Blessing is 26 years old and from a large city in Western Africa. She was referred to the Glasgow Community Safety's TARA Service by her immigration solicitor who was concerned by her reaction when she asked where Blessing was living and how she was supporting herself. Blessing had been taken to the solicitor's office by a woman who had found her distressed in Glasgow city centre.
The TARA Service arranged to see her immediately. Blessing disclosed a number of indictors of human trafficking and became tearful when asked if she had ever been involved in prostitution. TARA explained what is meant by human trafficking, about our service and that they were funded by the Government to support women who needed our help. Due to the number of human trafficking indicators TARA agreed to provide safe accommodation for Blessing and after 2 days of intensive support Blessing disclosed that she had been told she would come to the UK to work as a hairdresser and pay her debt to the woman she described as the madam. The madam then told her she owed her money and having sex with men for money was the only way she could pay her debts. Blessing didn't feel she had any choice as the madam threatened her with violence, had taken her passport and she had nowhere else to go. Blessing had been frightened to talk to the police because the madam had told her she was 'illegal', that prostitution was against the law in Scotland, that no one would believe her and she would go to prison.
TARA were able to advise Blessing of her rights and reassure her that she was not in any 'trouble'. Blessing agreed to speak to the police as long as TARA would support her and consented to enter into the UK system for identifying and protecting possible victims of human trafficking. A package of support was agreed with Blessing, which included being seen by a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and accessing legal advice regarding her status as a potential victim of trafficking, longer term immigration issues and possible access to compensation.
Blessing was conclusively identified as a Victim of Trafficking and has completed an English language course, she is hopeful she can now attend college. She has made a claim for asylum and continues to link in with the TARA Service and Psychologist. Blessing said:
“(TARA) Giving information about what one is required to do, makes it easier to understand complicated processes” and “It is an organisation that boosts your morale, self confidence (well being) and spurs you to life despite the trauma that trafficked women go through.”