To mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons we are sharing Ana's* story, a true story from a woman we have recently supported to get back to her home country after she was coerced into travelling to the UK to become a sex worker on the streets of Manchester.
With YOUR help, we can support victims of human trafficking
MASH has supported dozens of women from Eastern European countries who are sex working on the streets of Manchester and our work has enabled twelve women to travel back to their home countries.
Many of the women we support may be victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking, having been lured over to the UK on the promise of paid work, a better life and a chance to provide for their children. Many are working extremely long hours on the streets putting themselves in risky situations and are expected to hand over the majority of their earnings to their partner.
Thanks to MASHs mobile drop-in and our Romanian and Hungarian interpreters, MASH is able to reach these women and offer them expert, confidential support and advice. The team is out in our MASH van four nights per week and can offer everything from hot drinks, condoms and information on dodgy punters to sexual health checks and even support to travel back to their home countries.
The key to our success in this complicated work is to be able to build trusted relationships with these women over a period of weeks or even months, so they feel comfortable enough to open up to us and share their experiences of being frightened, threatened or controlled. These women may not necessarily relate to the term trafficked and may have been groomed by a so called boyfriend whom they love and trust.
Many women tell us that MASH has become a lifeline for them. They look out for the MASH van on dark, cold nights and trust in the team to help them in challenging situations. In a number of cases MASH has worked with partners to help identify trafficking gangs, has helped women escape enslavement and find safe accommodation, and has helped to repatriate a number of trafficking victims.
Donate today to our World Day Against Trafficking campaign to ensure MASH can always help women in this situation. We are campaigning to raise £1,000 towards interpreters who enable us to provide personal support to women who have been trafficked into the UK and coerced into risky sex work on the streets of Manchester.
*Name changed to protect identity