In a Facebook Live event hosted by Hestia and The Clewer Initiative on Wednesday 17 February, frontline experts and campaigners came together to discuss the exploitation of women and girls in the UK and how we can spot the signs and support victims as part of the 'Women in the Shadows' series.

Contributors included Alison Logier, Hestia’s Modern Slavery Service Manager, journalist and modern slavery author, Louise Hulland, Jen Baines from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) and chair of The Clewer Initiative, Bishop Alastair Redfern.

The discussion explored the reasons why women and young girls are so disproportionately affected by modern slavery, how those looking to exploit exercise control and how the public can both recognise exploitation in different workplaces and how to report it.

Bishop Alastair emphasised the importance of collaboration between organisation who are fighting modern slavery and praised Hestia’s involvement with survivors:

‘Hestia does enormous work with victims which can help us as we find victims in communities and find out the right ways of responding.’

Alison Logier emphasised the importance of autonomy and choice when working with survivors of modern slavery.

‘The first thing we do when we work with a victim of modern slavery is let them know what their rights are. It’s not telling them what to do, we tell them what’s available and ask them what they want.’

Women in the Shadows is a new resource produced by The Clewer Initiative, launched to shine a light on the suffering of women and girls who are exploited in the UK today. Each week of Lent, the course will explore a different theme to investigate specific types of modern slavery affecting women and girls and how we can both support them and bring about change.

The films consist of survivor stories and insight from experts and campaigners. They can be watched as standalone documentaries or as part of the complete course. You can access the full course here.