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About one-fifth of girls over 15 who spent some time in the Prague diagnostic facility for problem youth last year had some experience with prostitution, it ensues from a study by the La Strada NGO, conducted on girls from all over the Czech Republic and released to CTK today. The girls, who were examined in the diagnostic institute and then placed in institutional or alternative family care, said they offered sex for money for the fist time at the age of years on average.
Several hundred girls annually pass through the Prague facility. According to the study, girls born in Romany families with many children living in socially excluded localities belong to the most threatened group. A total of 20 percent of the girls in the polled group called themselves Romanies, while 38 percent of them admitted some experience with prostitution. Among other girls, 14 percent said they offered sex for money. Almost three-fourths of the Romany girls over 15 and 21 percent of non-Romany girls did not finish primary school attendance.
The girls' prostitution was connected rather with their family situation and institutional care, the study shows. The girls who had some experience with prostitution mostly come from very large families with many children. However, the assumption that most of such girls experienced sexual abuse or other maltreatment in childhood was not confirmed.
Only 7 percent of the girls who experienced some domestic violence had experience with prostitution, while among other girls it was 21 percent. It was statistically insignificant whether a girl was brought up by her own mother or a step-mother. The authors originally also wanted to conduct a poll on the girls in children's homes, but it turned out that they had minimal experience with prostitution. In spite of it, the authors concluded that institutional care had a negative impact on the girls and their families.
The babies born to underage mothers in institutions, for instance, often alone end up in institutional care. Eva Vanickova, head of the government committee for the child's rights and author of a book on commercially sexually abused children, said the problem of prostitution does not concern exclusively girls living in institutions.