The counselling centre for survivors of sexual abuse and violence Stígamót is currently advertising for staff and housing for a shelter dedicated to women escaping prostitution.
Stígamót spokesperson Guðrún Jónsdóttir told RÚV that between 30 and 40 women who have engaged in prostitution come to the centre for help every year.
The project will be funded in part by some ten million crowns from the government, with additional funding from other private sources. As it is now, there is no shelter in Iceland for women trying to get out of prostitution, an industry which can often be prone to violence and sexual abuse.
About half the women in prostitution who visit Stígamót each year arrive for the first time, while others unfortunately come by many times over the years. Employees at Stígamót have come to know their needs quite well, and have often wished to provide them with a special shelter of their own.
The shelter will be run at minimum cost on a volunteer basis. Guðrún says that many of the women who come there have also been involved in pornography. Their needs are many, and Stígamót has even had to help women move to other countries for assistance, due to a shortage of resources in Iceland.
When the shelter will open is as yet still undetermined, but hopefully the staff and the necessary housing will be sorted in the near future.
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