At Christmas, we think about those less fortunate than ourselves. You’ll see from the images here that slavery can happen in every day places like a car wash – hidden in plain sight. Victims might not be wearing chains, but they might as well be.
One survivor I remember is Alex. He told us how he was persecuted for many years in his home country of Poland simply because of his sexuality. Sensing his vulnerability, traffickers approached him offering a job and a new life in England.
However, when Alex arrived, he was forced to work long, physically tiring hours, sleep in a squalid room with lots of other men and had his wages withheld for months on end. He was threatened with violence if he protested and had no money to return home even if he could escape.
Thankfully, the police raided the premises and he was brought to Unseen. Alex needed immediate medical attention and due to his trauma was referred to a local mental health team.
Unseen staff provided a calm, friendly environment, and helped Alex improve his English. Eager to live independently, we helped him rebuild his confidence, put a CV together and register for jobs. Shortly afterwards he secured employment and moved out into his own rented accommodation. His dreams of a new life are finally starting to come true.
“Now I feel listened to and can make my own decisions. I have new hope and feel more prepared for a new life.”