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Sunday 24 September 2023 Dublin: 15°C
# crimecall
'I tried to fight so hard. I was chained and I had bruises': Woman forced into prostitution speaks out
Mary spoke about her ordeal, and what she had to do while she was kept by her human traffickers.

A VICTIM OF human trafficking – who was forced to work in prostitution in Ireland by a criminal gang – has spoken out about her ordeal, asking the men who use prostitutes to think of the women involved. 

“Mary” – not her real name – will speak tonight on RTÉ’s Crimecall about what happened her when she first arrived in Ireland. Mary had been led to believe that she was going to be working in a hospital, but instead the men who met her at Dublin Airport brought her to a brothel. 

“They took everything, our passports and our bags,” Mary told the attackers.

She said that while she was there she tried to resist her traffickers, but was unable to escape. 

“I tried to fight so hard. I was chained and I had bruises, but they said ‘it ‘doesn’t matter’,” she said. 

Mary spoke about her ordeal, and what she had to do while she was kept by her traffickers. 

“I remember they brought us… bikinis and there was some other sex toys,” she said. 

You’re just in your room and different men come in they knock on your door and you can’t say no.

She talked about how her abuse continued for nearly a year, before she managed to escape. Speaking tonight, she will appeal for people to think about the lives of the women involved in prostitution. 

“To the men they don’t know the people they are using… Let them imagine it was their daughters or their sisters… we are all human beings with the same blood,” she said. 

Under laws brought into Ireland in 2017, it is illegal to purchase sex.

Gardaí said earlier that they had stopped and questioned 36 people over the weekend as part of an intelligence-led operation targeting the demand for prostitution and the purchasing of sexual services.

Commenting on Mary’s story, Sarah Benson – CEO of Ruhama, a charity set up to work with women affected by prostitution – said that men buying sex was not “a benign act without consequence”. 

“It has fundamentally dehumanising effects for the most vulnerable members of our community. And since 2017 it has been a crime,” she said.  

Pimps and traffickers have no market if men are not buying sex.

Other groups - like the Sex Workers Alliance Ireland (SWAI) – have claimed that the new laws have made life more dangerous for sex workers by pushing them further underground. 

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