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Helping a survivor of trafficking or torture

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A short presentation - with lots of embedded links - designed to assist volunteers at Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network respond to disclosure of trafficking or torture

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Helping a survivor of trafficking or torture

  1. 1. Helping a survivor of trafficking or torture LEEDS ASYLUM SEEKERS SUPPORT NETWORK AUGUST 2015
  2. 2. Outcomes Know where to find more information on both trafficking and torture Understand more about how to spot someone who may be a survivor of trafficking or torture Understand what you can do in the moment Understand the next steps
  3. 3. A short film about modern slavery https://youtu.be/Jv1H_fAoOG4 Modern Slavery Helpline is 0800 0121 700
  4. 4. Human Trafficking is Movement or Recruitment by Deception or Coercion for The purpose of Exploitation Find out more using the Salvation Army online awareness toolkit.
  5. 5. Modern Slavery is : when people are forced to work or exploited under fear of punishment, violence or death eg Bonded labour Forced labour Descent-based slavery Child slavery Early & forced marriage http://modernslavery.co.uk/
  6. 6. Torture (United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984) “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person as a [way of] obtaining… information or a confession, punishing him… intimidating or coercing him… when such pain or suffering is inflicted by…a person acting in an official capacity.” Amnesty – schools information pack Redress – Torture Survivor’s Handbook
  7. 7. Trafficking, torture and LASSN Most people LASSN works with are unlikely to be actively experiencing modern slavery or torture. In your work with LASSN, most people who disclose experiences of this kind will be disclosing traumatic events in the (recent) past. What’s a helpful response? What might be worth avoiding?
  8. 8. What’s helpful People often start to open up when the bottom rows of needs are met Disclosure means you’re doing something right Being present and attentive, and demonstrate belief Acknowledge what they’ve said it Be careful what you offer – don’t make big promises Don’t take away someone’s choices Allow people to go at their own pace
  9. 9. Things to guard against Sometimes people may attempt to relate to you in ways that they did their captors – attempting to please you/reward you Don’t put too much pressure on people to say more than they want to Be aware of the impact on you – seek support with how you feel Don’t put too much pressure on to people to “move on”
  10. 10. Remember: Although it may be upsetting, this usually a means a disclosure is usually not an emergency. It is important to discuss this disclosure with a LASSN staff member. If you think someone is in immediate danger contact the Police.
  11. 11. Evidence for the psychological effects of trafficking There is no specific research into the psychological effects of trafficking The psychological models used are often drawn from other places ◦ Stockholm Syndrome ◦ The effects of Torture and Trauma ◦ Survivors of Domestic Abuse
  12. 12. De-stressing strategies Immersive activities are good at helping people to relax For example Gardening/allotments “Difficult” colouring-in Breathing exercises De-stressing using audio materials on ◦ Stress ◦ Anxiety Relaxation
  13. 13. When someone discloses (taken from stopthetraffick.org) “They may have complex issues around psychological, emotional and physical health and well-being.”
  14. 14. Complicating factors (taken from stopthetraffick.org) “The person might not identify themselves as victims as they may see their situation as ‘normal‘” “The person might rather remain where they are than return home” “The person may feel that they are in some way responsible for what has happened to them” “The person may have a complex relationship of dependency on or trust in their trafficker/exploiter.”
  15. 15. Complicating factors – with the perpetrators “Relationships with traffickers/exploiters can be complex: there can be misplaced trust; a belief that they are in love; fear of what their trafficker/exploiter may do to them or people they wish to protect, such as family.”
  16. 16. Complicating factors – with you “Someone may be fearful and suspicious of you for many reasons such as: ◦ revealing their status if they are unsure of their right to remain in country; ◦ sharing their experience out of shame or fear of reprisal; ◦ fear because of their involvement in criminal activity (even though forced or coerced); ◦ mistrust of authority figures; ◦ mistrust of anyone.”
  17. 17. Complicating factors – what to ask The person may be suffering from trauma or shock. Consider what information you need. For some victims sharing details is a re-traumatising experience and one which could be damaging psychologically. To avoid stressful retelling of the story it is important to maintain the same point of contact – i.e. deal with the same person.
  18. 18. What are the options for someone who has been trafficked or tortured? Local services – for survivors of torture ◦ Refugee Council – Therapeutic casework [link] ◦ Solace/Freedom from Torture – Psychotherapy [link] Local Services for people who have been trafficked ◦ Salvation Army [link] – Information and referral to National Referral mechanism ◦ Women’s Counselling and Therapy Services [link] – Leeds based therapeutic services ◦ Support after Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds [link] – counselling and support
  19. 19. The National Referral Mechanism When someone discloses they may have been trafficked they are referred into the National Referral Mechanism – where their situation is investigated. Chart from http://stopthetraffick.org/
  20. 20. National Referral Mechanism A visual guide to the NRM - http://stopthetraffick.org
  21. 21. What can LASSN do to support you? Make sure you speak to a member of LASSN staff who will help you raise an alert. If you have concerns about someone’s immediate safety, then it’s important an alert is raised. Call the Police. What else should LASSN be thinking about?

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