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New novel explores horror of modern slavery in UK-author available for interview

Press Release - Human Trafficking Happens & We Need To Talk About It (And Tackle It)



Sunday 30thJuly - World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

[image]Modern slavery is real. It is happening in our communities. We interact with it on a daily basis. There are more slaves in our world today than there were during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, a trade abolished in 1807, but still prevalent in our society 210 years later. It is an illicit trade and a crime, but it impacts men, women and children. Nearly 4,000 people are identified as potential victims of modern slavery in the UK each year; it is widely expected that this is just the tip of the iceberg.


‘After Leaving the Village', a contemporary suspense thriller by Helen Matthews (to be published by Hashtag Press in October) follows the journey of Odeta, an ordinary girl from a normal village family in Albania. Odeta's life isn't exceptionally hard but it's mundane so when she meets a fascinating stranger, Kreshnik, who promises her an exciting new career in London, the temptation to travel with him is overwhelming.


Once Odeta arrives in London, her life changes in ways she could never have imagined. This doesn't mean she's naïve. The promise of adventure, an urge to go out and explore the world rather than remain in a village repeating the pattern of life her parents' families have lived for generations is natural. Who wouldn't grasp the chance to escape?


Meanwhile on the same London street, journalist Kate is going about her daily life - working, raising her son, facing secrets from her past, dealing with family crises, making new friends - unaware of what is happening behind the closed doors of number thirty-eight.


"My novel is a thriller with a social conscience," says author Helen Matthews. "All the characters, places and incidents are entirely fictional but I hope that - along with being a gripping read - my book will help to raise awareness of human trafficking in the UK."


"After Leaving the Village is a captivating and accurate portrayal of trafficking and sexual exploitation. Slavery is not a thing of the past and this story is common - the promise of more, the prospect of adventure and escape, the frenzy of falling in love," says Kate Garbers, Founder & Director, Unseen.


Human trafficking is a hidden crime and it is important to know the signs and report anything suspicious in your community. To mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (Sunday 30thJuly), anti-slavery charity, Unseen, has produced a new short film, which shows some of the ways people are trafficked in the UK and who to call for advice, support or to report a crime.


To watch the full film, due for international release on Sunday 30thJuly, and read more about its characters click here:

Film link:

Modern Slavery Helpline: 08000 121 700.




For more information about ‘After Leaving the Village' (published October 12th, £7.99, Hashtag Press) and author Helen Matthews, editorial opportunities, interview requests or review copies please get in touch with +44 (0) 7904801669.


For further information about the Human Slavery helpline, the work of Unseen and the film, contact Hannah