Alberto’s story

Alberto was from Lithuania, as a child he had experienced both physical and emotional abuse from his alcoholic Father who beat him daily. At the age of 10 he suffered his first epilepsy petit mal seizure which was misdiagnosed as a tantrum and he was subsequently beaten every time he suffered a seizure.

Alberto was 17 when his father died, and it was expected he would take on the role of looking after the family. The family lived in a rural village with high unemployment and although Alberto looked for work to support his mother and younger siblings, his lack of education due to his epilepsy made it impossible to find any.

When two men came to the village looking for young men to work abroad, all travel expenses covered, good wages and working conditions, Alberto grasped the opportunity. He travelled to the UK by van with five older unemployed men who were also excited and expectant of improving their financial position and being able to provide for families back home.

On arrival in the UK, they were taken to a house already shared by ten other men. He already was given a blanket and told to sleep on the floor.

Alberto was given work on a building site. He started at 7.30am, working all day with no breaks and sometimes seven days a week. His work was to assist in the demolition of a block of flats using only hand tools and no protective clothing or safety equipment. Wages were not always paid but when he did the deductions made by the traffickers were so high it left Alberto scarcely enough to purchase food and medication to control his epilepsy. All thoughts he had of sending money to support his family back home were crushed.

He was both verbally and physically abused by the traffickers and the multiple cuts and open wounds he sustained on his hands and limbs became infected. The traffickers had taken his passport and as he was unable to speak any English so had no means of escape. Thankfully, Alberto was rescued during a Police raid which enabled him to escape the traffickers.

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