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Mrs J

2014 (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. 

Mrs J was forced into a situation of domestic servitude. She was enslaved and abused. On one occasion she was burned with a hot iron. 

I wasn’t of course going to yes from the beginning but after a while you know, and all my life no money. I wanted to do something to go out of my country. I was tired, of never have money, I wanted to do something for myself of course. 

Erm once, her daughter’s going to wear something and that wasn’t right and she asked me to iron so it was right. And I used to do ironing in my room and I put the iron on and erm going to iron and she came over and I said look my son has phoned and I need to have some money to send home. And she said, have you done the ironing? And I said the iron isn’t hot enough yet, because I’ve just put the iron on. And she took the iron and put it on my hand and said what do you think? Is it hot or not yet? 

And I burnt my hand and she said now you can see its hot now go and iron the clothes.  


As told to Santa Marta Group