Have you seen Andreea? Ruhama launches sex trafficking awareness

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20th September 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Have you seen Andreea? Ruhama launches sex trafficking awareness campaign in collaboration with international artist Marian van der Zwaan #WhereisAndreea Anyone taking a stroll around Dublin city over the next three weeks may spot Andreea and be curious enough to give her a call. This striking, suggestive image of Andreea is featured on posters in a variety of busy locations across the city. Underneath her silhouette is her phone number. Callers are greeted by a bubbly young woman with an Eastern European accent, who promises you a fun, ‘sensual’ time. But her story quickly takes a dark turn when it is revealed that Andreea has in fact been forced into Ireland’s sex trade. Ruhama, Ireland’s only dedicated national frontline NGO supporting women affected by prostitution and sex trafficking, is delighted to announce its participation in ‘A Penny for Your Thoughts’. This initiative – a European multi-city art and awareness raising project conceived by Dutch artist Marian van der Zwann – is designed to highlight the plight of victims of sex trafficking across Europe. Marian is famed for her bold public installations around the world that engage the public on a range of social issues. ‘A Penny for Your Thoughts’ is exactly that – a creative initiative that invites the public to consider this provocative image, and call to discover the reality behind it. Callers are invited to share their thoughts by leaving a voicemail message. Posters are on display simultaneously in Bucharest, Brussels, Lisbon, Paris and Sofia, featuring similar images but each with a different woman’s story to fit the local context. Sarah Benson, CEO of Ruhama, said: “We chose ‘Andreea’ for Dublin because her story is typical of many victims of sex trafficking Ruhama supports who have been promised a better life in Ireland, but find themselves instead subjected to gross sexual exploitation and violence in the Irish sex trade. Like ‘Andreea’, these women are required by their controllers to look and sound ‘fun and happy’ to entice and satisfy sex buyers, when their lived reality is the complete opposite.” Sarah Benson continued: “‘A Penny for Your Thoughts’ is not just about making sex buyers think twice about their actions. It also aims to enhance awareness and understanding amongst the general public of the realities of sex trafficking and the fact that victims are usually required to put up a positive ’façade’, and so may not be easy to spot. We urge anyone who finds themselves in a difficult situation in Ireland’s sex trade, or who is concerned about someone they know, to contact Ruhama for support on (01) 836 0292.” Sarah Benson added: “The timely launch of ‘A Penny for Your Thoughts’ coincides today with the publication of the Council of Europe GRETA Committee’s second Report concerning the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings by Ireland. This latest report itself highlights the importance of continual awareness raising to tackle this terrible crime.” 1

All of the installations, and film, images and data about the reactions they elicited will be featured on the ‘A Penny for Your Thoughts’ website, which will be officially launched on 18/10/17 in Brussels: EU Anti-Human Trafficking Day. ENDS

Media contacts: Ruth Breslin, Ruhama Policy and Communications Manager: 086 259 1247 Sarah Benson, Ruhama CEO: 086 600 3115

A Penny for Your Thoughts – Andreea in Dublin

About Ruhama Ruhama is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and a registered charity, which works on a nationwide basis with women affected by prostitution and sex trafficking. Ruhama offers free and confidential support and assistance to women who: 

Are actively involved in prostitution



Are seeking to exit (leave) prostitution



Are victims of sex trafficking



Have a past experience of prostitution/sex trafficking 2

CONTACT US. FOLLOW US.

Ruhama 25 Cork Street Dublin 8. Download our full 2016 Annual Report Here: http://www.ruhama.ie/assets/Press-Releases/RuhamaAnnual-Report-2016.pdf Tel: +353 1 836 0292 Website: www.ruhama.ie Facebook: www.facebook.com/RuhamaIreland Twitter: @Ruhamaagency LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ruhama

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Have you seen Andreea? Ruhama launches sex trafficking awareness

20th September 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Have you seen Andreea? Ruhama launches sex trafficking awareness campaign in collaboration with internatio...

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