July 25, 2018
With YOUR help, we can support victims of human trafficking
Monday 30 July is ‘World Day Against Trafficking in Persons’
MASH will be launching a video called ‘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.
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 MASH’s 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.
Text MASH30 £10 to 70070 to make a difference today
Your donation will ensure that our interpreters like Becca, can always be there for potential trafficking victims in Manchester. Becca said: “It’s very common for me to hear from the women we support that they have found themselves doing something they weren’t expecting. They are often under extreme emotional pressure from so called ‘boyfriends’ who remind them they are looking after them and keeping a roof over their heads. They will put themselves in real danger in order to stay in their good books.
“I know how much it means to the women to have regular contact with someone who they can trust who speaks their language, because they tell me. I get to know many of them over a period of weeks or months. We build up a rapport and they tell me about their families and their children. They have a chance to open up to someone they can trust.
“If you’re from an impoverished country where you’ve got almost no chance of securing work, you will naturally look for some stability, someone to look after them and a way out. That’s what many of these women have been promised. The reality is very different.
“Every night a woman will say to me how they’ve been looking out for the MASH van and they’re so happy to see us. It really makes it all worthwhile. MASH really is a lifeline and a trusted friend to women sex working on the streets of Manchester and as sexual exploitation and human trafficking continues to happen, it’s vital that we can always be there to reach women that need our support.
“In some cases we have been able to help women like Ana to get home. She told us she owes her life to us and I daren’t think about the situation she could be in now if it wasn’t for MASH’s intervention.”