Plans for a safe house have been submitted to help trafficked women to safety.

Local charity Invisible Traffick GB (ITGB) wants to open their first “a house of safety” in Kirklees to help six women over 18 from around the UK recover from their ordeals.

Alison Ellis, a manager of the charity, said it will offer longer term 24/7 support for those who have been referred from government-funded safe accommodation, which they can only access for 45 days.

The plans are still under consideration by Kirklees Council planners but if successful, Invisible Traffick GB will become the first organisation in the north to offer such a facility.

The term human trafficking refers to the movement of a person from one place to another into conditions of exploitation, using techniques such as deception, coercion and the abuse of power.

Talking about the house plans, Alison said: “We want to raise awareness about the effects of human trafficking and take a giant leap in providing much needed long term aftercare for female victims.

Invisible Traffick GB awareness raising material

“As it stands, immediate support is only funded by the government for 45 days.

“We believe that the effects of sexual exploitation through human trafficking can be lifelong so have raised money towards offering support to treat the psychological effects.

“West Yorkshire has a huge problem with human trafficking, however as a geographical area we are all working hard to combat this terrible crime.

“So it made sense that while organisations here are spreading the word that we should also lead the way in long term after care.”

Alison talked about what the house will offer.

“It will provide a homely environment to support girls to recover”, she said.

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“This can be envisioned as scaffolding around each girl that we will slowly remove, until each girl can stand alone.

“Each referral will be individually assessed. As everyone is individual and reactions to trauma will differ, it is very difficult to put a time limit on care.

“We are however very mindful to avoid attachment issues arising and will promote independence and exit plans once individuals are showing signs of recovery.

“Human trafficking can affect all aspects of an individual’s life from mental illness and physical health and hinder one’s ability to cope with life.

“Our hope is to see clients progress to lead successful lives, develop healthy relationships and reach their full potential.”

Invisible Traffick GB logo

Barriers have had to be overcome for the safe house, the latest project for the charity which also works with other organisations to stop trafficking.

“The vision for the house has been in planning for two years.

“I have given up my career as a learning disability nurse to enable me to dedicate all my time to ITGB.

“The other barriers are obviously finance. We have been awarded some funding, however we are continuously raising funds ourselves.

“We are so grateful to everyone who supports us and would ask anyone who would like to get involved in any way to contact us.”

For more information on how to volunteer, go to invisibletraffick-gb.org