Slavery is happening in our backyard. It is not a distant concern for developing nations. It is present and prevalent here on Australian shores. Behind the closed doors of many Aussie homes and businesses lies voiceless individuals. They have been tricked or forced into servitude. Here are just three examples of women caught up in terrible violence. And these stories came to light in the last year, right in our own backyard.
Slavery in Sydney’s Backyard
Just this last month, November 2021, cake shop owners in Western Sydney were charged with enslaving a woman. Incredibly they were forcing her to work in their store against her will. The couple has been accused of confiscating her passport. They were forcing her to work excessive hours. And they were preventing her from accessing a bank account. While working unpaid, the victim was threatened with deportation. Also, she was isolated from the community to prevent her from accessing help. Read more here.
Slavery in Melbourne’s Backyard
More stories have emerged throughout the past year of people being held captive in Australian homes, including a grandmother in Melbourne who was allegedly enslaved for 8 years. She returned to India twice, but on returning from the third visit she was trapped by the family she worked for and was forced to cook, clean, and care for the children for $3.39 per day. Starved, mistreated and underpaid, she collapsed on the home’s floor and was left lying there as the family refused to call 000 until after their daughter’s concert. On admission to hospital, the woman weighed only 40kg and was severely malnourished as she depended entirely on the family to feed her. Read this story here.
Slavery in a Country Town
Domestic servitude is one type of slavery in Australia, but not the only one. In early 2021, an Armidale cult leader was exposed for sex trafficking a woman who was subjected to a bondage lifestyle and ‘slave-like conditions’. She was coerced to sign a slavery contract, wear a slave collar and receive a slave tattoo. Slavery is not a tragedy reserved for the history books. It is happening today and in our backyard. These few stories only skim the surface of the real problem of slavery in our country. In this beautiful and prosperous country, we must not fall into the belief that Australia’s picturesque neighbourhoods are immune to slavery. Read this story here.
The Freedom Hub works to support victims of this crime and there is not a city in Australia untouched by this horrendous abuse of women. We frequently get asked ” Why don’t we know this is happening in our own backyard?”. The main reason is until recently we did not have many laws to safeguard victims. Therefore the media could not report and corrupt businesses could get away with it. Now that we have a Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act and an NSW Modern Slavery Act; businesses, employees and media are reporting. So awareness is being raised, but we have a long way to go to end this crime.
Want to help Make a Difference NOW?
High Teas for Humanity – Celebrate freedom on Human Rights Day (10th December) by coming to our High Tea or you could run your own high tea and fundraise for victims of violence in slavery in our Survivor School.
End of Year Giving – purchase from our shop and know that 100% of the profits from your purchase supports victims of violence in slavery in our survivor school.
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