Mo was 17 years old when she left her father in Congo in order to come to the UK with family friends. Mo’s mother had left her family when she was a little girl. These family friends promised her and her father that they would adopt Mo and send her to school in the UK – something that Mo was excited about because she loved studying.
However, once they arrived, Mo was told that she was to take care of three children including the newborn baby, while the wife went to work at a reputable company in the City. Mo was given only 30 pounds per month. The husband was not working and stayed home, and attempted to force her to have sex with him. He abused everybody at home both physically and verbally.
Mo’s life became increasingly difficult – although she was trying to study English at college, she always had to rush home to perform her duties, and she never made any friends. She was told not to talk to anybody outside the home, and she became increasingly isolated. But she did eventually meet a boy at college, and fell pregnant. This is when the abuse got even worse – culminating in a miscarriage.
But this was also her saviour. During a check up at the GP, the doctor noticed that she was thin, malnourished, and clearly very stressed. After some coaxing, Mo managed to tell the GP what had been happening to her. The GP realised that she was a vulnerable child, and called social services straight away. They found her safe accommodation through BAWSO and the Salvation Army – giving her time to recover, and find her feet. Now aged 20, Mo is eager to go back to college, and start a new life.
Case study courtesy of BAWSO: www.bawso.org.uk