Recently, three women were freed from a south London home. According to Scotland Yard, these women were held in the house as slaves for the past 30 years. One of these ladies is believed to have been captive her entire life and does not know what it means to be free.
Scotland Yard says that it arrested two people who are in their 60s at their London home. These two people were arrested on domestic servitude and slavery charges. Scotland Yard said that it was contacted by the Freedom charity about three women that it believed were being held against their will. The three women in question are a Malaysian of 69, a Brit of 30 and an Irish woman of 57.
According to the Freedom charity, it was contacted by the three women after they saw a TV documentary about forced marriages. After some very intense negotiations, the charity finally got the women to tell it their location. This is when the police were called in to remove the women to safety. The police say that the women were very traumatized by the whole event. They have been taken to a safe house for now, and their names are not being released to protect them.
The founder of the Freedom charity, Aneeta Prem, said that all three victims not only suffered mental abuse but physical harm as well. The whole bust was set up over the phone. After talking to the women, they set up a time when they could safely get the women out of the house.
Prem added that Scotland Yard arrested what the women called the “heads of the family.” The women were extremely frightened of them both. By contacting the charity, they felt they put themselves in immense danger. No one knew that these people had three salves living in their home, not even the neighbors knew. The Freedom charity works in countries all over the world, helping give people a voice in forced marriages and slavery.
Kevin Hyland, a member of Scotland Yard’s human trafficking unit, said that it has established that the women have been slaves for nearly 30 years. This means that the woman who is 30 is believed to have been born into slavery. The Yard has seen some cases in which people were held against their will for 10 years or so, but they have never seen a case to this extent.
Hyland added that there was a slight delay in arresting the suspects. This had to do with the fact that they are both non-British people. The women were freed on October 25. During this time, the police have been trying their best to establish all of the facts of the case.
According to the Forced Marriage Unit, it has been working together with the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Together, they have found that there were nearly 1,500 cases of forced marriages in just 2012 alone. These cases were found in such areas of the world as North America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.