[Brussels, 18 January 2017] Ruhama, Ireland’s only dedicated national frontline NGO supporting women affected by prostitution and sex trafficking, today reveals what Irish sex buyers really think about the women they pay for sex. Ruhama has released a short video highlighting the impact of the ‘Andreea’ campaign and what it exposes about the views and motivations of sex buyers in Ireland – in their own words.
‘Andreea’ – a silhouette image posed seductively above a phone number – was ‘advertised’ in a variety of busy locations across Dublin and beyond. Callers were greeted by the voicemail message of a bubbly young woman with an Eastern European accent who promised a fun, ‘sensual’ time. But her story quickly took a dark turn when ‘Andreea’ revealed she had in fact been trafficked into Ireland’s sex trade. She closed the voicemail by asking the caller to leave her a message with their thoughts.
In just 20 short days, ‘Andreea’ received over 1,000 contacts, including hundreds from male sex buyers. Yet very few of them were in any way concerned about her circumstances or her plight. An analysis of sex buyers’ exchanges with ‘Andreea’ reveal that their primary concern is how she can ‘service’ them – 82% of exchanges asked about the sexual services ‘Andreea’ provides, with many also enquiring about her prices.
Sarah Benson, CEO of Ruhama, said: “We were immediately struck by the extent to which sex buyers saw ‘Andreea’ more as a service or a product, rather than an actual person. The language they used and the way they communicated with ‘Andreea’ just confirms to us the dehumanising nature of prostitution that so many of the women we support describe experiencing.”
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