Talita offers support and help to women who have been exploited in prostitution, pornography or human trafficking for sexual exploitation. We work through prevention, outreach and support, both in Sweden and abroad. In Sweden, we run two safe houses in Stockholm (Villa Talita and Lilla Talita) where we have accommodation for up to six women at a time. Four rooms are allocated to the women participating in Talita's long-term program, and two for women who have received short-term, emergency placements via the police, social services or a regional coordinator. Women are able to call us anytime on 24/7 hotline. Daytime staff are on site at our shelters during weekdays, and when necessary, we provide evening and overnight staff. We also run transition apartments with space for up to three women at a time. Read below about our long-term support program.
Long-term support program
The women in Talita's target group who want long-term support can enter Talita's twelve-month support program. The program has been evaluated by Malmö University and shown very good results. It is based on a method (the "Talita method") formed from the knowledge we gained over the 20 years we have worked with this target group. And the method works: virtually all women who have completed Talita's program have exited prostitution for good. The Talita method is trauma-informed and includes safe housing, trauma therapy, education and life skills, case management, job training and transition to independent living and integration into society. Thanks to our transition apartments, if necessary, we are able to extend support to a woman for an additional year, giving us more time to secure her possibilities for the future.
If the police, social services, or any other authority has identified a woman in our target group who needs support, they can contact us on our 24/7 hotline. When a woman arrives at our shelter, she receives her own room where she can unwind and feel safe. We provide for her acute needs: physical safety, food, hygiene articles, clothing, psychological support (with the help of a translator if needed), support during contact with authorities etc. In most cases, the woman is part of a preliminary investigation and may eventually participate in a criminal trial. Every woman who comes through our doors is offered a place in our long-term support program. Most of the women we meet wish to return home as soon as possible, especially when they have families in their home country. We help them apply to the Return Program (Återvändandeprogrammet) offered by Sweden's Gender Equality Agency (Jämställdhetsmyndigheten) in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Jasmina, a survivor who completed Talita's program and is now a part of Talita's staff team, leads our outreach work among women in street prostitution in Stockholm. One evening per week, Jasmina and her team are out meeting and forming relationships with the women they meet, who can call the team them throughout the week on a hotline phone. The goal is to reach out with information about the long-term support Talita can offer, and to identify minors who are in (or at risk of ending up in) prostitution and support them in contact and collaboration with authorities. Our outreach team also collaborates with and supports hotels, who can reach out to our team if and when they discover prostitution taking place in their premises. Jasmina and her team can come and offer support to the woman and offer information about the support we can offer.
Reality Check is a violence-prevention initiative building young people's resistance and resilience to the harms of pornography. Reality Check's educational curriculum (lesson plans, exercises, teacher guidelines, educational films, and more) equip educators and other professionals with the knowledge and tools to educate young people about the harms of pornography and how they can resist those harms. Reality Check's educational materials are unique in their holistic approach, addressing the entire spectrum of pornography's harms by critically unpacking and recognizing the impact of porn culture, consumption and production on individuals, relationships and society at large.
Part of Talita's prevention work consists of research. Through research we aim to increase knowledge about various issues related to Talita's work and to improve and quality assure Talita's various efforts.
Breaking free - Improving support services for Romanian women and girls exploited in prostitution or sex trafficking
In 2017, Talita conducted a mapping of existing support efforts in Romania aimed at women in Talita's target group. Many of the women brought to Talita originate from Romania. Often, the women must return home because of children or sick parents in their home country. In order to be able to offer these women the same type of support they would otherwise have received in Sweden, Talita investigated the need to start operations on the ground in Romania. The report resulted in a collaboration with an existing local organization, Associatia F.R.E.E., where women in Talita's target group can undergo Talita's long-term program in Romania.
Out of sight, out of mind - insights into the Swedish pornography industry
Over the years, Talita has witnessed a clear link between pornography, prostitution and human trafficking for sexual purposes. Some of the women we have met have ended up in the sex industry via pornography; others have been filmed while being bought for sex, and these images have ended up online; others have been trafficked and exploited in the pornography industry. Still, there was very little knowledge about the pornography industry in Sweden, and if it even existed. These knowledge gaps led us to carry out the first survey of the Swedish porn industry ever made.
The study clearly shows that the pornography industry exists Sweden, and profits from exploiting young, vulnerable girls. It is a brutal form of the sex trade, and although it is a form of prostitution, the Swedish government has yet to address this type of prostitution.
Link to the report in english: Out of sight, out of mind