Police were alerted to their plight after one of the women managed to call a charity
Three women forced into domestic slavery have been rescued from a house in Lambeth after ‘invisible handcuffs’ kept them captive for around 30 years.
A 30-year-old British woman, a 57-year-old Irish woman and a 69-year-old Malaysian woman were rescued from the house after the Irish woman made a phone call to a charity which helped raise the alarm.
Freedom Charity contacted police officers last month to tell them about the call they had received from the woman, who said she had been held at the house for decades against her will.
The charity explained that after a series of phone calls which took place over the course of the week, the Irish and British women were able to leave the house when the owners were absent on October 25.
The two women were met by members of the charity and the police before going back to the address to rescue the Malaysian woman. All three were then swiftly moved to a safe location.
Aneeta Prem, founder of Freedom Charity, said: “It was a very emotional time. When we got the message they were outside the front door, the whole call centre erupted in cheers and there were tears, and everyone was incredibly emotional to know we had helped to rescue three ladies who had been held in such horrific conditions.”
The 30-year-old woman is thought to have spent her whole life in captivity and investigations are underway to determine whether or not she was born in the house.
Police believe that years of emotional abuse were endured by the women and that they had been subjected to brainwashing which resulted in the ‘invisible handcuffs’ which kept them imprisoned.
Commander Steve Rodhouse said: “It is a serious case, clearly different, unique and hugely troubling.
“We have three women who have endured many years of emotional abuse.”
It is not thought that any sexual abuse occurred but one of the women said she had been beaten.
The relationship between the three women is being investigated and no conclusions have yet been reached, although it is believed that the 30-year-old woman could be the daughter of one of the other women who were held captive.
A 67-year-old man and woman were arrested at the Lambeth property on suspicion of false imprisonment and assault. They were released on bail after questioning with a condition of their release being that they do not return to the house where they lived.
It has been confirmed that the pair are foreign nationals and investigations into immigration offences are also underway.
Police say the inquiry into what happened to the women over the last 30 years could take several months.
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Picture courtesy of ray forster, with thanks