Former prostitutes call on Government to change law

Former prostitutes call on Government to change law

Former prostitutes have today called on the Government to make violence against men and women in the sex trade a hate crime.

Two Dublin women who escaped the sex industry want the law changed to protect the estimated 800 prostitutes across the country and penalise those who buy sex.

Rachel Moran and Justine Reilly are co-founders of Space (Survivors of Prostitution-Abuse Calling for Enlightenment), an international group of sex-trade survivors spanning Ireland, the UK, United States, France and Canada.

Ms Moran, 37, said human trafficking and prostitution is a borderless crime, with buyers of sex able to pick a woman being pimped online “at the click of a mouse”.

“In excess of 90% of people prostituted in Ireland today are young women from impoverished countries all over the world, such as Romania, Bulgaria, Nigeria and Brazil,” said Ms Moran, an ex-cocaine addict who was a prostitute for seven years.

“Pimping and trafficking gangs, both foreign and home-grown, have a stranglehold on prostitution in Ireland and have done for many years.

“Legislation is very important because it will make trafficking a non-viable business choice,” she added.

An Oireachtas committee recently proposed that Ireland should adopt a model used in Sweden to penalise buyers of sex rather than prostitutes.

The Committee on Justice recommended that: the accessing of online brothel directories should be made a criminal offence; more supports for women exiting the industry; and the Criminal Assets Bureau should focus on the finances and flow of money to criminal organisations.

Ms Moran urged the Government to implement the measures and to make violent crimes against prostituted persons a hate crime.

“This model of protecting women in prostitution has already been in effect, to great success, in Liverpool since 2006, and we see no reason why it could not or should not be incorporated into our new legal framework, so that those who remain in prostitution in Ireland will be fully protected under Irish Law,” she added.

Ms Reilly said she was forced into prostitution by a former partner for about 17 years until 2010.

The 45-year-old said that without clients, women trafficked into the country by pimps would be thrown out on the streets where they could get support.

“The simple word is hope,” she added.

“When somebody is so destitute and so low they need direction.

“You need to teach these women how to lead a normal life, how to pay their bills, pay their rent.

“If you can give them hope and a journey and a light they will follow.”

More in this Section

Twelfth of July to be marked with at-home celebrations in NorthTwelfth of July to be marked with at-home celebrations in North

Coronavirus has big impact on mental healthCoronavirus has big impact on mental health

Masks confusion as Cork GAA player tests positiveMasks confusion as Cork GAA player tests positive

Picture of garda’s son, 2, shown in interviewPicture of garda’s son, 2, shown in interview


Lifestyle

Conservationist Giles Clark takes on the illegal wildlife trade, as well as the task of building a bear sanctuary in Laos, South-east Asia, in BBC Two series Bears About The House.Five minutes with ... Giles Clark

Forget G-spots. Let's focus on the C-spot and close the orgasm gap once and for all.Sex File: The G-spot is dead. Long live the C-spot

Workshop leaders from the West Cork Literary Festival offer tips for writing in areas such as biography, short stories and travel, writes Des O’DriscollSo you want to be a writer?

'He told us we were so scared of dying, we forgot how to live” - Guru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment is this week's podcast pickPodcast Corner: Guru tells of sweat-lodge tragedy and James Arthur Ray

More From The Irish Examiner