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Sweden: No Country for Sex-Working Mothers

Sex-working mother loses custody of her child. Mother is devastated by court ruling. The mother worked as a sex worker in a village in Östra Göinge, where she advertised her services via the internet. She started doing so after running into financial troubles when her son was only two to three months. She invited men into her apartment and had sex with them for money. Her earnings amounted to around 2,000-2,300 euros per month.

The mother and her son lived more or less isolated, except for the visits from her clients, who stopped having sex with the mother if the boy woke up in his crib next to the bed. The mother said the boy never seemed to be scared but was curious of them. When the boy would wake up, the men went home, understanding the situation since they had children of their own, according to the Administrative Court’s ruling. 

Everything came into the open after a concerned person reported the mother to social services, whereupon the son was taken into care. This happened without any formal evaluation of the situation, although the mother’s actions were confirmed by her online ads.

The Administrative Court attached special importance to the fact that the mother had invited strangers buying sex into her home. According to the court, the overall situation meant that there was a significant risk that the son’s health and development would be harmed. 

By her own account, the mother closed the book on sex work since her son was taken into care. However, the Administrative Court believed there was a risk that she would repeat her behaviour and has therefore decided that the son should remain in state care in accordance with the Care of Young Persons Act (LVU). In addition, the court held that the mother had shown indifference regarding the safety and protection of her son by bringing male strangers to her apartment. 

Instead of sex work, the mother will now look for other work and in the meantime, she has applied for government support, although she  realises that those payments won’t be as high as the 2,000-2,300 euros she earned from sex work. The woman also stated that she had resumed contact with her own mother, who had promised to help her. 

According to the Administrative Court she is “devastated about the consequences for her son”. She can appeal against the court ruling at the Administrative Court of Appeals in Gothenburg within three weeks.

Source: Researchprojectcorea