Priscilla's story

“I have seen changes in my life. I was unable to make decisions for myself before. Now I make my own decisions. I’m happy that I can do things by myself now.”

These are Priscilla's words today. But it's been a long journey to get here.

Orphaned at a young age, Priscilla lived with her grandmother. She was unable to go to school as her grandmother couldn’t afford it and she needed Priscilla’s help with chores. One day, out of the blue, Priscilla was told that her grandmother had found work for her, arranged a passport and she was being taken from her home country in West Africa to the UK.

But instead of enjoying a happy new life in the UK, she was trapped in a family’s private home, abused and used as their slave. She lived in horrendous conditions for years until one day she managed to escape.

Not knowing where to go, she was forced to live on the streets. Life on the streets was lonely, hard and bitterly cold and as a result of what she had already been through, her mental health deteriorated. She was sectioned and spent time in a psychiatric hospital before being referred to Unseen.

At the Unseen Women’s Safehouse, Priscilla was supported through the ongoing effects of her trauma; accessing trauma counselling, learning how to manage her medication and engaging with the community mental health team. She took part in regular relaxation sessions, music therapy, cooking and nutrition classes, and her mental health improved.

As her independence increased, Priscilla eventually moved out of the safehouse into our Survivors in the Community programme. This was the first time that Priscilla has lived alone for years. Her case worker, Daisy, supported her to build her confidence and encouraged her to start volunteering in her community.

Today Priscilla has a busy life volunteering in a local charity shop, attending weekly English language classes and she has a small community of friends.

It has taken a long time for Priscilla to get here. She is still recovering but is moving on with her life.

The only way that Unseen can continue to support survivors of modern slavery like Priscilla, is through the kind and generous donations we receive.

If you’d like to support our work with survivors of trafficking, you can donate securely online by making a single donation or setting up a regular monthly donation. Thank you.

*names changed to protect identities.