Slavery victims are real people – they are our sons and daughters, somebody’s brother or wife. They can also be someone’s father – fathers like Oscar from Romania.
When Oscar’s family were hit by tragedy, he found it hard to cope. Sadly, turning to alcohol to deal with the pain and loss, Oscar lost his job in construction and to make matters worse, in due course his family’s home too.
He was ashamed and did not want to ask his children for help. But someone did reach out to offer help with a lucrative job in construction. Tragically for Oscar, the person who offered support was a human trafficker.
Oscar was trafficked to the UK and was forced to work across different sites in London for six years. When Oscar had first arrived in the UK, not realising anything was wrong, he’d been able to keep in touch with his children by mobile phone, but his traffickers soon seized the phone telling him he did not need anyone else.
Oscar’s son had no idea what had happened to his dad, he had no idea if Oscar was even still alive. He was devastated.
Another victim from the same criminal network exploiting Oscar, who had been freed by police – expressed their concern for Oscar and thankfully this led to his freedom too!
Oscar was admitted to hospital as a result of the abuse he had suffered and one of our Justice and Care Navigators began to engage with and support him.
Beginning to open up, the first thing Oscar wanted help with was to track down his family. We were able to help reunite Oscar from his hospital bed, with his son. Today, thanks to our support, the two of them, father and son, are speaking every day.
Oscar is in recovery, supporting the police investigation and is looking forward to being able to see his son again in person and give him a big bear hug.
These are the sort of stories, with your help, that we are able to make possible. Thank you and Happy Father’s Day!