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If I didn't work I got beaten up – Modern Slavery survivor speaks of 15 years of abuse

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A survivor of modern slavery who spent 15 years trapped in forced labour has spoken out to help raise public awareness of the issues.

Four videos of the survivor are being released today to mark UN World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

The videos highlight the treatment the survivor suffered at the hands of criminals and the partnership support he has subsequently received.

The survivor, who is being supported in West Yorkshire by Palm Cove Society requested he remain anonymous and said:

“I was forced to dig out driveways ready for block paving and tarmacking, and if I didn’t work, I got beaten up.”

“I was in a trailer, no windows in it, no doors, and every time it rained I got wet.”

“It affected me a lot because they were taking my money off me.”

Avon & Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “One victim of modern slavery is too many. Sadly modern slavery is very much alive today, occurring in plain sight and in everyday situations.  Modern slavery is a crime that cannot be tackled in isolation, which is why we all have a role to play in being a louder voice for those who are trafficked and exploited.

“I am pleased to be supporting this fantastic campaign from West Yorkshire PCC, Mark Burns-Williamson. Working together we can continue to raise awareness of modern slavery, support victims and bring offenders to justice. But there is only so much we can do, we need your help to tell us what is happening in your communities.”

Communities continue to have a key role to play in stopping this from happening. We need you to report any suspicions, no matter how small, to the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or to the Police.

General indicators of human trafficking or modern slavery can include signs of physical or psychological abuse, fear of authorities, irregular activity at homes or addresses, poor living conditions and working long hours for little or no pay. By reporting suspicions you could be saving lives.

You can find out more about how to spot the signs of Modern Slavery here.

Posted on Tuesday 30th July 2019
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