Ruhama's work falls into two distinct but complimentary areas:
- Direct Services to Women
- Advocacy, Awareness Raising and Campaigning.
Ruhama's Service Delivery to Women Affected by Prostitution
The provision of direct support services to women affected by prostitution, including victims of sex trafficking, is Ruhama’s primary focus.
Our services are multi-disciplinary and tailored to individual needs.
There is NO fee charged and you do NOT need a visa to access our services.
While our ultimate goal is to assist and support women to exit prostitution/recover from the experience of sex trafficking, as appropriate, we recognise that the journey out of prostitution is a process and can only be undertaken with the woman’s full consent and active collaboration. At all times the provision of our services is non-judgemental and respects the dignity of each person.
A continuum of support is offered ranging from outreach and crisis intervention to person-centred case work, development programmes and resettlement assistance.
Recognising that for many women, exiting prostitution is not a once off event but can take months or years. Long term support services are offered to women to help them take the first steps out of prostitution/towards recovery from sex trafficking, but also to ensure they do not find themselves vulnerable and at risk of re-entry/re-trafficking.
Our Services to Women include:
- Individual casework support and advocacy
- Crisis accommodation in emergency situations
- One to one and group, training and development opportunities
- Support into mainstream training and/or employment
- Support in finding housing
- Assistance in accessing social welfare
- Practical support
- Interpretative support
- Referral to other key agencies that can offer supports
- Court Accompaniment
- Mobile Street outreach in Dublin's "Red Light" area
- Outreach service to the Dochas Centre (Women's Prison)
- Outreach service to HSE Women's Health Service sexual health clinic
Advocacy, Awareness Raising and Campaigning
Ruhama is committed to raising awareness on issues surrounding prostitution, sex trafficking and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation in Ireland. Our direct work with women affected by prostitution gives us a significant insight into this complex social issue.
Ruhama opposes the legalisation of prostitution, seeing it in the context of sexual exploitation as a form of gender based violence and a human rights issue. Ruhama supports a legislative framework that would decriminalise those in prostitution as vulnerable persons, but criminalise activities related to organising prostitution and fuelling demand. To bring about necessary changes to legislation and government policies, we network with state agencies, civil society groups, survivor activists and non-governmental organisations. We contribute to national media and other relevant publications.
Our Advocacy, Awareness Raising and Campaigning work includes:
- Highlighting the demand in the sex trade, calling on the criminalisation of the purchase of sexual services with the decriminalising of those prostituted
- Addressing the widespread stereotyping and blaming of women and the stigma attached, which isolates women and limits their opportunities to progress
- Raising awareness of the harm caused by prostitution to those in prostitution and to society as a whole, by stimulating discussion and debate among the wider public
- Delivery of training and awareness sessions to groups on the issue of prostitution and trafficking
- Preparing submissions and reports highlighting the experiences of women affected by prostitution and trafficking
- Engaging in research and organising seminars on specific issues associated with prostitution and sex trafficking
- Engaging with domestic and international networks and organisations to coordinate activities and advocate for policy positions at international levels, that recognise the harm of prostitution and target demand