"At first I thought it was bullying, but they were always the ones making the money. It was exploitation and I wish I realised sooner."

Predatory characters will target people who are down on their luck and try to exploit them. People who have recently become homeless are particularly vulnerable.

You should seek free, reliable and confidential help if you or someone you know has:

  • Been given drugs or alcohol as ‘payment’ for doing what someone else says 
  • Received a gift you are later asked to pay back through money or favours 
  • Been asked to pay back a debt with favours or uncontracted work 
  • Received threats or violence for not doing what someone asks you to do 
  • Been emotionally guilt-tripped into making money for someone who has previously helped you in a crisis  
  • Been forced to withdraw benefits for someone else 
  • Paid a cut of your Universal Credit into someone else’s account  
  • Had private photos used as a form of blackmail 
  • Been pressured to do what another person asks 

Pressure can take many forms. Someone might ask you to:

Support available

If you're struggling financially, emotionally or mentally, know that there is always free, confidential support available. Not only can you get help developing new skills and confidence, you can work to address your problems and get things back on track.

Sanctuary Trust

Sanctuary Trust is a registered charity working with homelessness and homeless related poverty and emergency homeless issues. God’s Sanctuary was the vision of Sheila Halsall after seeing the level of homelessness Rochdale and later the homelessness Conwy and the substance misuse such as Drugs and Alcohol. 

Sanctuary Trust can help you access: 

  • Support if you have been attacked or assaulted 
  • Support with benefits and finance 
  • Access to food hampers 
  • Support and treatment for drug and alcohol use 
  • Help getting set up online and accessing support 
  • Gaining access to training and employment 
  • Help with housing 
  • Support to access GP 
  • In house counselling 
  • Support with family problems or relationship issues 
  • Help accessing mental health support 
  • Free contraception (including condoms) 
  • Needle exchange 
  • Sexual health screening 

For help and support contact Sanctuary Trust using the details below. 

Sanctuary Trust

24 hour messaging is available on the number below.

0800 254 5245


If you think you, or someone you know, is experiencing exploitation, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

In an emergency, dial 999.