Increasing housing prices create ideal circumstances for people looking to take advantage of those in need, RÚV reports. Following a report on the Channel 2 news yesterday about a woman in Reykjanesbær in dire need of housing who was offered shelter in exchange for sex, RÚV investigated by inquiring whether social services organizations in the Reykjavík Capital Area had seen similar cases. In the Channel 2 report, it was claimed that there were no such confirmed cases. However, Ragna Björg Guðbrandsdóttir, project manager at Bjarkarhlíð, a center for victims of violence, claims that similar cases are not at all unknown.
“Offering women housing in exchange for sex is in my eyes purchasing a person, and that is classified as prostitution. This is something one has heard of over the years and something we have heard about at Bjarkarhlíð. We receive a lot of cases, as there is clearly high demand for prostitution and plenty of buyers,” Ragna Björg said. She is sure that women accept offers like these. Those stories are never heard. “This is surely a hidden problem because talking about one’s own hardship is always difficult, especially when it comes to such extreme hardships where people have to sell access to their body,” she added.