Tomi grew up in Nigeria with his mother and younger sister. His abusive father left when he was nine. His mother turned to prostitution to provide for her children. One of the men who visited his mother always brought with him toys and treats for the children. Tomi called him “uncle”. When Tomi turned thirteen, “uncle” offered to take him to London where he could study and find a better future. Reluctantly, his mother agreed.

Tomi was excited to leave and at the prospect of building a new life and supporting his mum and siblings. However, the minute he landed in London, he realised something was wrong.  His “uncle” stopped being nice. They got in a car with three other men and Tomi was driven to a flat. That was the last he saw of “uncle”. From then on, Tomi was driven from house to house where he was forced to sleep with older women and to take drugs and alcohol. Tomi was subjected to regular beatings and rape for six years.

One of the women Tomi visited promised to help him if he agreed to live with her. Tomi cooperated in order to escape. Whilst travelling with the woman, Tomi pretended he wanted to use the toilets at a petrol station. From there, he managed to ran away and started to sleep rough. Begging for work, Tomi was offered a floor to sleep on at a shop in exchange for cleaning.

Tomi attended a Nigerian church where he first found the strength to share his story. His pastor helped him go to the police from where he was referred to The Salvation Army and Hestia. Since being referred, Tomi has been volunteering to support homeless children and drug addicts at his local church.