A University of Cambridge Study has found that trafficked women are extremely vulnerable in UK prisons. Females who have been trafficked into the UK to work as prostitutes, drug mules or domestic servants can end up in prison lacking the help they need, whilst traffickers walk free. Responding to the study into trafficking, Prison Reform Trust director Juliet Lyon, said: “It is shameful that terrified women who have been repeatedly raped and abused could find no one at police stations, courts or jails that they could trust or turn to for help.”

Women who have been forced to work in brothels may have been imprisoned for crimes they were forced to commit. Nearly half of the women were forced to work in prostitution and 15 had been made to work in producing cannabis, the report by Professor Loraine Gelsthorpe and Dr Liz Hales found. Others had been forced into domestic service, travelling as drug mules, street robberies and the sale of fake goods.

24 of the trafficked women who had been imprisoned claimed to have been raped multiple times and asked prison doctors for help with severe abdominal pains, heavy bleeding and discharge following extensive rape and sexual abuse. Prof Gelsthorpe, at Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology, said: “There should be renewed efforts to recognise that ‘offenders’ can also be 'victims’, and to ensure that appropriate credence is given to women’s accounts of their own experience.”

[Read the rest: thenationalstudent]


Featured image from bawso.org.uk.