A woman sex trafficked into Ireland at just 15 years of age has revealed her brutal experience about being forced to work in Dublin brothels.
The young woman – identified only as Hannah – was brought from her native Moldova where she was sold to traffickers by her brother-in-law for €3,000.
Hannah, not her real name, revealed how she was sexually and physically abused for at least seven years after she was tricked into prostitution
“I had no one, I had just a mum that no one was afraid of, so she asked my brother-in-law if he knew someone I could get married to and he say, ‘Oh yeah, I have a good friend who lives in Ireland’,” she said. “We met and he was like ‘I have a good job there and I'd like you to come with me’.”
On her arrival in Ireland, Hannah was forced to work as a prostitute in brothels in Rathmines and Temple Bar.
“When I came here he [the man she thought she was to marry] was talking about the work and I was shocked and started crying and screaming,” she said.
“I was 15 and it went on for six or seven years.
“The receptionist that was answering on the phone used to describe me as a 23-year-old Italian girl. It was very obvious I wasn't that age.”
“I used to work from 12pm until 6am the next day. There was a guy that would come in and say, ‘I want the youngest girl that you have here’ – and he was really old. To them that was fine. You would have up to 15 guys a day,” Hannah added, who said she was once sent to an old people’s home.
Hannah eventually escaped and managed to confront her pimp. She now lives in Ireland with her daughter.
Her story is being released as part of a project by the Immigrant Council of Ireland.
The council and 67 other members of the Turn Off the Red Light Campaign will today stage a day of action and lobby politicians for laws targeting the buyers of prostitution.
“This recording makes for uncomfortable and disturbing listening.
“Yet, it is a reality which is happening in our communities which we cannot ignore,” said Immigrant Council chief Denise Charlton.
“For the first time ever the public and our policy makers will hear the truth about sex-trafficking, and not the 'Pretty Woman' fiction being peddled by vested interests in a €250m trade.”