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2017 (Narrative date)

The UK National Crime Agency estimates 3,309 potential victims of human trafficking came into contact with the State or an NGO in 2014. The latest government statistics derived from the UK National Referral Mechanism in 2014 reveal 2,340 potential victims of trafficking from 96 countries of origin, of whom 61 percent were female and 29 percent were children. Of those identified through the NRM, the majority were adults classified as victims of sexual exploitation followed by adults exploited in the domestic service sector and other types of labour exploitation. The largest proportion of victims was from Albania, followed by Nigeria, Vietnam, Romania and Slovakia.

Dorina was one of those brought from Romania to the UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation, although given false promises of work in legal industries. After escaping slavery through talking to the police, Dorina required support with accessing physical health services where she was diagnosed with and treated for numerous sexually transmitted diseases. She then chose to begin a 10-week counselling programme. She was granted 1 year discretionary leave and resettled in the UK into supported housing.

I’m 24 years old and from Romania.

My mother left when I was a child and my father was an alcoholic and couldn’t get any work. I left school when I was 10 and earned money through lots of different jobs in the city, but getting there and back was difficult as there wasn’t transport. I did agricultural work in the summer months.

Then, I met a man who promised me a job and a house and a better life in the UK. He paid for my coach ticket to the UK, but when I arrived things were different. I was forced to have sex with lots of different men and often beaten. I was taken to lots of different places.

After 2 months I managed to escape and stop a police officer in the street. He brought me to Unseen.

As told to Unseen