• Sweden's news in English

'I wasn't allowed to cry on the street': prostitute

The Local/og · 20 Mar 2012, 16:58

Published: 20 Mar 2012 16:58 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“I was down, but was forced to pretend that I was happy and glad. I wasn't allowed to cry on the streets,” she said.

The woman has faced brutal treatment like being raped in front of her daughter, sold to different men, and constantly living “in debt” to her pimps, according to Göteborgs Posten newspaper (GP).

She gave her testimonial via a live video stream, fearing her life would be in danger from the six men in the prostitution ring, apprehended by police in February. The woman is currently under police protection in Sweden.

On top of this, the woman never received her share of the earnings and was forced to stay out until she had earned her quota for the night.

The woman was asked what made her go into prostitution in the first place, in Holland.

"Poverty," the woman answered, according to GP.

After several months in Holland, the woman was sold to a man for 1,500 Euros, but managed to escape and with the help of police, and ended up in Romania, pregnant.

There, she gave birth to a daughter, and in the fight to provide for her, took up prostitution in Bucharest again, often serving several men a night.

She was later sold to a man thought to be the head of the Gothenburg prostitution ring. After the man paid for her having an abortion, she was told that she was in his debt, a curse that has been over her since her arrival in Sweden.

“They said that if I want to have my freedom back then I must pay for it with the sum that I was bought for,” the woman told the court, according to the paper.

However, as the woman never received her cut of the income, she was never able to make back the “debt”.

The woman is said to have lived in an apartment with two other women, who taught her how to buy condoms, where to take customers, and how much to charge the buyers.

Although having sold sex before, the woman had never worked on the streets prior to coming to Sweden, and she told the court that shefell into a depression.

There was no lack of buyers either, and it is reported that on her first night on the streets of Gothenburg, the woman had seven to eight customers.

Even though she was still bleeding from the abortion two days earlier, she was forced by her pimp to work the streets. She was forced to use paper napkins to control the bleeding.

“If I earned between 3,000 to 4,000 kronor ($444 to $592) I was allowed to go home with 1,000. Otherwise I had to stay until 5am," she told the court.

The prosecutor, Thomas Eliasson, told GP that he thought his witness was doing well under the tough conditions.

“I think it's gone well so far. There is no new information she's giving, and she is sticking to her story,” he said.

The case is continuing throughout the week, and more of the women from the prostitution ring will give evidence.

The six charged men have allegedly sent over a million kronor ($152,600) to their relatives in Romania, money which was generated through the eleven women's sex sales on the streets of Gothenburg over the course of one year.

The ring was busted by police in February, and is considered to be the largest of its kind in Sweden.

The Local/og (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

17:10 March 20, 2012 by chemo007
very very sad...................... -:(
17:21 March 20, 2012 by RobinHood
Didn't Sweden's eccentric prostitution laws put an end to this sort of thing many years ago? We were assured by the Social Democrat and Moderate governments that the prostitution law (like all Sweden's sexual offences laws) had been a complete success and that prostitution was almost non-existant in Sweden.

All this stuff about a "Gothenbrug prostitution ring" and eight customers a night can't possibly be true. Either she's making it all up, or the politicians have been telling us porky pies. Who do I believe, a politician or a hooker? That's a tough one.
17:49 March 20, 2012 by Abe L
People forcing anyone, women or men into prostitution need to be prosecuted to the full extend of the law and locked up as long as possible.

However, Sweden's prostitution laws are broken, especially given it's close proximity to countries like Denmark and Holland who solved this years ago. Make it a legal occupation, give them rights and obligations and have them pay taxes and they will stay make triple average pay. This is all fine, it's not an easy profession but I respect someone making their own money 100x more then people who leech of the government.
18:18 March 20, 2012 by OUIJA
The prostitution law (1999) has never been a success in this country. It was created by a feminist with the name of Ulrika Messing from the Social Democrats -was protected all the way down by Göran Persson-, then Minister of Gender Equality, to protect females by punishing males.

I recommend everybody to read Whitney Russell's theses of 2011 in Budapest, Hungary. http://www.etd.ceu.hu/2011/russell_whitney.pdf

What politicians have been saying around this is nothing else and nothing more than BS. I would certainly believe more a hooker than Reinfeldt.
18:45 March 20, 2012 by Lukestar1991

You are nothing but a cowardly fool. I dont know whats worse, your name or your disrespect.

When will idiots like you wake up to what is happening under your noses??

People are being exploited and having their lives destroyed like this every day and you make light of the situation?

I think you might actually be as sick and depraved as the scum who are responsible for this.
19:12 March 20, 2012 by OUIJA
@ Lukestar1991 #5

Why do you have to insult @RobinHood just because you do not agree with what he wrote?

He clearly wrote:

"Didn't Sweden's eccentric prostitution laws put an end to this sort of thing many years ago? We were assured by the Social Democrat and Moderate governments that the prostitution law (like all Sweden's sexual offences laws) had been a complete success and that prostitution was almost non-existant in Sweden. "

In my opinion, your "You are nothing but a cowardly fool. I dont know whats worse, your name or your disrespect." will eventually backfire on you. And this is my opinion about your unexpected assault.

Something wrong with that OPINION, Lukestar1991?

"All this stuff about a "Gothenbrug prostitution ring" and eight customers a night can't possibly be true. Either she's making it all up, or the politicians have been telling us porky pies. Who do I believe, a politician or a hooker? That's a tough one. "

And, where do you find something wrong with this his ending paragraph? IT IS HIS OPINION.

Furthermore, he asks a VERY VALID question: "Who do I believe more, a politician or a hooker?

I can answer that the difference is that politicians lie with a smile in their faces and that hookers do not lie with a smile. A hooker is always a hooker, wherever she may be. A politician, especially the Swedish politicians, are a bunch of liars, wherever they might be.
20:16 March 20, 2012 by libertarianism

I believe #2 was sarcasm, but I appreciate your passion. Best wishes to these women in healing and rebuilding their lives...
20:18 March 20, 2012 by philster61
Lukestar1991. Had Sweden done what Holland and Denmark has done, then we wouldn't be having this conversation. Most of the prostitutes that work in the sex industry there are there of their own choice. They have police co operation and are subject to the same rights as any professional worker. What Sweden did was naive and short sighted. This scenario was predicted. That sex trafficking would be increased is no surprise to those who know better....

The two faced politicians who introduced the law criminalizing prostitution are pretty much to blame for this....Notice when one is caught trying to buy sex and break his own rules he comes up with the most pathetic excuse......
20:25 March 20, 2012 by Svensksmith
Whom do you believe, a politician or a hooker?

Either way, you're getting screwed.
20:39 March 20, 2012 by Boar
That is the reason people travel to Thailand and come back after satisfying themselves.
20:52 March 20, 2012 by strixy
Dedicated to all of you who think that ALL prostitutes are in it because they love it. When you sleep with a prostitute, you never know her story.
21:43 March 20, 2012 by Boar
Just like in Sweden If the whole world provides social money for the women then men are tied up. Because, the women in Sweden are provided with a house. But, not men. So, men have to work while women relax. Then the demand for sex toys increases. All women will be Självständighet.
03:12 March 21, 2012 by GLO
You know Sweden will not give any hard time, plus your hard time is living in a condo, day trips to the movies, the worse the crime the more like ly to get a book deal, and you know.... Early release!!!!!
07:53 March 21, 2012 by RobinHood
@ Lukestar

I think you need to keep your opinions to yourself in future, or at least until after you have learned to read other people's posts properly.
08:20 March 21, 2012 by OUIJA
@Robinhood #14

In my opinion, that is wishful thinking. @Lukestar belongs to the crop that don't know how to read properly.

Talking about a comment that someone made some posters ago, I agree completely that a great majority of the prostitutes are prostitutes not because they love to be.

They need money to survive, to feed their families, etc. Many are so scared of life that they accept to have a pimp for the feeling of some protection.

As this poster said, they know your story, but you do not know theirs.

I hope these women in Gothenburg can fix the problem properly and can contribute for the incarceration of the pimps.
09:21 March 21, 2012 by rise
Looser men who have to go to hookers to get their share! They are a disgrace for manhood. Not even worth to vomit at. If you learn to act like a real man you'll get down a woman's pants in a heartbeat. For free!!
13:57 March 21, 2012 by bcterry
My heart goes out to this woman, and all the others that like her who get caught up in the clutches of these parasite pimp pigs.

Another glaring example of the need for legalized prostitution, where these women can practice their profession in a safe clean environment, and make the pay they deserve.
17:05 March 21, 2012 by strixy

''Another glaring example of the need for legalized prostitution, where these women can practice their profession in a safe clean environment, and make the pay they deserve.''

I fully agree but unfortunately the trend in Scandinavia is different. Norwegian governement for instance loves to ban things and now they are seeking a ban on strip clubs. Because if those women are forced to go underground and dance in someone's cellar it will greatly contribute to their safety...
12:39 March 22, 2012 by Philip S.
Those who compared the situation in Sweden to that of the Netherlands should think twice or read something about it.

Yes, prostitution is legalized now in the Netherlands, but more and more the authorities are learning that the old problems are not solved. There are still major problems with prosititution ranging from money laundering, human trafficking, sexual or physical abuse of prostitutes, forced exploitation of women and several forms of tax evasion.

These problems have resulted that almost all, except one or two, big cities have closed down their street-prostitution facilities (called tippelzones). The City of Amsterdam is trying to cleanse the famous red-light district because criminal and illegal figures are dominating the sector now. Many hotel owners are complaining about illegal prostitution, a sector completely out of sight of the government and tax authorities.

So, may be that the situation in the Netherlands is even worse than in Sweden.

Today's headlines
Police launch manhunt after deadly Stockholm shooting
No suspects have yet been arrested over the attack. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Swedish police have launched a massive manhunt after masked gunmen barged into a Stockholm café and shot two people to death late on Friday.

Sweden has fourth happiest workers in the world: report
Is Swedish fika the secret? Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden is home to the fourth happiest workers in the world, an international survey has claimed.

Here's how much Ikea staff are getting for Christmas
Christmas comes early for Ikea staff. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt/NTB scanpix/TT

Staff at Ikea are getting an early Christmas treat in the form of millions of euros to share between them.

Sweden threatens action to stop Facebook 'hate and lies'
Should Facebook crack down on hate speech? Photo: AP Photo/dapd, Timur Emek

Sweden could impose legal obligations on Facebook as a last resort if the social network does not crack down on hate speech and fake news, the culture and democracy minister has threatened.

In pictures
This is what Sweden's new Icehotel looks like
An artist's impression of the hotel in winter. Photo: PinPin Studio/Icehotel

The famous Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi has just opened its new year-round section. Have a look at some of the first pictures of one of the world's most unusual hotels here.

The Local List
Sweden's pioneering free press act turns 250
It doesn't look bad for 250 years old. Photo: Regeringen

On the day of its 250th anniversary, The Local looks at five facts worth knowing about Sweden's groundbreaking Freedom of the Press Act.

Beware ice, Swedes warned after string of accidents
File photo of a Swedish car not related to the story. Photo: Tomas Oneborg / SvD / TT

Swedes have been warned to be on their guards as stretches of the country's southern roads turned into ice rinks due to the chilly temperatures, causing a string of car accidents.

The Local List
Ten things you should never say to a Swede
These things are guaranteed to anger Swedes. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

The Local List
Seven bizarre Swedish academic traditions
Student life in Lund, southern Sweden. Photo: Johan Nilsson/SCANPIX

The Local guides you through Sweden's ancient universities' top academic traditions all foreign students need to know about.

Swedish study: Virtual reality relieves phantom limbs
A man testing the software used in the study. Photo: Ortiz-Catalan et al/ The Lancet

A new study by Gothenburg's Chalmers University shows that training a virtual arm in virtual reality can relieve the phantom limb pain suffered by amputees.

Sponsored Article
Smart songwriters: Sweden's next big music export?
Final proof that Sweden has NOT banned Christmas lights
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so much talent from abroad
IN PICTURES: Stockholm's new myth-busting Viking museum
The Local Voices
Job market matchmaker hooks up 1,300 newcomers and Swedes
Blog updates

14 November

Hello darkness, my old friend (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"I started thinking about November’s blog for The Local at the end of October, as the…" READ »


6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »

Sponsored Article
18 Stockholm innovations to keep an eye on
People-watching: November 30th
Sponsored Article
Sweden to Hong Kong: The Local guide
This is how cold it's going to get in Sweden this week
Property of the week: Skellefteå
Inside Sweden's perilous Sami reindeer pilgrimage
Sponsored Article
Programmers' bootcamp: Change your life in 12 weeks
The Local Voices
'My name is Sami and I am a proud Swede - it hurts when people say I'm not Swedish'
Sponsored Article
We visited 5 'murder spots' in Malmö
Swedish Advent 'less popular than Christmas Eve'
People-watching: November 25th-27th
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm startups are teaching kids to program
Swedish city to put all workers through LGBT course
Sponsored Article
Smart songwriters: Sweden's next big music export?
The five weirdest attacks on Sweden's giant straw yule goat
People-watching: November 23rd
Sponsored Article
'Learning to trade gave me the life I wanted'
The Local Voices
'Swedes are stylish: you need to dress well if you want to fit in'
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: leading the way in clean energy innovation
Critics slam Swedish paper's Donald Trump cartoon as anti-Semitic
Sponsored Article
Michael Björklund: 'Being a chef is crazy work'
Men call Sweden's mansplaining hotline for mansplaining tips
Sponsored Article
We visited 5 'murder spots' in Malmö
Property of the week: Gotland
Sponsored Article
HIV in Sweden today is not like it was yesterday
People-watching: November 18th-20th
Sponsored Article
Mette Helbæk: ‘We have a basic human need to connect'
Shooting starts on The Bridge 4
Sponsored Article
Terje Håkonsen: 'I try to make everything count'
Sweden's ten most beautiful places
Sponsored Article
Lina Thomsgård: 'I try to break down barriers every day'
The Local Voices
Having a Swedish girlfriend didn't help this Egyptian evade culture shock
Sponsored Article
'We wanted to turn ideas into action'
People-watching: November 16th
What the world of Harry Potter would look like... set in Sweden
Here's where Sweden's best non-native English speakers live
The Local Voices
This new book by a Syrian writer gives refugee children their own hero
Do Swedish polls underestimate support for Sweden Democrats?
jobs available