STATISTICS ON SEX TRAFFICKING: Actress who was sex trafficked by a ‘model scout’
‘It can happen to anyone walking down the street’: Actress who was sex trafficked by a ‘model scout’ in central London stars in a film about her ordeal to show women that everyone is vulnerable
A chance encounter with a man on the streets of London led to an aspiring actress being captured and held as a sex slave for three horrifying days.
Frida Farrell, now 36, was forced to have sex with at least five men during the horrifying ordeal, which has now been turned into a film Selling Isobel.
The actress wrote and starred in the movie which tells the story of the terrifying events which took place 14 years ago.
At 22, she moved to the UK to study at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama and largely left modelling behind as she pursued her acting career.
But one day as she was walking down Oxford Street, she was approached by a smartly dressed man, calling himself Peter.
He gave her his card and asked her attend a casting for a holiday brochure shoot.
After checking out his website to make sure it was legitimate, she attended the shoot at an apartment block on Harley Street.
Everything was as it should be with lights, cameras, food and an assistant making sure everything ran smoothly so there was nothing to give her concern.
She then received a call from Peter asking her to come back the next day for a half day shoot, for which she’d be paid £7,000.
But on returning to the building, Peter slammed the door behind her, locked it and produced a knife.
All the trappings of the previous day had disappeared and it was just Frida and Peter alone in the house.
He gave her some milk to drink, which she believes was spiked, made her to put on some used underwear and took more pictures before forcing her to perform a sex act on him.
Later she woke up on a bed with no memory of how she got there and no means of escape. The windows were barred and Peter had removed everything that could potentially be used as a weapon, even the toilet seat.
STATISTICS ON SEX TRAFFICKING
The UN estimates that there are 2.4 million victims of human trafficking around the world at any one time.
Around 80 per cent of these are exploited as sex slaves.
However, other research indicates that the true figure is much higher, at around nine million.
Criminals who buy and sell human beings are said to earn up to $150 billion a year (£99 billion).
Around two thirds of this or $99 billion (£63 billion) comes from sexual exploitation.
According to Crimestoppers, 90 people from the UK were victims of human trafficking in 2013.
Waking up again later, there was a man in the room with her.
‘In between the men coming and going, Peter would tell me “the next one” was on his way,’ she recalled.
‘I don’t know how many there were in total, maybe four or five, but again, maybe it’s better I don’t know.’
After three days, Peter abruptly told her to get up and get ready as someone was coming.
When he left the room, Frida noticed he hadn’t closed the door and as she heard Peter get into the lift she seized her chance.
Grabbing her jacket, she crept up the stairs and ran for the revolving doors and out on to the street and kept running.
She hailed a taxi to a friend’s house, but it was four days before she could bring herself to go to the police.
When she did make a report, she felt as if officers didn’t take it seriously.
‘Peter’s’ fingerprints didn’t match any in the database, they couldn’t trace his pay-as-you-go SIM and although they tracked his website to Eastern Europe it didn’t give them any information on his whereabouts.
As well as writing the film Selling Isobel, Frida decided to play the main charater herself.
She hopes the film will help other young women avoid making a similar mistake by showing that something like this can happen to anyone.
‘If I say ‘imagine a sex trafficking victim’, you often think of someone from Eastern Europe who doesn’t speak the language,’ she told The Telegraph.
‘But it can happen to anyone walking down the street. I’m Swedish, but I speak good English and I wasn’t struggling for money.’
Frida, who is also a singer, has starred in movies such as Contract Killers for which she won and Action On Film Festival award for Breakout Female Star in a Feature and she has also produced six films.
- Swedish-born Frida Farrell, 36, was sex trafficked 14 years ago
- Held in a London apartment and forced to have sex with strangers
- Was lured by a man posing as a casting director offering modelling job
- Has written and starred in film Selling Isobel about her ordeal