Modern Slavery Trafficking

The Safe House

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[Martyna Żuchowska]

These ‘free’ slaves are still victims and still need our support throughout their return to normality.

When we as the public think about modern slavery and trafficking, in most instances we are thinking about the vulnerable and troubled victims that are stuck in the horrible cycle. I think that we forget to acknowledge the pain and suffering of those who lived through human/sex trafficking and are now free of their captures, because their pain doesn’t end there.

We may think of these people as ‘free’, but in reality most of them are enduring tremendous amounts of pain and angst, post trafficking. These individuals may be free in a physical sense but many of them experience PTSD and don’t go on to live normal functioning lives because of their debilitating experiences.

These ‘free’ slaves are still victims and still need our support throughout their return to normality.

Many victims find it difficult to return to work and normal life for many reasons. A lack of funds is usually a big factor for victims to get back into a functioning lifestyle because many don’t have money to begin with and clearly are unable to save any money for themselves whilst being trafficked. These victims require assistance in finding jobs that will sustain them, without having to resort to illegal and dangerous work. In order for trafficking victims to have a chance at emotional recovery, they need counselling as soon as possible to be able to talk through their trauma and receive the correct tools and resources they need for their recovery. Some victims may even still be in physical danger if their employer has not been detained.

The types of people who run illegal trafficking businesses would not be unlikely to use illegal methods to either cause harm or capture the victim again. In a lot of cases a slave’s employer will threaten the victim’s and victim’s family’s safety. In these cases the escaped victim must seek asylum and protection for them and their family.

As you can see there are many ways trafficking victims can be disadvantaged when reuniting with the real world. The help shouldn’t stop at getting them out of their situation. It should continue on after, whilst they recover and prepare to start a new life post trauma.

Fortunately I have one example of a service that has been created for former slavery victims, here in Australia. In 2008, The Salvation Army non for profit created a Safe House in Sydney for trafficking victims. To this day it is the only safe house for these kinds of victims here in Australia. The safe house provides access to various support services that aid in: housing, financial support, health care, educational/employment assistance, rights education, legal support, international assistance and confidential assistance.

The safe house also helps victims in the area that need assistance with outreach support and case management. Legal support can be an extremely helpful tool for individuals who want to take legal actions against their captures and accomplices.

This safe house is an incredible place for slavery victims who need help with getting back on their feet. The Salvation army noticed the gap in aid for former slaves and created a resource that has done amazing things for many people in need.

The Safe house idea and creation is inspiring and hopefully inspires other organisations in Australia to look for gaps in the cycle and create aid where it’s needed.

Make Noise


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