Wednesday 25 April 2018

Grainne O'Toole: First thing all victims need is simply to be believed

The State can learn lessons from the British slave saga about how best to help people recover, writes Grainne O'Toole

Grainne O'Toole

AS the case of slavery in Britain unfolds, one of the most extraordinary elements being grappled with by the public and professionals alike is understanding the techniques of control used by the perpetrators over the three women that effectively kept them in this servitude for 30 years. The truth is that fear, isolation and hopelessness are the invisible chains used in modern-day slavery.

What distinguishes slavery from other forms of exploitation is the element of threat and control that is used by perpetrators to keep victims in a subservient position.

This threat can be in the form of psychological or physical abuse, or both. This results in the victim losing complete control of their own life. They no longer have freedom or autonomy.

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