These stories are from the women we have worked with who would like their voice to be heard.......
Alicia’s boyfriend promised her a new life where she could earn enough money to support her ageing parents. She leapt at the chance and left her home country full of hope.
The second they arrived in Italy everything changed. Alicia was raped repeatedly by her boyfriend’s friends and he eventually brought her to the UK where he took her passport, gave her a false name and shut her in a basement. Alicia was sexually abused countless times a day and when she fell pregnant her boyfriend insisted she have an abortion.
When she was taken to hospital, Alicia saw her chance to escape. She dropped her GPS-tracked phone in the laundry basket and ran to the back exist. She had no idea where she was going - she just wanted to get away.
Eventually Alicia was helped by a passer-by and found refuge in a safe house. Here she received the medical, legal and emotional support she needed and made great progress. Her mother always told her that ‘every child is a gift’ and Alicia believes her baby gave her the gift of her freedom.
We have been journeying with Alicia providing her with maternity clothes, a hospital bag, clothes and equipment for her baby. We have continued to support her as she is now living in the community rebuilding her life.
Due to the sudden death of her husband Faith found herself looking for work to support her four young children. After months of searching she was unable to procure work, she lost her home and her children needed food.
When she was offered short term work as a domestic assistant in the UK with travel expenses paid in advance, this was something she could not refuse. Heartbroken to leave her young family in Africa she consoled herself with the thought she would see them again in six short months. In the meantime she would send money back home to feed, clothe and educate them.
Arriving in the UK she was taken to a house where her passport and her personal belongings were taken from her. She was made to work long hours of washing clothes by hand, cleaning the house, cooking, looking after the children and gardening. She received no pay, was unable to leave the house unaccompanied, made to sleep on the floor of the children’s bedroom, all contact with her family in Africa was refused and Faith was beaten and starved if she did not comply to the rules. The months turned into years of domestic servitude and Faith was stripped of her identity, eventually she managed to escape and was helped by a passer-by and found refuge in a safehouse.
On arrival at the safehouse Faith was provided with one of our Welcome baskets filled with African toiletries and one of our welcome notes in her native tongue. We visited her regularly and were able to provide her with clothing and spent time talking with her. One of her strongest desires was to reconnect with her children and explain to them what had happened to her, this is something she has managed to do and they are eager to meet their Mother again.
How can I help...
If you want to help women like Alicia and Faith then please click the link to our Donate page