Modern Slavery is a complex, global crime. It impacts every aspect of a victim’s life; not just their physical freedom. The survivors we support face financial, legal and emotional challenges alongside recovery from the physical effects of being exploited.
Freedom from slavery is just one of many steps a survivor needs to take on their journey to a new life.
To respond effectively to the complex needs of the people we support, we recognise the need to work together with a wide range of agencies and organisations who can help us to offer support and instigate change. Whilst we offer core support and advocacy we recognise that we cannot provide all the expertise and specialist knowledge and so we work collaboratively with our partners to holistically support survivors. For example, we do not provide accommodation but we work with Hope at Home in certain cases to provide a safe and stable host family environment whilst our survivors establish themselves in the longer-term. Similarly, we work with the Jericho Foundation that offers paid employment and volunteering opportunities to survivors of Modern Slavery, together with a package of holistic support through their Equiano project.
One way we do this is by playing an active role in the West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network that brings together a range of key partners including practitioners and policy-makers. For example, one of the survivors we were supporting was experiencing difficulties in accessing eligible benefits and opening a bank account. We were able to identify the relevant Job Centre representative via the Network and get the issue resolved in addition to raising concerns at a policy level.