Trung's story

I was orphaned around 10 years old and lived on the streets in Vietnam. When I was about 16 some people told me if I worked in the UK I would get good money.

I was sedated and when I woke up, I was up tied up and had a black sack on my head. They hit my head with guns and threatened me. I believed they would kill me.

I was taken to Europe in a container with five other people, men and women. The women were made into prostitutes and we men were forced to package drugs – marijuana, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy.

I was moved around many countries. I was taken to Russia in wintertime, it was very cold. No warm clothing and nowhere warm to sleep. Very little food. We ate snow to keep hydrated and fill our bellies. I tried to run away but they caught me. They broke my fingers and foot.

We never got any money at all.

Then they moved us again, to France and then the UK.

I was made to grow cannabis. I didn’t want to, so they beat me. Then they told me to carry some white powder, but I didn’t want to, so they beat me again. They moved everyone else out and continued to torture me. I found a wooden stick and attacked them, then escaped.

When I first got to the Unseen house, I was very frightened. I didn’t know who to talk to or what to do. It was all strange.

Now I can talk whenever I want to, to my support worker James. I feel safer around James. I get scared but he lets me know I’m ok. I trust him. He will do anything he can to help us.

I use our gym every day. It makes me feel less stressed and helps with my health.

I like the photography [the Men’s Safehouse mindfulness-based photography project].

I enjoyed the trip to the beach. Our feet got very wet. I carried my friend because he didn't want to get wet feet. We built towers of stones and took pictures. It was quiet and peaceful. We all laughed. These things help me manage my anger and be more comfortable.

Ever since I moved into this house my life has been very stable, and I feel that I have made good progress in coping with my current situation and circumstances. I feel much safer now and much better.

I really like being in this house. It’s a normal and simple house and now feels like home to me. I wish I could stay in this house until I get older, but I understand that at some point I will have to move on. However, as I move on, I will have gained a lot of life experiences that will allow me to live independently.

We didn’t ask for this life, we were tricked and sold. Unseen help us to recover our lives.

The only way that Unseen can continue to support survivors of slavery like Trung, is through the kind and generous donations we receive. If you’d like to support our work with survivors of trafficking, you can make a single donation or regular donation right now. Thank you.

*names changed to protect identities