ANNA'S STORY

At 19 years old, Anna found herself in a strange country, where she spoke very little of the language, had no money and was not entitled to benefits.

She wanted to work but was unable to find consistent employment, had a drug and alcohol dependency and soon found that the only way she was able to get away from the men that brought her to the country was by becoming involved with another, much older man.

A Bridge caseworker that supported young women first met the couple when they were rough sleeping. She was able to offer them both a warm safe space at The Bridge for a few hours during the day, along with a meal, shower, washing facilities and change of clothing.

After a while, it became apparent there were domestic violence concerns for Anna, which were also confirmed by other agencies but it was hard for Anna to get away from the older man because she didn't know anybody else in the country, and when she did try to leave he made other men harass her and make her feel unsafe.

With help from other organisations in the city, her caseworker was able to place Anna in secure, supported accommodation. Being able to spend time at The Bridge and away from the intense relationship she was in and by spending time with her caseworker, Anna was able to explore what she wanted from life, consider her options and learn that she was loved and of value.

However, like in so many similar cases, the man Anna was involved with wanted to isolate her and keep her under his control, so he took her to another city, away from her support network and from the few people that did know her.

Luckily, a caseworker from another homeless organisation was able to locate Anna and she contacted The Bridge to let them know that she was safe. The Bridge caseworker was then able to liaise with the other organisation to make sure Anna was looked after and most importantly, that she was heard and understood.

Soon after contacting The Bridge, Anna took the opportunity to return back home, safely to her mother.

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