Adina Mukakalisa was originally from Rwanda, but moved to Uganda when she was very young. When she was a teenager, her parents both died, and she found work helping on a market stall in Kampala. One day, when Adina was nearly 15 years old, the woman who ran the stall told her to go with two men who were going to take her to live abroad, where she would be safe and could go to school.
Adina was put on a plane to the UK. A man collected her at the airport and took her to a house where another man was living. For the next two years, Adina was forced to live in the locked kitchen. She had access only to a toilet and a basin where she could wash. If she climbed on a chair, she could just see into the garden. She didn’t know where she was. Adina’s “job” was to clean and cook for the man who, after some time, was joined by a second.
After a couple of months, her job took on a new element – she was taken upstairs and raped. This went on for a long time. After around two years – exact timings are difficult in such circumstances – one of the men, drunk, failed to lock the kitchen door. As he slept, Adina found the keys to the front door. But as she shut the door behind her, he woke up and ran after her. She had to hide in a ditch and, when he had gone, she managed to flag down a passing car. The driver dropped her at Marylebone Police Station in London, and they called social services, who got her the help and support she needed. Adina was then just 17 years old.
Case Study courtesy of Unicef www.unicef.org.uk