Ruhama launched its Annual Statistics Report for 2010 today (Monday 22nd August) and while it has been a challenging year with the organization sustaining significant statutory funding cuts, the work continues to develop and grow. In 2010 Ruhama worked with a total of 204 women, an increase on 2009 of4%. The number of new victims of trafficking referred into its services was comparable with 2009 and an increased number(9%) of women accessed support from the street outreach service.
The statistics reveal the globalized nature of the Irish sex trade, with the women supported by Ruhama in 2010 coming from 31 different countries. Sarah Benson, CEO, Ruhama said. “This truly exemplifies the global nature of prostitution and trafficking and reflects the complexity of a frontline response such as that offered by Ruhama. We are constantly adapting to ensure that we are mindful and respectful of the diverse cultural backgrounds of the women accessing our services.”
The location of new victims of trafficking in this year’s report highlights the reality, that the exploitation of women in the sex trade is no longer an urban issue but is well established in smaller rural regions of Ireland. The majority of new referrals to Ruhama were women involved in indoor prostitution (ie escort agencies, brothels)