How Tamar is fighting modern slavery

Tamar 
What is Tamar?

Tamar is a befriending service that works to fight Modern Slavery with a focus trafficked women in Massage Parlours, Independent Flats and Brothels.

When was Tamar launched?

Tamar began working in Westminster in 2013.  We have grown from six volunteers to 50 volunteers and one full time staff member.

Why was Tamar started?

It was a response to the horrors of modern slavery.  There are 45 Million Slaves in the world today more than have ever existed in all of history.  Modern slavery encompasses slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human.  This includes the sex industry- where the police estimate that 50 per cent of sex workers in London are trafficked.

What are its aims and goals?

Tamar is focused on befriending and supporting workers in the sex industry with a focus on trafficked women. We believe that we are called to love, support and share what we can with our neighbours, to journey alongside and build each other up.  Our goal is to give them a sense of hope.  We aim to provide practical support to the women in the form of English lessons and connections to NHS and other council services.

Where does Tamar focus its efforts?

We work in Westminister borough and we have just started work in the City.

What has Tamar achieved so far?

In the last two years Tamar has been able to meet and support over 600 women in the sex industry including trafficked women.  We have been able to attain justice for some of these trafficked women in court proceedings, and secured safe houses for them.

What are Tamar’s plans for the future?

We aim to expand our efforts within The City, and we want to be able to support the creation of other “Tamar” organisations around the country.

How does Tamar aim to achieve these?

Our plan is to recruit a second full time worker to support the ‘planting’ of other Tamars around the country, and expand our efforts to recruit volunteers.

What can WeAreTheCity readers do to help Tamar?

We would love for you to learn more about the issues surrounding Modern Slavery at our Film Night on 12 October. Register here.

We would also invite you to join in the fight by supporting us through a donation to our work.  £5 a month would make a real difference in helping these vulnerable women. https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/tamar


One woman’s story:

I come from Thailand. I came to the UK for work. Someone said they could help me travel and come to the UK. Before I didn’t know exactly where I would work or where I would stay. I just knew I would come to the UK. I didn’t know what they would make me do. I don’t know how long it was but I think for four months I was made to work. I couldn’t go out very far. People would come to check on me but they wouldn’t tell me when or who. But I knew people could come and check on me so I couldn’t go anywhere.

Where I was staying was like jail. I cannot go out, cannot go anywhere. I feel sick and I cannot go to see the doctor, I cannot rest, I had to work. When I was sick I still had to work, so I didn’t feel very well. I was being controlled. 

I felt I had no hope. I felt I had to do that job forever and I felt very ashamed. I felt very bad in my life.

That day when Tamar came to visit with the police I felt freedom. I felt like I had someone who had come to help me and get me out from that job. I knew I didn’t need to do that job anymore. I was worried I might get sent back to Thailand. But anything was better than that flat. Because if I stayed in the flat I had to work and that was not good for me. So I chose to come with them.

Tamar helped me start my new life. They helped me with my documents, and with the police. They helped me to apply for support, and they helped me with many things. They always helped support me when I moved to a different city. Many things happened in my life and I moved many times. But always Tamar contacted and supported me– even when I was far away they still contacted me and supported me. They always stayed with me. Now I feel I’m not alone. When I have any problem, they always helped me. There’s so many things I could say.

I think Tamar is very important for me and for many girls because if I was alone without Tamar, I don’t know anyone who could help me or anyone who could support me. I think I would give up if I didn’t have Tamar to help me. I cannot do many things by myself. I think if I was alone I don’t know how to start my life in the UK or how to support myself.

Tamar has been very important for me because they support me with so many things. They helped me to start a new life in the UK.

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