Netherlands' first center for sexually exploited men opens in Eindhoven

Stock photo teen on stone wall
Stock photo of a teen sitting against a stone Wokandapix / Pixabay

A walk-in center for male victims of sexual exploitation opened in Eindhoven. This is the first such location in the Netherlands that focuses specifically on men and boys. It opened in Eindhoven because a study in 2018 showed that around 70 men and boys worked in prostitution in the Eindhoven region. Almost 60 of them were minors and they often did not do the work voluntarily, NOS reports.

Walk-in house Lumens is meant to be an easily accessible meeting place. "The group of boys that we focus on are often vulnerable boys who have accidentally ended up in a difficult situation," Jacquiline Vonk of Lumens said to the broadcaster. According to Vonk, sexual exploitation of men is a socially ignored problem and many boys therefore do not dare to ask for help. They often have nowhere to turn and get deeper and deeper into trouble.

Lumens has a doctor on staff, as well as someone from municipal health service GGD, a sex crimes detective, and a representative of refugees' organization Vluchtelingenwerk. Sexually exploited men and boys can tell their story at the walk-in house and find help. "For example in the field of health and justice. But also in the area of their own talent development and developing a perspective for the future," Vonk said.

The walk-in house will initially be open two days a week. Lumens hopes to set an example for other municipalities, so that centers for sexually exploited men are also opened elsewhere in the country.