Rachel's story

This is the true story of Rachel. Details have been changed to protect her identity.

Worldwide, women and girls account for 71% of all victims of modern slavery

"They target you when you're drunk;
when it's wet and cold
and you're hungry.
When it's 3 o'clock in the morning and you've got nowhere to go.
They offer you a drink and you don't think you jump on it.

That's how they get you

My mum's boyfriend was hitting me
that's when I left,
I was 15, I went to London in flipflops with a rucksack.
Every bit of money I got, I drank.

I was sleeping on a park bench when they approached me.
Took me outside of London to pick fruit and veg.

Six in the morning till eleven at night
not allowed to speak to each other,
I can't pick lettuce fast enough.
there's a tractor behind me, I'm scared
every broken lettuce cost me more money

When someone asked about me
they moved me to another farm.
We lived in cramped conditions, I sleep in the corridor.

I hide in the bushes when the bosses come back drunk
because they rape you,
they charge you for the accommodation
sometimes they deliberately keep you from working so you can't pay your rent so your debt keeps growing.

If you try to run away they tell you they'll kill you
Scared all the time.

The police raided the house,
took me into custody
I still have flashbacks all the time.

I've got depression, I self harm.
It's hard for me to trust people,
to feel safe.
The anxiety just...
never goes away

I survived but it doesn't feel like survival."

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Written by April De Angelis, performed by

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