‘My friends turned me into a slave – and the police didn't intervene'

Asia's Tech News Daily

‘My friends turned me into a slave – and the police didn’t intervene’
© Elizabeth Livermore/ Moment RF ‘The police sent me back to my prison of slave labour and abuse’ – Elizabeth Livermore/ Moment RF

I was 23 when I moved into a house with five other people. It was 2005 and I was new to the UK, studying at an international college in Manchester, where I met a fellow Malawian woman. She offered to let me live with her and four male Malawian friends – a major adjustment for me, but everything seemed fine. I was enjoying studying, made new friends, opened a bank account and took on a part-time job to pay the rent. Life was good.

I started to cut my school friends’ hair at home and my housemates saw an opportunity to make some extra money. They started booking people to come and have their hair cut but warned me not to make friends with any of the “customers” as they were “bad people”. Whenever I said I didn’t feel like cutting hair or questioned where all the money was going, my housemates told me how much they had done for me – giving me a cheap place to stay and making sure I had everything I needed. So I stopped asking and just carried on quietly cutting hair, careful not to make conversation with any of the customers.

The Malawians didn’t like me meeting new people or having friends other than them, so I lost touch with all my school friends and family – making me feel isolated and alone. I later found out that all of my wages had been diverted to fake accounts, opened with fake IDs. 

I didn’t see any of the money I made but felt like I owed them for charging me so little for rent, so didn’t address it. When I told them all the hairdressing was affecting my studies and my other part-time job, they responded with aggression. They reminded me of all they had done to protect me and house me, which I couldn’t deny – I felt like I owed them. When I needed to get my feet on the ground in a foreign country, they were there for me and I wanted to pay them back. 

A few months later, the Malawians insisted I give them my passport and visa, so they could renew my visa for me. I handed them over, but never got my visa back again. Without it, I lost my part-time job and my place in school. I was now at their disposal, needing them more than ever, because I no longer had proof I was allowed to reside in the UK. 

After that, they made me move to Leicester. Without proof of identification, I couldn’t argue. And that’s when everything got much worse. The people who I had once lived, cooked and eaten with started beating me and feeding me the leftovers. I felt isolated and scared. No one, not even my family, knew where I was or who I was. They even called me by a different name, completely erasing my individuality and freedom. It was as if I were invisible. 

They moved me into a house with another girl but wouldn’t let us talk or get to know one another. One day, completely out of the blue, a man came with the Malawians and I was told to “make him happy”. He just started touching me. I didn’t know what to do, freaked out and bit him out of self-protection, then blacked out with fear. When I woke up, I wasn’t dressed and had marks all over my body from where I had been beaten. 

It became my new normal – this “making men happy” that was forced upon me. I just wanted to survive – I didn’t want to be beaten – so I did what they said. Every time the Malawians told me to take a shower, I knew they were freshening me up for what was coming. 

It occurred to me that my period was late and a test confirmed it – I was pregnant. The Malawians found out and forced me to swallow a drink that would get rid of the “problem”. It worked. 

They found me another job in town and made sure to walk me to work. They also waited to pick me up after my shift. I didn’t receive any of the money from that job either, but I did get to eat when I had a shift, which I was grateful for because there was never food in the house. 

A rash started to spread over large parts of my body. When the Malawians noticed it, they made me scrub myself with disinfectant. The harsh chemicals only made the rash worse and they took me to the GP, who prescribed me antibiotics, which I never received. But the rash did eventually begin to fade enough so I could continue working. 

The Malawians told me I needed to go to the bank with them to open another account. When we tried, the staff brought us into a meeting room and accused us of using fake IDs. I felt so much relief when I heard the police were coming. I could taste freedom. But when they arrived and I told them everything about what had happened to me, they just accused me of being an accomplice and making the story up to avoid arrest. 

The police had a chance to intervene but, instead, they let me go – back to my prison of slave labour and abuse. 

I was taken to yet another town by the Malawians – Kettering in Northamptonshire – where they continued to beat me and make me work for them. It got so bad I thought it would be better just to die, so I tried to take my life – but didn’t succeed. My rash came back and this time they took me to hospital, afraid they may catch whatever it was I had. 

I found myself in a long corridor in the hospital and, when I looked behind me, I expected them to be watching me to make sure I didn’t get away. But they weren’t. It was my chance to escape. I ran. And I ran and I ran. Finally, I arrived at the train station, where I just kept taking trains until I arrived in the only city I remembered. For four days, I slept inside the train station, hungry, cold and tired. A Nigerian man asked if I was okay. And in that moment, I broke. I couldn’t control my tears. He offered me a place to stay with him and his two daughters. I knew it could be unsafe, but I didn’t have any other options, so I went with him.

For weeks, I expected abuse but received none. They treated me like family and I stayed with them for many years. After meeting a good man online and dating him, we decided to get married. But when we applied for a licence, I was arrested.

Apparently, I was supposed to have answered bail for trying to open that bank account all those years earlier. I was sent to prison for six months, where I suffered post-traumatic stress disorder. 

After I told my solicitor everything that had happened to me, she got in touch with the Home Office, who later identified me as a victim of slavery and referred me to City Hearts, a charity that houses and support victims. They helped to get me into education, and I completed English, maths, physics, and chemistry access courses. Now, at 39, I’m hoping to go to university and study to become a social worker in the future. At last, life is looking better.

As told to Lauren Crosby Medlicott

Sign up to the Front Page newsletter for free: Your essential guide to the day’s agenda from The Telegraph – direct to your inbox seven days a week.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


US-Canada border: Baby gear led police to a devastating discovery

© Royal Canadian Mounted Police Manitoba Authorities on both sides of the border searched for hours in the remote area, police said. A backpack containing baby gear uncovered during a ... Read more »

Officials say starving manatees in Florida have begun to consume emergency lettuce

© Associated Press/Lynne Sladky Officials say starving manatees in Florida have begun to consume emergency lettuce Manatees at risk of starvation in Florida have started eating emergency food provided by ... Read more »

We ordered KN95 masks to find the online stores you can trust

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Editor’s Note: January 21, 2022 We have ordered KN95 masks from ... Read more »

Pep Guardiola will not ‘betray' Manchester City when he makes decision on future

City boss Pep Guardiola. PEP GUARDIOLA INSISTS he will not “betray” Manchester City when he comes to decide on his long-term future. The much-decorated City manager, who turned 51 earlier ... Read more »

Russell Westbrook 'surprised' by benching, still focused on succeeding with Lakers

Frank Vogel benched Russell Westbrook on Wednesday night, something that left Westbrook stunned in the moment. But now, two days removed from the Lakers’ 111-104 loss to the Indiana Pacers, ... Read more »

Report: Phoenix Mercury to Hire Vanessa Nygaard As Head Coach

© Provided by Sports Illustrated She reportedly will replace Sandy Brondello, who mutually parted ways with Phoenix and is now the head coach of the New York Liberty. View the ... Read more »

Government and BBC set for court battle over injunction

The Government and the BBC are set for a court battle over a story the broadcaster wants to air which would reportedly identify a spy. The Telegraph has reported that ... Read more »

Alex Dombrandt bags try hat-trick to seal dramatic last-gasp win for Harlequins

Hat-trick hero Alex Dombrandt stole a dramatic victory for Harlequins with the final play of a thrilling Champions Cup clash. The England No.8 pounced with the clock three minutes into ... Read more »

LeBron James overtakes Stephen Curry in All-Star voting

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts against the Sacramento Kings in the first half at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters) LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Lakers ... Read more »

Texas synagogue attack: police given extra time to quiz two men arrested in Birmingham

Detectives have been given extra time to question two men as part of the investigation into the Texas synagogue attack by British hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram. The two men who ... Read more »

London IPO better for Arm, says co-founder

Arm’s co-founder believes it would be better off as an independent company listed on the London stock market instead of being taken over by a US rival in a £31billion ... Read more »

Kate Upton Enjoys Girls Night In a Chic Plunging Mini Dress and Strappy Sandals

Kate Upton shared two new photos with her followers on Instagram on Friday featuring her best friend, businesswoman and entrepreneur, Bailey Quin. The duo was all smiles as they posed ... Read more »

ALEX BRUMMER: Oil stirs troubled waters on equity markets

No one quite knows how the stand-off over Russia’s military build-up in the Ukraine will resolve itself.  There has been a thundering verbal response from Nato boss Jens Stoltenberg and ... Read more »

Assembly elections: Amid rally ban Amit Shah, JP Nadda to hit ground running

© Provided by The Times of India LUCKNOW: As the nomination for the first phase of UP assembly elections is about to end and the Election Commission is yet to ... Read more »

Due to pandemic HC restores directions issued to Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana till February 28

© Provided by The Indian Express Amid alarming increase of Covid-19 cases, the Punjab and Haryana High Court taking suo-motu cognizance, restored the multiple directions issued to Punjab, Haryana and ... Read more »

Top-Teams nur im Mittelfeld - F1 Zuverlässigkeits-Check

© Jerry André Der Grand Prix der Emilia Romagna 2021 wird als eines der spektakulärsten Rennen aller Zeiten in die Geschichte eingehen. Selten ist die Galerie so vollgepackt mit Highlights ... Read more »

Neue A-Klasse-Familie soll autonom fahren können - Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA) ab 2024

Mercedes entwickelt eine neue Elektroauto-Architektur für Fahrzeuge unterhalb und bis zur aktuellen C-Klasse, die auch eine neuentwickelte Verbrenner-Generation aufnehmen kann. In ihren Akkus kommt das günstigere Lithium-Eisen-Phosphat zum Einsatz. Einem ... Read more »

BEL MOONEY: How could my family cut me off without warning?

Dear Bel Spring will mark six years since I’ve seen my son, daughter-in-law or youngest daughter. I still do not know what I have said or done, as no one ... Read more »

American Airlines puts Europe on sale; Deals start at under $500

MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers. If you’re in the ... Read more »

U.S. and China Block Each Other's Carrier Flights From Landing in International Tit for Tat

© Stefani Reynolds The U.S. Department of Transportation said Friday that it was suspending 44 Chinese carrier passenger flights, after the Chinese government has canceled U.S. flights in recent days. ... Read more »

Germany blocks Estonian arms exports to Ukraine: report

© Provided by DW Unlike the US, UK and Poland, Germany has opposed exporting weapons directly to Ukraine Germany is said to be blocking Estonia from providing German-origin military support ... Read more »

Get Early Access to One of Yosemite's Most Popular Campgrounds — Here's How

© Provided by Travel + Leisure Ron Reznick/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Yosemite National Park is testing out a lottery system for summer reservations at one of its ... Read more »

These One-Pot Coconut Curry Noodles Are Weeknight Gold

These 100% vegan noodles are perfect for super hungry nights when you’re short on time. Feel free to swap in your favorite quick-cooking vegetables, and adjust the amount of curry ... Read more »

Mother: teachers manipulated child to change gender identity

© Provided by Associated Press This Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, photo provided by The Center for American Liberty shows Jessica Konen, left, with her attorney and CEO of The Center ... Read more »

NYC hate-crime complaints skyrocket, with anti-Asian attacks up 343%

Hate-crime complaints skyrocketed by nearly 100 percent in New York City last year — with reported anti-Asian attacks more than tripling, according to newly released NYPD data. Overall, hate-based complaints ... Read more »

REN Skincare’s Newest Powerhouse Vitamin C & Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum Is a Must-Have for Glowing Skin

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SheKnows may receive an affiliate commission. In skincare routines, the one thing you can’t forgo ... Read more »

How to Take Lagundi for Mild COVID Symptoms, from DOST

© Provided by reportr.world Taking Lagundi can relieve symptoms of mild COVID-19, the Department of Science and Technology said Thursday as it emphasized the need to follow the right dosage. ... Read more »

Leni and Sara: Last Men Standing are Women?

© Provided by reportr.world The ballots for the May 9 elections are ready for printing and for the two highest positions in the land, only two women are in the ... Read more »

American snowboarding star Chloe Kim says Simone Biles' withdrawal from Olympic competition was 'inspirational'

© Gregory Bull/AP American snowboarding star Chloe Kim says Simone Biles’ withdrawal from Olympic competition was ‘inspirational’ Chloe Kim said Simone Biles’ withdrawal from Olympic competition was “inspirational.” Kim said ... Read more »

Delhi: 11-yr-old boy dies after accidentally shooting self

© Provided by The Indian Express An 11-year-old boy died after allegedly accidentally shooting himself at his house in Nuh Thursday morning. The boy’s parents had gone to a police ... Read more »

Aparna and Sanghmitra BJP poster girls for women security

© Provided by The Times of India LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s younger daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav and rebel BJP functionary Swami Prasad Maurya’s daughter Sanghmitra Maurya have again ... Read more »

Dead man taken to post office 'in attempt to claim his pension'

A dead man was reportedly taken into an Irish post office in an attempt to claim his pension. © Other Police are investigating the incident. File pic The deceased was ... Read more »

I Use This Squeezable Olive Oil on Everything from Pasta to Ice Cream—and It's Finally Back in Stock

© Provided by Food & Wine Graza I dream of an open, airy kitchen lined with decorative olive oil dispensers—but in reality, years of professional cooking have turned my home ... Read more »

Amar Jawan Jyoti, War Memorial flame are one; Netaji at India Gate

© Provided by The Indian Express The Amar Jawan Jyoti, the eternal flame burning continuously for five decades at India Gate in honour of soldiers who died for the country, ... Read more »

Thunder eggs may not be precious stones, but they are worth millions to generations of kids

© Provided by ABC NEWS Kaleb with two of the many thunder eggs he unearthed during his morning dig at Mt Hay. (ABC Capricornia: Inga Stünzner) After an hour of ... Read more »

5.4-magnitude quake shakes Davao Oriental

© screenshot PHIVOLCS Earthquake Baganga, Davao Oriental A 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck Baganga town in Davao Oriental early Saturday morning, PHIVOLCS reported. The earthquake occurred at 4:43 a.m. with a ... Read more »

Could Ethiopia's ‘false banana' be a wonder crop in face of the climate crisis?

© Getty Images/iStockphoto Enset plant, also known as false banana or Ethiopian banana plant – Getty Images/iStockphoto The climate crisis, exacerbated by the Covid pandemic, has increased food insecurity for ... Read more »

Trough of LPA to bring cloudy skies, scattered rains over Caraga, eastern Visayas

rain thumbnail weather thumb raindrops rainfall rain on ground The shear line will be affecting the eastern section of central Luzon on Saturday as the effects of the northeast monsoon ... Read more »

Inside Lisa Armstrong's life since Ant McPartlin split including new man and home renovations

Lisa Armstrong looks happier than ever four years on from her split from TV star Ant McPartlin. Strictly Come Dancing make-up artist Lisa, 45, and I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out ... Read more »

Cristiano Ronaldo doubtful for Manchester United due to neck problem

Cristiano Ronaldo is a doubt for Manchester United’s match against West Ham due to a neck complaint. Having missed two matches with a hip flexor issue, the 36-year-old frontman returned ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic