Yarmouth Christians unveil anti-slavery mural
An eye-catching mural that could help to save lives has been installed in Great Yarmouth this week to help combat modern slavery.
Commissioned by Park Baptist Church and Imagine Norfolk Together, the mural was unveiled at a ceremony one Monday in October to mark anti-slavery day. It depicts four of the most common industries where slavery occurs: Carwashes, nail bars, construction and domestic work, and is accompanied by a plaque with further details on how to spot the signs of what is a growing national problem.
Unveiling the mural, Rev Dr Dan Pratt, founder of The Together Free Foundation, said: “This new mural highlights how victims of modern slavery can be hidden in plain sight within every community. This innovative and creative initiative to raise awareness could help to save the lives of people trapped in exploitation.”
The mural can be found on the Michael Blank / Middlegate Hut on Tolhouse Street in Yarmouth and is part of a wider local strategy to raise awareness of modern slavery, which encompasses both the trafficking of people into, out of and around the UK, and exploitation itself.
Anna Heydon, Development Worker with Imagine Norfolk Together, said: “Modern Slavery is a hideous crime which thrives on secrecy and people’s unwillingness to admit or recognise that it happens where they live. This mural is a call to action. We must refuse to ignore or turn a blind eye from situations of injustice and oppression, but instead to stand against them and to stand with the victims.”
Rev. Peter Timothy, minister of Park Baptist Church, added: “Our aim is to help raise awareness and educate our community, so that our town may be a place where the vulnerable feel safe and where traffickers know there are no hiding places for this cruel and de-humanising act.”
Each year thousands of referrals concerning modern slavery are made to authorities, with incidents of trafficked children being reported in every local area in the UK. The exact number of people trapped in slavery is difficult to determine, but cases continue to increase, with the true number of victims thought to be much higher due to the difficulties in detecting and reporting the crime.
To help improve awareness, Great Yarmouth Library hosted a display of books related to the subject, whilst Ms Heydon was accompanied by PC Claire Hamilton-Deane to host an information stall at the library cafe to help answer questions on slavery, pictured right.
PC Hamilton-Deane was keen to emphasise the need for the public to report their concerns: “If you spot one of the signs of modern slavery or witness something that concerns you, please report it to 101, or call 999 if someone is in immediate danger.”
To find out more about modern slavery download the Unseen App or visit theclewerinitiative.org.
Read our previous story about the anti-slavery mural here.
The photos are courtesy of Imagine Norfolk Together.
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