Author: Liam Kirkaldy
Beatrice, originally from West Africa, first came to the UK in 2012 to study.
Her father supported her financially at first but when she became pregnant, he disowned her, cutting off all support in the process. Her partner then left and, having overstayed her visa, she found herself in the UK unlawfully, with no income and unable to pay rent.
After that, Beatrice moved in with another man, who became violent. Yet, afraid of being deported while heavily pregnant, she was unable to leave or go to the police. Eventually, with three weeks until her due date and with the help of a local church, she moved out.
It was the day after she gave birth that the first debt letter arrived from the hospital, demanding £6,000 to cover her maternity costs.