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Emancipating Rashmi

Rashmi was excited to find an agency job as a nurse in the UK, but she soon discovered all wasn't as it first seemed.

Rashmi never saw her wages and was threatened with beatings.

When Rashmi was separated from her parents at the age of five during conflict in Sri Lanka, a Salvation Army girl’s home cared for her and gave her a good education. This enabled Rashmi to qualify as a nurse, a job she really loved.  No-one could know then that this would not be the only time The Salvation Army was to come to her rescue.

Some years later Rashmi wanted to travel and see more of the world, so she took a job as a nanny and housekeeper for a family in Dubai.  After five pleasant years with kind people who treated her as a member of the family, Rashmi returned to The Salvation Army home and, as always, was warmly welcomed. After a while she once again felt the need to gain her own independence and began to search for other work opportunities. Rashmi soon found a position as a nurse in the UK through an agency, which promised to make the arrangements for a fee of 100,000 rupees.

On arrival in the UK, she was met by a man who took her passport and told Rashmi there was no nursing work for her, only a housekeeping position. He drove her to a family home where, after a few days of treating her kindly, Rashmi soon discovered the realities of her new life. She had no bed, was forced to work more than 12 hours most days with full responsibility for the children, and was fed only on leftovers.  Rashmi never saw her wages which went straight to the agency, and the family threatened her with beating should she attempt to leave the home unaccompanied.

Distraught and desperate, Rashmi called a friend at The Salvation Army in Sri Lanka who advised her that The Salvation Army in the UK could help her. A couple of days later Rashmi found the courage to call The Salvation Army asking for advice, the police arrived at the house. Rashmi realised this was her chance to escape.

After explaining her situation to the police, The Salvation Army drove her to a safehouse, where staff helped her to begin to recover from her ordeal while giving her the support and connections to plan for a safer future. 

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