Between thirty and forty women seek help annually because of their experiences within prostitution and the porn industry, according to Gudrún Jónsdóttir, spokeswomen for Stígamót, the Education and Counseling Center for Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Violence.
Stígamót is now preparing a shelter for women who want to quit prostitution or have been subject to slave trafficking in the porn industry. “There are women in Iceland who really need this kind of service. We have been aware of this need for a long time,” said Jónsdóttir to DV newspaper.
She said that it is often very difficult for women to quit prostitution. “We know of women who have already sought help but there have been no tailored solutions for them. Not all women need to stay in a shelter when they are quitting prostitution but some women really need it because the way out is hard and difficult. These women are ridden by shame and guilt,” she said.
She said many women felt they could not get out of prostitution on their own accord. “They are stuck in a net and need help to break free, both because the industry always drags them back and because they are scared,” said Jónsdóttir.
She said that Stígamót had even assisted Icelandic women in going abroad where they had sought shelter and help from foreign counseling centers for prostitutes.
“I argue constantly that the porn industry is nothing but violence against the women who take part in it. The consequences of getting involved in this industry are serious and totally comparable to experiencing hardcore violence. These women find it difficult to live with what they have done and experienced. We have seen women give up and commit suicide,” she said.