I had come downstairs to drink some water because I was feeling dizzy, the boss lady told me to go to the special room, I said NO, I pleaded that I wasn’t feeling well, I was sick, she wouldn’t listen. I had noticed she hadn’t locked the first door and the second door was open. She slapped and hit me with a belt, I was mad and decided to fight back and defend myself, she bit me and beat me badly, I pushed her and she fell down, she was drunk! She was shouting after me but a man was coming and she went back to the house.

I was shouting for help, I asked the man where the nearest Police station was but he said he didn’t know. I managed to run and used different roads as I knew they would be after me. I walked and walked for almost 3 hours when I reached a Police station, they helped me and then I was given accommodation and support by the Medaille Trust.

Drita and Edona (from Medaille Magazine Easter 2014)

Drita and her eight year old daughter Edona presented at a local law centre having recently escaped from a brothel. Drita was heavily pregnant and had been forced to live and work in the brothel since the summer of 2012 when she came to the UK. Prior to coming to the UK she reported meeting a man with whom she fell in love. He encouraged her to travel to the UK and promised to marry her. He convinced her that she would have a better life and that he would provide for her and her daughter. He organised a lorry to collect them both. On arrival in the UK her partner met them in a taxi and took them to a large house with many rooms. She did not know the location of the house and was never told. Drita and Edona were provided with one room in the house.The house also accommodated other females. Drita was provided with clothing which was very sexualised and it was clear to her at that time that this clothing was for ‘work’ purposes. She was told that she was expected to serve as a prostitute and if she refused her daughter would be murdered. Drita was very upset as this man had lied to her and clearly had no intention of keeping his promise. Both Drita and Edona’s identification documents were taken from them at this time.

During the day Drita and Edona stayed together in their room, but at night she was separated from her daughter and made to have sex with numerous men. Drita believes her daughter was still in the house, but in a different room. They were not allowed to leave the house. On one occasion Drita refused to have sex with a man and was then tortured whilst her daughter was present. This was very distressing for them both. She begged this man to let her and her daughter go, however he became violent towards her. Drita was raped repeatedly and became pregnant. She was forced to continue prostituting throughout her pregnancy. There was a further man at the house who seemed a little more sympathetic and eventually he agreed to leave her door open on the understanding she would not report him or the other man to the authorities. He said that if she did he would come and find them and she would be sorry. On escaping Drita and Edona ran and ended up in a park.They were both crying and very upset, not knowing who to ask for help and speaking only a little English.A kind lady saw them and took them initially to her home and then to a local law centre.

On entering our service Drita and Edona were both scared and confused. They spoke little English and Drita had received no medical care throughout her pregnancy. She was unsure as to the due date of her baby and was worried that she had been unable to purchase any items for her new baby. Edona was terrified of being separated from Drita and was very anxious around strangers.

During their stay, both Drita and Edona have become more relaxed and confident. They often go for walks and enjoy the fresh air, something they had not been able to do previously. Edona has started to draw and is creating some beautiful pictures of her new house and garden. Through the generosity of the GarfieldWestonVictim Care Fund Drita has received all the things she needs for her new baby and says a huge weight has been lifted from her. Edona has received new clothes, toys and books and her English is improving daily.

Both Drita and Edona have received medical care and Edona is looking forward to starting school in the near future. Drita says she is very grateful for all the kindness and support she has received. She is looking forward to building a new life for her, her daughter and new baby. She says that now she feels safe and does not need to worry.

Rosemary (from Medaille Magazine Summer 2013)

My name is Rosemary, I am a 19 years old Nigerian. I ran away from my stepmother on my 18th Birthday after she tried to force me to be circumcised. I refused so she beat me and burnt me with a hot iron on the insides of my thighs as a punishment. After I ran away, I worked on a market in the city; I was sleeping rough as I had no home to go to. A woman on the market introduced me to a man who said he could help me to travel to the UK to study and also get part-time work. He did not say what kind of work I would be doing, but I was desperate to get away. I was homeless and afraid. He arranged for my travel and a false passport. He said I would have to pay him back once I got to the UK, he didn’t say how much I would have to pay. I travelled on my own; I was given a phone and a number to call when I arrived. When I arrived I called the number and was then given an address, I went there by taxi. Two men lived there with another girl like me. They made me watch pornographic films and told me that was why I was there. They raped me again and again, I was kept locked in a room 24 hours a day. I was only allowed out to go to the toilet. They brought food to the room, but if I refused to do something they would not feed me because they were angry with me. I had to have sex with between 5 and 10 men every day, if I refused they beat me up and forced me to do what they wanted. Sometimes I asked customers to help me but they just laughed at me. Finally the other girl in the house helped me escape and I went to the police, they referred me to The MedailleTrust. When I arrived I was very scared and have suffered from severe depression and flashbacks to the situation I was in before escaping. I will be eternally grateful to The MedailleTrust, for the emotional and practical support to rebuild my life.