Over the years we have seen the criminal exploitation link to sexual exploitation. Certainly, many years ago I came across a case of young lady being trafficked out of the country to a Mediterranean island. She had no family or close links there, no passport and had never been abroad before. It was several months/maybe more than a year later she disclosed to her project worker, she had not left the apartment and had seen a constant stream of men while she was there.
We are more informed now about the links between criminal and sexual exploitation and how they link to the human trafficking legislation. However, I am curious to know how much we are professionally curious about young people being taken out of the country when going missing and whether we view that as a trafficking violation in the same light as the more publicised trafficking convictions. I’d be very interested to hear if you have had experience of such cases and what the outcome was.
Highlighting the issue was the article in The Birmingham Mail (https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/day-victim-birmingham-grooming-gangs-14904884) from young lady who had a similar experience and has written about this very issue, as part of her horrific experience in her book recently launched by Katie Elysia called ‘No Way Out’.
Quoted from The Birmingham Mail.
A victim of Birmingham grooming gangs has revealed how she was trafficked to Morocco – where she was raped by multiple men.
Kate Elysia tells in a new book, called No Way Out, how she was abused by more than 70 men, but only two were ever brought to justice.
Yet her abuse was not confined to the West Midlands, or even the UK. She reveals how she was once unwittingly trafficked to Morocco by a Birmingham drug dealer, where she was repeatedly raped.
She was told by the criminal that he and some friends were going to collect a van.
In fact, the van was later driven back by the gang to the UK, packed with cocaine
During their stay in Marrakesh, Kate was kept in an apartment.
She recalls how the dealer, the gang and Moroccan contacts returned to the flat after a bawdy night out – with a young girl in tow.
“They all get back in the early hours and they have a young prostitute with them,” says Kate.
“They wake me up with the noise and I come bleary-eyed into the sofa room.
“The prostitute is young, not more than 15. She looks scared.”
Kate tells how she and the girl were forced to kiss each other in front of the men.
“I can’t remember how many times I’m raped that night, or by who,” she says.
“It’s almost daylight when I crawl back to the bedroom and lock the door.
“The next day the young prostitute has gone – I don’t know where.”
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), she believes, explains why she returned to her abusers again and again before finally breaking free.
“The behaviour of someone suffering with PTSD can seem very confusing,” she explains.
“It just doesn’t make rational sense why an abuse victim who escaped one situation of being abused would have irrational urges to go back to the source of that abuse.”
“I didn’t want to do what I was doing but I was powerless to stop myself.”
“I couldn’t ask for help because I knew no-one would understand why I kept going back.”
She added: “It’s hard for me to understand it myself, even after all the counselling and training I’ve had as a mental health nurse.
“So if there are any girls out there who are going through what I went through, I want you to know there is someone who understands – me.“I want to help you; I will help you.
“I made a lot of mistakes because I had no-one to turn to.”
“I recognise those mistakes now and I know I can help girls and stop them from making the same mistakes.”
We previously told how Kate was first targeted by the sex attackers whilst an 18-year-old student.
What followed was years of abuse from men in Birmingham and the West Midlands, abuse which left her addicted to drugs.
Sheila Taylor MBE CEO