About 13,000 people are kept in slavery in the UK. Amy Romer’s book The Dark Figure* reveals the terrifying ordinariness of the sites of their captivity

In 2013, a 22-year-old Hungarian woman responded to an online ad for a babysitting job in London and, after a telephone interview, was offered the post. When she arrived in Budapest to travel to London, she was met by three men who confiscated her mobile, drove her to Slovakia and forced her on to a coach bound for Manchester.

There was no babysitting job. Instead, the woman had been “bought” for £3,500 by a Pakistani man and was told to prepare for marriage. After being held captive at various Manchester addresses, she finally alerted the police from a house in Cunliffe Street, Chorley, where she was rescued and later repatriated home.

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