Renata*, from Latin America, was studying law when she was attacked, raped and disowned by her family. Alone and unhappy she dreamed of becoming a lawyer but needed money to pay for her studies.
Renata was offered a job in Italy: “I was told that I would be working in a restaurant and could earn enough money to pay for university…but when I arrived in Italy I was raped and forced into prostitution. This torture lasted for years until I finally escaped.”
Renata provided evidence against her traffickers to the Italian police, thinking she would be safe. But the gang found her and sent her death threats. So Renata fled to the UK, where she came to a Medaille Trust safe house.
“Medaille Trust supported me in accessing medical and mental healthcare, education and legal advice. But more than anything else, Medaille’s staff helped me to trust again and not to lose faith.”
Renata took up running to help her cope: “When I run, I feel free, as if no one can touch me and all my worries are left behind…Now my dream of becoming a lawyer is even stronger because I feel I need to help others in my situation. Everyone should be allowed to be free.”
*Name changed for security reasons