We are fast approaching the end of 2020 whilst hearing rumours of our region about to enter Tier 4 as a new variant of the Coronavirus is rapidly spreading across the country. Just as we started to see transmission and death rates decline and news of the new vaccine roll-out appeared, we wake to hear more distressing news. Millions of people in the UK are grieving their cancelled- or shortened – festive gatherings with family and fearing what lies ahead. Me included.
Yet this is what many of our Adavu clients, as survivors of modern slavery, experience on a regular basis, regardless of the Coronavirus. Most of the men and women we support are traumatised and many have mental and physical health concerns, with many also at the mercy of the UK asylum system that will ultimately decide their future. A Home Office decision refusing asylum, an unexpected point of contact with their trafficker, or even a noise, a sound or a person that triggers a panic-attack, can all bring their fragile hopes and dreams crashing down and spiral them into deep despair, depression and anxiety.
Very few have contact with their families (due to being disowned after being accused of ‘dishonouring’ the family; or out of fear or threats from perpetrators to harm them) and so many are deeply lonely and isolated.
So please do spare a thought – and perhaps a prayer – for the men and women Adavu supports this Christmas. Life is particularly fraught, lonely and fragile right now.
Adavu will continue to offer emotional and practical support to survivors and it is encouraging to know that this does and is making a difference, as one of our clients said this month:
“Everything has been great from Adavu – everyone has shown so much kindness and support, and has always been there for me! For example, X is always there, but if X cannot be not there for me for some reason, even X comes and supports me! It has been perfect support for what I have needed.”
“even calling and speaking on the phone is helpful, explaining things, spending time is great support.”