“I was never treated like a human being, but instead I was treated like a machine, or a donkey that had to be beaten to make it work harder. Beatings and verbal abuse were routine for me.” - Tatinatt, slavery survivor, Niger
This week is mental health awareness week so we’re getting in touch to tell you about the impact of slavery on mental health and how together we’re helping survivors overcome it. Adults and children escaping slavery often suffer from serious, ongoing mental health issues caused by theemotional, physical or sexual abuse they’ve endured. Across many of our projects supporting modern slavery survivors, we seek to address people’s emotional needsalongside their physical ones. For example, in Niger and Mauritania, where people are still born into slavery, we provide mentors, who are themselves survivors, to provide peer support for newly freed people. These mentors help boost survivors’ self-esteem and social networks and ensure they always have someone to turn to for emotional support as they learn to live in freedom.
We also provide micro-credit and training for groups of survivors to set up small businesses. This helps people acquire new life skills, form relationships, build self-confidence and learn to work together as a collective.
Thanks to projects like these, Tatinatt now has hope for the future: “Our children are being educated and we are receiving help to start making a living. I never believed that a woman, especially a slave woman, could make her own fortune. But now I have 10 goats and I sell sugar, tea, tobacco, cooking oil and sauces... The support from Anti-Slavery has changed our lives.”
Together, we are making a difference - thank you so much for your support.