Volunteer’s Recruitment and Team Building Day

On Saturday morning we had our very first Volunteer’s Recruitment and Team Building Day. The morning began with a cuppa & a scone. Then Invisible Traffick’s video ‘No Hope’ was screened (watch it below).

Our director then spoke a little about how Invisible Traffick all started 7 years ago. She had been to a conference where Christine Caine (founder of anti-huamn trafficking charity, A21) was speaking about how girls had been packaged up into boxes like cargo and were transported across sea and in cars to their destination. On route many of the girls died from oxygen starvation and the girls who did survive were sexually exploited across Europe. Our director couldn’t believe that this was still happening in our modern day world. She came back from the conference and bought a packet of mash potato for dinner one evening which actually contained a ticket saying ‘You’e won!’. That packet of mash potato led to the director winning £500!! The Director explained how she knew the money was not her own and she used to to set up Invisible Traffick.

THE ITGB CHARITY SPRING BALL

Invisible Traffick GB held their annual Spring Ball on Saturday the 20th of May and our director and her husband had the pleasure of attending. As always it was a joyous night of celebration and fundraising with Invisible Traffick GB’s wonderful volunteers. These incredible men and women so generously give of their time to help support survivors of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation to recover with ITGB’s long-term, trauma-based programme which aims to help them lead independent, successful and productive lives, free from exploration.

The grand total raised from this years Spring Ball was an incredible £8119.81! This is a fantastic amount and we would like to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who contributed towards this. Invisible Traffick GB will be using this money for their new garden based Therapy Centre, which will provide a much needed space of tranquility and peace which has been designed specifically as a safe haven for their residents to undertake their counselling away from home.

If you feel you would like to volunteer for ITGB, or you’d like to help and support in some other way, you can visit our website www.invisibletraffick-gb.org for more information.

THREE GIRLS – A STORY OF PERSEVERANCE

Some of you may already be aware that the BBC recently aired a documentary called ‘Three Girls’, based on the Roshdale Sex Ring. The documentary follows the story of 3 girls, Holly, Ruby and Amber, who find themselves being sold for sex, by older men, following a period of grooming.

The documentary is not an easy watch at all, but is incredibly eye opening into how girls find themselves in a position of being sexually exploited within their own city. It also gives a clear account of how the girls get justice after many years of being failed by the police and social services.

The girls are left completely broken by their experiences, with all three of them falling pregnant by their traffickers, yet amazingly still stand up in court to testify against their abusers.

Another vitally important person in helping the girls get justice is Sara Rowbotham, a sexual health worker, the first person to identify the abuse. As soon as Sara became aware of the abuse back in 2004 she made it her mission to gather as much information as possible before presenting it to social services and the police. Sara made 181 referrals for the young people between 2005-2011, however, when she did the social services simply dismissed the girl’s cases and instead of identifying the girls as victims of abuse, identified them as prostitutes. Sara was not in a position to do anything directly herself and was left failed by the people who could. But Sara did not give up there. She persevered. She knew the girls were still being exploited. She knew the girls were still begin sold for sex. So, she continued to gather evidence.

It wasn’t until 2012 when the girl’s cases were reconsidered, and Sara’s evidence was eventually used, acting as the main source of information. Eventually, following a hard battle in court 47 girls were identified as being trafficked, with 12 traffickers convicted. This is an amazing story of perseverance. Sara could have given up. She could have lost all hope for these girls. But she did not. She kept going. She knew the girls were far too important for her to give up.

I just want to encourage you in this – you may feel that your fight against human trafficking is too small, that you are not doing enough, that you are not making a difference to these girls lives. Let me encourage you to persevere. Freedom is possible. Justice is possible. And YOU are helping to make this happen!

FLIGHT ATTENDANT ‘SAVES TRAFFICKING VICTIM WITH SECRET NOTE’

Flight-attendant-blog

A flight attendant has described the moment that she saved a young girl from human traffickers after leaving a secret note for her on the plane.

Sheila Fedrick said that her suspicions were roused after she spotted a well-dressed middle aged man travelling with a battered young girl aged around 15 who “looked like she had been through pure hell”.

After trying to speak to the pair and being rebuffed by the man, she left a note for the girl in one of the plane’s toilets.

In reply the girl wrote: “I need help”, she told NBC News.

Ms Fedrick said she immediately informed the pilot about the situation and the flight was met by police at their arrival destination.

She shared her story as part of a training programme run by US non-profit group Airline Ambassadors aimed at helping flight staff to spot human traffickers.

Millions of people are thought to be trafficked every year – including many who are transported on flights.

The AA group has trained thousands of staff in a number of countries to recognise the signs that someone may be being taken against their will.