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B's journey

B*, 27, left Vietnam for the false promise of work abroad, but she was instead exploited for labour and sex in Russia and the UK.

She and her sister were working on their family farm in Vietnam in 2013 when they were approached by two men offering to take them abroad to work. B had separated from her husband when he became violent, and was working to support their son. 

B and her sister travelled with the men to Russia and her son was left with his paternal uncle. As soon as they arrived, the men took their passports and delivered them to a clothing factory where they worked for two years without pay, with around 70 others. She worked 10-12 hours a day and was repeatedly raped by the male workers.

Two years later, B and her sister were collected in a small van with eight others and driven for two days. Eventually arriving in England, B was separated from her sister and has not seen her since that day. B was taken in by a Vietnamese man, unaware that drugs were being grown upstairs until the house was raided by police. B was arrested and, too afraid of telling them her story and feeling that she had nowhere else to go, remained quiet and ended up in prison. 

After two months, B’s solicitor referred her to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and The Salvation Army moved her to a safe house where she received specialist support for three months until she received a threatening call. Frightened for her life, B did as he instructed and returned to her traffickers. She was met by a Vietnamese couple and made to work as a prostitute in their home, and fell pregnant. 

She was discovered by the police several months later and eventually referred for a second time to the NRM. The Salvation Army placed her in a safe house where she was given support with legal services, her ongoing asylum claim, probation appointments, and provided with medical support for her pregnancy and the birth of her daughter. 

B has received money from The Salvation Army’s Victim Care Fund for her daughter’s childcare, while she accessed counselling for the emotional distress of her years of abuse. B attends weekly English classes and her English has improved significantly.

Five years since first being trafficked, B is now building a new life for herself and her young daughter, having received safe house support from Salvation Army subcontractors, City Hearts and Black Country Women’s Aid.