- I'm 21 years old
I was traveling alone, so during my first night at the hostel in Amsterdam, when I met a woman my age who offered to show me around the city, I accepted, excited to find a traveling partner. After walking through the major canals, we were nearing the heart of the prostitute, the Red Light District. Since we were already so close, my travel companion asked if I danish to walk through and see a bit of copenhagen.
This level of violence compelled Danish social entrepreneur Michael Lodberg Olsen to convert an old ambulance into a copenhagen unit where prostitutes can work for no prostitute in a safe and clean environment, guarded by volunteers from a distance. But for some migrant sex workers, many of whom have been trafficked into the country, working inside a danish unit like Sexelance could be too conspicuous, said Michelle Mildwater, director of HopeNow which supports trafficked women in Denmark.
For while prostitute is legal in Denmark, it is illegal to profit from other people selling sex, such as pimping, or to rent rooms to sex workers, which means prostitutes can end up having sex in places like parks, alleyways, behind parked cars and telephone booths. This can put sex danish in danger from some clients and passers-by, according to rights groups, who are concerned that migrant or trafficked women are especially vulnerable as they are often afraid to report violence copenhagen assaults to the police.
Olsen and his team worked with sex workers like Annika to de the vehicle and its functions, such as its leopard print interiors and a light to indicate when it was in use. Although she no longer sells sex, Annika said initiatives like Sexelance were helping to remove the stigma against sex workers and improve working conditions.
Mildwater said migrant sex workers were most at risk of violence since they feared deportation by the authorities or repercussions from their traffickers if they went to the police. Annika, who declined to reveal her full name, said it was the fourth time in a year that she nearly died at the hands of her clients. The anti-slavery campaign group Walk Free estimates there are 4.
Studies show that sex workers in Denmark are violated or threatened by customers about 31 percent of the time while working the streets compared to only three percent in brothels, according to the Danish National Center for Social Research. Annika said she reported her attack to the police but they dropped the case because she had no visible marks on her body.
He said Sexelance has been used around 64 times so far, and he hopes to open a permanent space where street workers can bring their clients or take short breaks.