Talita Stories

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Below you will find some of the personal accounts of women we have met over the years at Talita. Aliases are used to protect the woman’s identity.

Katrin

Katrin

A young girl lured from her hometown in the south of Sweden. Promised a job as a photo model, she found herself in the hands of a criminal gang that forced her into prostitution in Stockholm. When she finally managed to flee, she was initially placed in a women’s shelter, before eventually arriving at Talita. In the first months at Talita, Katrin suffered immensely from anxiety attacks throughout the day and felt insecure in all contexts—afraid to even set foot outside the villa. Since then, she has grown tremendously: she feels confident in herself, and has greater hope for the future than ever. These are Katrin’s own words:

“Talita changes lives. I have a very broken background and have previously never experienced people who say they care, and don’t actually abandon someone. Others have given up when it comes to individuals with a problematic childhood—but people do not get to choose what kind of family they are born into. I want Talita to have a farm someday—that is where I want to work! I want to help others, just as I have received help.”

Katrin has recently moved into her a small studio in Stockholm, with low rent, and where she can live as long as she likes. It is near the school she attends and the social network she built up during her time with us. She is so happy and thankful for life!

Ceda

Ceda

During a crackdown of a criminal gang who engaged in pimping activities, the police found Ceda, a young woman from Romania. She was extremely anxious when she was brought to Villa Talita, worrying about her 1-year old son who remained in Romania and who she had not seen in two months. She avoided giving details to the police in the beginning. However, after conversations and encouragement from other women in the Villa, she decided to tell everything. A few days later she was noticeably happier and more relieved. On an excursion together, Ceda climbed high up in a tree with a bottle of bubbles in her hand. She giggled with joy as she watched the bubbles float away through the sky.

When she returned home to Romania, Ceda participated in Stockholm County Government’s (Länsstyrelsen’s) return program. Later on, Ceda came back to stay at Talita while she testified against her traffickers. Ceda’s courage to testify helped result in her traffickers receiving a sentence of 2.5 years of prison and deportation, while Ceda received damages that will be targeted towards her and her son’s healthcare, future, and wellbeing.

Miriam

Miriam

Last summer, Stockholm Police’s Prostitution Group went to an apartment hotel where purchase of sex was occurring. A young woman, Miriam, was found and sent to Villa Talita. That same evening, everyone in the house sat down together and listened when she shared about her live and what it was that forced her into the horrible situation she found herself in. She, a young, single mom with three small children in her home country, had been forced to bear the entire financial burden of her family. The heaviest to bear was her debt of 300,000 SEK that her ex-husband had left her with – a debt she paid to the Enforcement Authority in her home country by selling herself in Sweden over one week of every month. The alternative would be even worse: conviction out of her home and the risk of losing the custody of her three children.

We visited Miriam in her home country and investigated in detail how the debt was configured and how it could be paid off. Today, Mariam has a new job at an office, which enables her to provide for herself and her three children, while Talita helps her pay of the debt. Miriam never needs to travel to Sweden and sell her body again.

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