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Jane Kohut

2017 (Narrative Date)

There are an estimated 5,000 people living in modern slavery in Slovenia (GSI 2018). Slovenia is a destination, transit, and, to a lesser extent, a source country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and forced begging. Women and children from Slovenia, Eastern European and Western Balkan countries, and the Dominican Republic are subjected to sex trafficking within the country, and many also transit to Western Europe where they may face sexual and labour exploitation. Ethnic Roma are particularly vulnerable to trafficking in Slovenia.

Jane Kohut was 25 when she was forced into prostitution.

My story happened in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where I moved in September 2004. I moved there to continue my university studies. I was alone and distance from all of my friends that I had, from the world I knew. And then I quickly found myself surrounded by strangers. One of my new friends, a girl, she said her name was Romana, offered me to stay in her apartment since at that moment I did not know where I was going to live. She was very kind to me and supportive, so I entirely trusted her. I was looking for a part-time job to support myself during the school year. One day in October 2004, she came home and told me that she had already organised an interview for me at an accounting firm. After that, I never saw Romana again.

The next morning, I went to an office where I sat down for an interview with a woman. The interview had lasted for about 10 minutes, when two men had entered the room and dragged me away to a gar. I was screaming and resisting. I was taken somewhere, blindfolded and then raped many times and beaten because I was resisting. I was drugged with heroin. All my things were taken and I was forced to wear sexually provocative clothes. I was forced to do prostitution in Ljubljana for about four months. My captors starved me and drugged me to make me more obedient. If I resisted, they raped me and beat me. They threatened to attack my little 10-year-old sister. They forced me to call my mother and tell her I was alright. They constantly moved me to different places, wrapping me naked in a sheet, blindfolding me and throwing me in a car. One day, someone slipped my passport under the door and I managed to escape.

Today we live in times where slavery is still all round us. As we move forward, or strive to move forward, in providing more freedom and equality, and basic human rights for all, we have on the other side this horrible face: do we really need millions more victims in order to experience a true wakeup call? I really wonder, how many more 13-year-old girls, your daughter, my sister, our children, need to be forced into prostitution?

Narrative provided by Speak 4 Change Foundation