"Dream haven" and other exit options for women with prostitution experience


  • Sveina Hjördís Þorvaldsdóttir
  • Gyða Margrét Pétursdóttir




Prostitution, the Swedish model, exit options.


The Swedish model which makes the purchase of prostitution illegal but not its sale was approved in the government in 2009. Neither the circumstances of people in prostitution, nor what resources need to be in place should they want to get out of prostitution have been mapped out since the law was passed. This study is meant to fill this knowledge gap and its focus is on exit options for people with prostitution experiences. Fourteen interviews with women with prostitution experiences were carried out and an interview with a spokesperson from the Red umbrella, an organization focused on supporting sex workers. Main results are that the women experienced lack of resources before entering prostitution, they do not feel heard or understood communicating with the police, health care and other professionals, and they refrain from seeking their assistance. They wish for diverse resources for those who want to exit prostitution, a stricter penal code for buyers of prostitution, and that knowledge of prostitution and its consequences will be increased in society.

Author Biographies

Sveina Hjördís Þorvaldsdóttir

MA in Gender studies.

Gyða Margrét Pétursdóttir

Professor at the University of Iceland.



How to Cite

Þorvaldsdóttir, S. H., & Pétursdóttir, G. M. (2022). "Dream haven" and other exit options for women with prostitution experience. Icelandic Review of Politics & Administration, 18(2), 261–282. https://doi.org/10.13177/irpa.a.2022.18.2.5



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