More sex-for-rent advertisements uncovered in Cork; Anger from human rights campaigners

More sex-for-rent advertisements uncovered in Cork; Anger from human rights campaigners

MORE online sex-for-rent advertisements have been uncovered in Cork as campaigners hit out at those seeking to exploit vulnerable women in the midst of a housing crisis.

The Echo revealed yesterday how a flat was being advertised in The Lough area, with the landlord seeking sex twice a week in return for free rent. 

Now, more sex-for-rent advertisements have been discovered, with an east Cork landlord offering a flat in return for sexual favours.

The advertisement on a classified ads website offers a flat which is available rent-free in return for sex acts.

Another ad, on a different site, offers a room in another property in east Cork to an "open-minded female". 

Noeline Blackwell, CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre
Noeline Blackwell, CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

Noeline Blackwell, a human rights lawyer who is Chief Executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, said such advertisements are illegal and exploitative.

"Where someone is in a position where their body is being exploited in order to give them shelter, then sex is not freely given. 

"There is an area of exploitation which is called survival sex. You have to have your basic requirements met and one of those is shelter."

She added that anyone offering accommodation in return for sex is a person who is "conscious that they can exploit a person's body."

Ms Blackwell said the housing crisis and high rents do not combine to make it right or legal to use accommodation as a bargaining tool for sex.

Mary Crilly, director of the Cork Sexual Violence Centre, said: "I think such advertisements are very exploitative – and they are illegal. To advertise for sex is a crime."

Mary Crilly of the Sexual Violence Centre, Camden place
Mary Crilly of the Sexual Violence Centre, Camden place

She pointed out that advertisers offering accommodation in return for sex have substituted money with accommodation, but that sex is being used as a commodity.

"It just makes me so angry – it is not alright to do this. It is very serious and is reflective of what a woman's worth is seen as."

Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said he wants to bring the matter to the floor of the Dáil but added that this may not be possible amid speculation the Dáil could be dissolved within days for a general election.

Referring to The Echo’s article yesterday, he said: “It is appalling behaviour. What it reflects is that we have a housing market in which there are some people who have property who feel they have huge power to exploit people.”

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