Some of you have been kindly following the sad story of Serena, our Burkina Faso trafficked lady, and her daughter Tila, who is just beginning to talk at the age of 5. You’ll remember that she has been to court twice, and now she has to go back again.
This time, however, she has a new lawyer who has really done his homework. He’s pulled out all the stops to tackle the stupid, specious and superficial comments of the Borders Agency against their staying in this country, which did not even take into account Tila’s needs. He has sent Serena to a psychiatric consultant with 20 years of working in this area, for an assessment. He has got a report from the consultant who has assessed Tila’s development. He has even commissioned a country report on Burkina Faso.
I was copying it all today, as Hub needs his own copies for the hearing tomorrow. I then took away her witness statement, and very nearly finished up in tears. It is so awful, the way she was taken advantage of, told lies, imprisoned with no money and with her passport taken away, and forced into prostitution. When she finally got away, the Nigerian father of Tila abandoned her – in the doctor’s surgery. She said he got into a taxi and she never saw him again. She has been depressed, sometimes suicidal, ever since.
She needs to stay here, for her own mental well-being and for the continued progress of Tila. Back in Burkina Faso Tila would be regarded as a ‘spirit child’ as she has a disability, and the outcome doesn’t bear thinking about.
There is a lot of grumbling in this country about immigrants, but I can assure you that it is extraordinarily difficult for anyone to stay in this country once they have come to the attention of the Home Office. I wish however that they would prosecute those who are just trying it on, and have some compassion on those who are desperate and have nobody and nothing to go back to and no support whatsoever.
If you pray, please remember us: 10am tomorrow although we shall probably be there for several hours. If you don’t pray, we would be grateful for your positive thoughts – and perhaps some of Janet’s hummingbirds!