We have seen how prostitution has negatively impacted on a woman’s liberty, bodily autonomy, sexuality and physical and mental wellbeing. Seeking to exit prostitution is not a requirement to access our services and we will always provide the support that we can based on individual needs. However, the majority of women who seek support from Ruhama want to exit prostitution but feel they need support to do this and to find another means of economic survival. This reflects international research; in a 2003 US study, as noted by the European Parliament, 89% of women in prostitution said they wanted to stop but felt they had no viable alternatives for survival.
However, women in prostitution can face substantial practical and psychological barriers to exiting, including poverty, trauma, addiction, and coercion by other individuals.
The availability of tailored support services plays a critical role in whether a woman is able to exit prostitution. The existence of a specialist service like Ruhama who can provide exit support is therefore of vital importance to women who are in prostitution in Ireland.