“Scars in my heart”

About the Project

Eleven women tell their life stories in “The scars in my heart”. The women describe their families, childhood and youth and the great hopes for a better future that made many of them leave home. They come from ten countries in different parts of the world and ended up in prostitution in Norway. All of them were looking for a way out and managed to get in contact with an emergency and information hotline for female victims of trafficking to Norway; the ROSA project (Re-establishment, Organizing safe places to stay, Security, Assistance). The Norwegian title of the web exhibition is Women in ROSA. The English title is taken from Eva’s story about how the scars in her heart are invisible, but much deeper than the scars on her body.

Cand. polit. Rachel Eapen Paul and Unni Rustad, writer, at KILDEN Information Centre for Gender Research in Norway, interviewed the women at crises centers around the country. Unni edited the material. As much as possible, the women’s own words are kept as they were spoken, but details have been changed to protect the women’s identities. The women read and approved their own story before publication. The illustrations have no connection with the women.

We thank Eva, Monica, Nina, Aida, Hanna, Setare, Anne, Laila, Vera, Nadia and Mona for their courage and generosity.

Rachel Eapen Paul and Lene Nilsen wrote the report Challenging the ad hoc Norwegian approach to eliminate trafficking in women, published in 2009. 

A support group has acted as advisers. It consisted of:

  • Maya Brenna Nilsen, Head of Information, the ROSA project
  • Tove Smaadahl, Crisis Centre Secretariat
  • Solveig Dahl, psychiatrist
  • Nina Kristiansen, Director of forskning.no
  • Ragnhild Hennum, Professor of Law 


Helse- og Rehabilitering (Health and rehabilitation) financed the web exhibition in Norwegian.


The Ministry of Justice financed the English version.





Publisert: 09.12.2008
© KILDEN. For copyright issues, contact KILDEN
Illustrations: www.colourbox.no