Six years ago, Inga met Andris in Riga, Latvia. After a few months, Inga fell pregnant. Following the birth of their first daughter, Andris became physically and emotionally abusive. He stole Inga’s passport, clothes and bank cards, forcing her to be completely dependent on him, often locking her in their flat.
It is a story we know very well at the Marta Centre. Similar abuse has happened to many of the hundreds of women who come to us for help each year. Sadly, what happened next is also familiar.
Andris began to advertise sexual services from Inga online, coercing her to into prostitution. He always collected the money. He beat her if the sex lasted for longer than 15 minutes, or if the condom broke. Although he was the pimp and she was his victim, he continued to maintain a clean record, while Inga was arrested and charged on several occasions. With the law seemingly on his side, he often threatened to take away their children, which helped to keep Inga trapped. Whenever she did manage to run away for a short time, Andris always found her and manipulated her into coming back.