• 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

“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.

Story continues below…

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)

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
COP21 Paris
Sweden pledges more to fight climate change
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (right) and France's President Francois Hollande at the summit. Photo: Christophe Ena/TT/AP

Sweden pledges more to fight climate change

2 hours ago

UPDATED: Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised a further 250 million kronor ($28.5m) to fight global warming at the COP21 climate summit in Paris, a gathering seen by many as the last chance to reach a deal aimed at limiting global warming.

Swedish prosecutor: 'Movies show men killing'
A pixellated screen grab from the film shown in court. Image: Säpo /TT

Swedish prosecutor: 'Movies show men killing'

3 hours ago

The prosecutor in the trial of two Gothenburg men who have been charged with terrorist offences in Syria has asked for life imprisonment for the duo after reviewing video evidence.

Storm Gorm
Huge clear up after Storm Gorm hits Sweden
A house destroyed by the storm in Helsingborg, southern Sweden. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Huge clear up after Storm Gorm hits Sweden

3 hours ago

UPDATED: Some schools remain closed and tens of thousands of people are still without electricity after a storm ripped through southern and western Sweden on Sunday night.

'Show of strength' from Swedish economy
Increased house-building activity has been a key growth factor. Photo: Lars Pehrson: SvD/TT

'Show of strength' from Swedish economy

4 hours ago

Sweden's economy is growing faster than expected and is now at an historically high level, according to figures from national number crunching body Statistics Sweden.

Eurovision 2016
Nordic Noir star pens Eurovision hope
Camilla Läckberg has finally succeeded in her aim to have a song in Melodifestivalen. Photo" Henrik Montgomery / TT

Nordic Noir star pens Eurovision hope

4 hours ago

Best-selling Swedish author Camilla Läckberg has co-written one of the of the 28 entries for Melodifestivalen 2016, the competition designed to choose Sweden’s entry for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.

Storm Gorm's trail of destruction in Sweden
The Öresund bridge, which links southern Sweden to Denmark, was closed last night because of high winds. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Storm Gorm's trail of destruction in Sweden

7 hours ago

Storm Gorm swept through southern Sweden on Sunday night, recording wind speeds of up to 32 metres per second. Here are some of the most dramatic photos to emerge from the chaos.

Nordic Noir
The Bridge ends as talk of fourth season starts
Sofia Helin, who plays The Bridge's main character Saga Norén, at the season three premiere. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

The Bridge ends as talk of fourth season starts

8 hours ago

Swedish public broadcaster SVT has said it is in discussion with production companies and writers about a fourth series of The Bridge, after the third season reached a dramatic conclusion over the weekend.

Refugee crisis
Sweden to give millions to Turkey refugee deal
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven visiting refugees in Malmö last week. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Sweden to give millions to Turkey refugee deal

8 hours ago

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced on Sunday that Sweden would contribute to a joint action plan agreed by nine EU nations designed to limit the number of refugees arriving in Europe via Turkey.

My Swedish Career
'More Brits should move over to Sweden'
Photo: Private

'More Brits should move over to Sweden'

8 hours ago

Lorna Richardson, 42, recently moved from the UK to Umeå in northern Sweden, where she's started some unusual research involving both historic finds and the latest technologies.

Refugee crisis
Refugees beg to leave 'inhuman' Malmö shelter
Buses arrive at Malmömässan to deliver refugees. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Refugees beg to leave 'inhuman' Malmö shelter

1 day ago

Refugees sheltering in Malmö's 2013 Eurovision venue are begging to leave, with one describing it as a "prison" with "inhuman conditions", while Swedish nurses working there have been pulled out because of the health risks.

People-watching: November 28th-29th
Sponsored Article
The quickest route to UK Eurobonus destinations
Sponsored Article
11 reasons students pick Stockholm University
POLL: Swedes back new asylum rules
Sponsored Article
After Paris: 'The war is not only against Isis'
Blog updates

27 November

Editor’s blog, November 27th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, A decision by Sweden this week to impose new – much stricter than before –..." READ »


25 November

So What Does An Ambassador Do? (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"I know that my mum is super proud that I’m an Ambassador. But if you asked..." READ »

Five weirdest Christmas attacks on Sweden's famous straw goat
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm solved a startup’s housing crisis
Five myths about Sweden's refugees
Sponsored Article
Swedish researchers find Ice Age 'missing link'
How did this missing Swedish cat turn up in southern France?
Sponsored Article
Lofsdalen: The real Swedish wilderness
Sponsored Article
Beaches, bikes, and buds: studying in Malmö
Would you eat this Swedish pizza?
Sponsored Article
Sweden must combat extremist 'mirage'
People-watching: November 25th
Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
What do Swedes want for Christmas?
Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: the new epicentre of global leadership
GUIDE: How to help refugees if you live in Sweden
Mystery ice circle in Swedish river
IN PICTURES: New royal winter snaps of Sweden's Princess Estelle
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Stockholm film festival's top movies
Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se
Sponsored Article
‘Food choices in Sweden destroy forests in Asia’
People-watching: November 20th-22nd
Swedish King calls for bathtub ban
Analysis & Opinion
Why you should care about Sweden raising its terror threat level
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Stockholm's best international bars
Is this the best warning sign ever?
Why are more Swedes getting fat?
Sweden's tribute to Paris victims
What is Sweden's sexiest name?
VIDEO: Madonna's emotional tribute to Paris victims at Stockholm gig
Nine of the merriest Swedish Christmas fairs
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: