Current research

Exiting prostitution

Pathways to Exit: How women leaving prostitution can be supported to rebuild their lives and regain their voice

A collaborative project in partnership with Ruhama

Funded by Community Foundation Ireland – Covid-19 Response Fund

The majority of women in prostitution in Ireland are vulnerable young migrants. They face many adversities in their lives that both drive them into prostitution, and trap them within it, including poverty, severe financial pressures, homelessness, lack of English, insecure immigration status, and violence and coercion perpetrated by sex buyers, pimps and traffickers. All these existing adversities were further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving many migrant women more entrenched in prostitution than ever before.

As a result of the pandemic, there is growing recognition that women need urgent support to exit prostitution. This collaborative project will document the extensive work undertaken by specialist frontline services to support women to exit (leave) prostitution, rebuild their lives and regain their voice. We will examine how agencies involve women in shaping their services, and how they build women’s capacity to have a voice on issues that affect their lives. We will be directly informed by women’s own views and experiences in identifying what quality service provision looks like for those who have been trafficked and exploited in the sex trade. This study will generate a model of good practice for the provision of exiting supports.

North/South partnership

All-Island Partnership to End Sexual Exploitation

A collaborative project in partnership with Belfast & Lisburn Women’s Aid

Funded by Community Foundation Ireland – All-Island Fund

This partnership project is designed to address issues of prostitution and trafficking across the whole island of Ireland by means of a series of knowledge-exchange and dissemination events and opportunities aimed at enhancing both policy and practice responses to tackling sexual exploitation, in collaboration with a range of key stakeholders both North and South.