Aina's story

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Aina was only twenty-one when she got married in her Malaysian hometown near the border of Singapore. Madly in love, she didn’t notice how isolated she was gradually becoming from her family and friends.

“We kept moving house,” she said. “My parents never knew where I was. He didn’t like me to see them, or my sister. On the few times that I did go, he would take me there and back, and wait with me. He was always with me.”

Aina’s husband turned out to be a con man, and instead of working, he made money from insurance scams. He quickly began using Aina in his schemes to con people.

“He used to make me fake injuries so we could claim the insurance money,” Aina said.

“Then he said we needed more money, and that I should be a prostitute. I knew it wasn’t right, and I felt a lot of shame, but he said I should do those things because I loved him, and I thought I did love him. He was very controlling and emotionally violent.

“I didn’t know how to run away. He had all my identification documents, and I felt like I didn’t have anyone. He made me crazy.”

After years of emotional abuse, and three children later, Aina left her husband. He threatened to kill her if she didn’t return, but she fled to England where she claimed asylum.
After hearing her story, the Home Office referred her into the Government’s support system for modern slavery survivors where she was supported by Causeway.

“My case worker helped me a lot,” said Aina.
“I had been cheated for so long that I felt like a child, I had no confidence left.”

Aina, who had dreams of becoming a teacher before she got married, is now living happily in the North West, and is hoping to become a teaching assistant.

“I work in the kitchen of a primary school at the moment,” she said. “I love my job, I’m very happy there. My colleagues are nice, and I’ve made a lot of friends.”

Aina, who lives with her daughter, and has her sons nearby, is now thriving in her new independent life, and is thankful for the chance her children have to live a comfortable life.

“I love the UK, and I am very grateful to be living here,” she said. “I was unsafe before, but now my life is stable, happy and peaceful.”