Linh's story - Refugee Council

Linh’s story

Linh was discovered by the police in the back of a lorry. Aged just 15, she had been trafficked into the UK.

Social services were called and she was placed with a foster family. Linh was discovered to be five months pregnant. Distressingly, she said that the pregnancy was the result of numerous sexual assaults, including rape, by her traffickers.

Linh was terrified of losing her baby. She thought her child would be taken from her if her true age was discovered. So she told her social worker that she was 19 years old. This meant that at 15 years old, Linh was sent to live in accommodation alongside adults.

Linh found help when she attended our drop-in service for age disputed young people. Our adviser referred her to social services, and requested an age assessment. The adviser also found Linh a solicitor and explained the different options and outcomes Linh could expect. Following our advice, Linh decided to explain why she had given a different age and challenge the original decision made about her age.

By this time, Linh had been living on her own for six weeks in adult accommodation while five months pregnant. We helped ensure she was cared for by social services while she waited for her new age assessment.

Thankfully, her true age was believed. Linh moved in with a foster family and gave birth to a baby boy. Without the help of our adviser, Linh would not have received the support and she and her baby son needed.

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