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Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
UK News

Modern slavery: Emma's story

This is the story of "Emma".

"I was working like hairdresser and I have a client... and one of them was the person who did everything to me.

"He was speaking about his idea to open a modelling agency. But it's not true, because he lied to me.

"I choose to go with him, from there start everything."

PA Wire

It was on her first trip abroad to Dusseldorf in Germany, using fake passports and documents, that it became clear she had been betrayed.

"I couldn't escape because I was locked," she said. "Every time I have person around me, I was never on my own.

"I didn't have a choice or opportunity (to escape). I was worried he would do something to my family."

Emma escaped only when Italian police questioned her as a potential witness about crimes her trafficker had committed, and she was deported back to Albania.

But on her return she was shunned by her family and out of fear of being hunted down by the trafficking gang she fled on the back of a lorry to the UK.

She said it was "not her choice" to be in the UK, but after nine months of recovery at a Home Office-funded safe house in London, run by the Hestia housing charity, she has hope for the future.

"(At the safe house) they give you support in everything. My life changed since I've been in Hestia. Here we have an angel who help us, our care worker.

"I have that feeling that if somebody is going to do something again, I don't trust nobody.

"It's hard for me to move on because when you see other people and their lives, you feel like rubbish.

"But things are better now."

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