Rogue Gardai, Sexually Abusing, Sex Workers, Sources Say, since this Story, came out, one Name, keeps coming up, No Shock, here, Evil Thug, a former Garda who may be Moody, it is alleged, could have Abused Vulnerable Sex workers, and Treated them, like Sub Human Beings? We know, there are many Decent Cops, that Never Trusted Scumbag Moody, Coercive Control is yet to be explored in real detail, it is just a recent law on the statute book?

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DEEP MISTRUST | 

One in five sex workers say they have been sexually abused by gardaí

The report notes that the criminalisation of the purchase of sex, introduced five years ago, has drastically affected the lives of street sex workers in Irish cities

FILE PHOTO
FILE PHOTO

Sunday World

Thu 25 Aug 2022 at 09:14

One-in-five sex workers have claimed that they have been sexually abused by gardaí.

A total of 25 sex workers in Dublin and Limerick were interviewed by the University of Limerick for the report.

“Five out of the 25 people we’ve interviewed actually declared sexual abuse and 80% of them declared all sorts of instances of being humiliated and made to feel ashamed,” the report’s author and University of Limerick Psychology Professor Anca Minescu said.

“This is where this deep mistrust come from, you know?

“A quote that says it all from one of the participants is: ‘I would rather see the gardaí being genuine and looking after us.’”

The report notes that the criminalisation of the purchase of sex, introduced five years ago, has drastically affected the lives of street sex workers in Irish cities.

It finds that the new laws have worsened conditions for workers as buyers are forced into secluded areas in fear of being arrested.

Meanwhile sex workers said they do not feel confident reporting incidents of rape, violence, or other crimes to Gardaí.

The 2017 Criminal Law Act made it illegal to buy sex but while the sale of sex remains legal.

Ms Minescu said the purchase of sex should be legalised as soon as possible.

“They want to work and they’re proud of their work,” she said.

“You know, they don’t steal, they don’t hurt anybody, they don’t rob places so why are they not allowed to earn a living by selling sex – especially when the law officially allows them to sell sex.

“That is the difficulty I think with their interaction with the gardai.”

She said her research is important because the voices of street sex workers have largely been silent in the national discussion around Irish sex work laws.

The study interviewed 15 sex workers in Dublin and ten in Limerick and includes direct quotes from some of them.

“We’re actually good people,” said one. “We’re people that are just living every day, and we’re alive.”

“It’s not like working in a shop, but… it’s work. I’m not robbing people. I’m going out and making my own money”.

Garda Headquarters defended how officers interacts with sex workers, after the report published on Thursday claims some gardaí have sexually exploited, discriminated, and inflicted trauma on people working in the sex trade through “aggressive tactics”.

Participants said they had “a deep mistrust” of An Garda Síochána and said they felt “discouraged” to report crimes to Gardaí including “rape” and “violence” for a range of reasons.

Some of these reasons include; a history of trauma inflicted by aggressive Garda tactics from the past among sex workers, and the belief and experience of some officers sexually exploiting street sex workers and abusing their power.

Previous cases of sex workers reporting incidents of physical assault or rape, which were dismissed or mishandled, not leading to receiving help or justice, and a wide-spread stigma around sex work in the Irish society, and hence, sex workers being afraid of publicity.

When asked for comment, a Garda spokesman was quoted: “An Garda Síochána proactively engages with individuals working in the Sex Trade via welfare checks, to ensure they are safe and to offer safety advice.”

“During these welfare visits, the Sex Workers are offered available State Services, such as the Woman’s Health Service attached to the HSE and in some cases, sex workers are offered supports provided by Ruhama and other Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). A further purpose of these welfare checks is to identify any persons who are being exploited or coerced in the sex trade,” said the spokesman.

“The Garda Organised Prostitution Investigation Unit (OPIU) also send welfare texts/ SMS messages to persons advertising sexual services to check on their welfare and offer a confidential way of reporting exploitation or crimes.

“These welfare checks are carried out in sensitive manner due to the potential vulnerability of the individuals concerned.”

The spokesman continued “Gardaí do not engage with 3rd parties in respect of these welfare checks, nor does An Garda Síochána assist or participate in evictions of Sex Workers, in any form.”

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