Chiagozie* originally came to the UK from Nigeria because of a false promise of work. She found herself in a difficult financial situation when her mother needed surgery for her rapidly failing eyesight. She was delighted to receive a job offer from the UK, which she had grown up thinking of as a place of opportunity and fresh prospects.
But instead, the traffickers used this reputation to exploit Chiagozie’s financial vulnerability, trapping her in a cycle of control and debt. After originally being forced into domestic servitude and sexual exploitation in 2013, Chiagozie found herself caught in a vicious cycle. Someone would claim to be able to help her, but instead would seek to exploit and abuse her. She was trapped in different forms of exploitation until 2019.
It was then that she was put in contact with Hope for Justice. After several years of hard work and support from our Advocacy team and others, Chiagozie has now received settled status for her and her son.
Bibusa Musukwa, an Independent Modern Slavery Advocate (IMSA) at Hope for Justice, said: “Lengthy immigration cases often have a negative impact on the mental health of the survivors we provide advocacy support to. Long delays in systems can create feelings of being left in ‘limbo’ as individuals are left unable to access necessary services. So receiving a positive long-term decision is a big success and will hopefully create more certainty and stability for Chiagozie. It will also allow her to have better access to learning and employment opportunities so she can continue moving forward with her life.”
Chiagozie is now living in council housing following a period in asylum accommodation.
Liverpool One Abolition Group, a group of volunteers who support the work of Hope for Justice through fundraising, awareness-raising, events and practical assistance, were able to aid Chiagozie by sourcing a variety of furniture for what was otherwise an empty house.
(Please note: We cannot take unsolicited donations of furniture or other items, but when we are supporting a survivor with particular needs, we will contact local Abolition Groups in case they can help. If you think you may be able to help with this in future, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will take your details for future use.)
With settled status now granted, Chiagozie has the stability and security she needs to be able to build a new life for her and her son.
*Name changed to protect survivor’s identity