Ella’s opened to help meet
a desperate need here in the UK.
In 2017 there were 5,145 people referred as potential victims of trafficking to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM)* in the UK. People identified in this way are given time in shelters to reflect and recover, approx 45 days. The organisations that run these shelters all go above and beyond and do an amazing work to support the people referred to them. However, more resources and further aftercare is needed to keep up with the demand and to continue the recovery process. You can read more about the NRM here.
''Unlike victims of modern slavery in Northern Ireland and Scotland, the law in England and Wales currently does not give victims a right to support. The Government provides these victims with a limited period of care on a non-statutory basis while the authorities decide if the person is a victim, but then the support ends. Although some victims are entitled to further help, the vast majority (and this is true of victims across the UK) are left to fend for themselves, often at risk of homelessness and vulnerable to being re-trafficked.’’ (Free for Good Campaign)
“The key message from aftercare providers is that in light of the resources and provision that is actually available, 45 days is an unrealistic time frame to prepare a survivor for recovery.”
It Happens Here - Equipping the UK to fight modern slavery A report by The Centre for Social Justice, March 2013
Sadly the NRM figures only represent a snapshot of the problem of trafficking in the UK. There are actually many more who have been exploited and trafficked but go undocumented.
Ella is one example. Ella was in a terrible mental and physical state when she left the brothel in London she had been in, and was neither prepared nor capable of talking about her situation. The NRM relies on a testimony to determine the status of a victim, so Ella was deemed ineligible for support. Ella was extremely vulnerable and yet could not access care and a safe place to stay when she needed it most. Ella’s is named after her.
Ella’s has the backing of a number of key anti-trafficking organisations such as The Medaille Trust, who recognise there is a huge need for aftercare that helps women escape cycles of exploitation and who are waiting to refer women to Ella’s.
Ella’s is be able to house women to enable their recovery from sexual exploitation and support them back into life, community and freedom.