The Netherlands' first centre for sexually exploited men opens in Eindhoven
A walk-in centre for male victims of sexual exploitation, the first of its kind in the Netherlands, has opened in Eindhoven. The centre aims to provide help, support and a safe place for victims to be heard.
Sexual exploitation help-centre for male victims
Lumens, a walk-in centre for victims of sexual exploitation, has opened in the Netherlands. This centre is unique, as it is the first of its kind in the Netherlands to focus specifically on men and boys. The centre opened off the back of a 2018 study that found that, in Eindhoven, around 70 men worked in prostitution. Just less than 60 of which, were minors who did not always work voluntarily.
According to the director of Lumens, Jacqueline Vonk, society ignores the sexual exploitation of men and many feel like they cannot ask for help. With nowhere to turn, they end up getting into deeper trouble. The walk-in house is intended to be an easily accessible meeting place for vulnerable men and boys. “The group of boys that we focus on are often vulnerable boys who have accidentally ended up in a difficult situation,” said Vonk.
Specialist staff to provide support
Lumens has a number of specialist staff to provide support to victims of sexual exploitation. There is an on-site doctor, a GGD employee, a vice detective and a representative from Vluchtelingenwerk, the refugee organisation. Vonk says that the centre aims to provide men with a place where they can share their stories and find help “in the fields of health and justice, as well as in the area of their own talent development, and develop a perspective for the future.”
The Eindhoven centre will be open for two days a week initially and hopes to set an example to other municipalities and cities in the Netherlands. They hope that they will inspire more centres for sexually exploited men to open.