“I never thought this would be a label that ever applied to me – a modern day slave.
At 15, I had an older boyfriend. His reputation was not the best, and this caused problems between me and my parents. By the time I was 16 I was living with him. Over the next few years, our relationship turned sour. He became abusive. Eventually, I left.
I stayed on different friends’ sofas, until one day I saw an online advert for a hotel job with accommodation included. It seemed like the solution.
It wasn’t what I had hoped. The accommodation was a dormitory with filthy facilities. There was no central heating. The manager was intimidating and controlling; I was asked to work really long hours, otherwise I would be evicted. He took over half of my pay to cover the accommodation, so I barely had enough to buy food, let alone save anything. I felt stuck. There was no other way to keep a roof over my head.
Then, one of the girls reported him for labour exploitation, and the place was shut down. I was given support by the Unseen charity. I have even started rebuilding my relationship with my parents and hope to move back home soon.”