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Ukrainian woman accused of sex working by Tipperary host says she was just going on dates

A woman who fled Ukraine for sanctuary in Ireland has been caught up in a bizarre row after her host accused her of being a sex worker.

The refugee arrived from Kyiv on March 14th and stayed with her host, a woman in Co Tipperary named ‘Helen’ – not her real name – after Helen reached out to the Ukrainian woman on social media.

The refugee, who we are calling “Natasha” to protect her identity, came to Ireland with her eight year-old daughter.

Natasha said her initial days with Helen were fine, but the situation turned sour after Helen accused Natasha of being a sex worker.

Last week, Helen told Fran Curry on Tipp FM: “She started talking about wanting to go on dates with men from the Friday after she arrived. My one big rule in my house is that no other people come into my house.

“I had kind of made up my mind that she wasn’t a good fit for my family. I rang my neighbor who told me she saw her get into a car in the afternoon and then another one in the morning.

“I confronted her and told her that she had to pack her things and go, that she’d been meeting men for money at our front gate and her answer was,‘ I didn’t bring them in the house, I didn’t break the rules. ‘”

Natasha insisted she is not a sex worker and was merely trying to meet new people and make friends online – with the potential of going on a future date.

Speaking to the Irish Sunday Mirror, Natasha, in her early 30s, said people should be vigilant in order to not end up in the same predicament as her.

Natasha said: “Both of the times I went out were people that I met on the internet. One time, I met for three hours and we went to Cork and the next time I met with one guy near the house for about 30 minutes.

“They just reached out to meet me and the first one knew I wanted to go sightseeing so he took me out but we didn’t have any intentions to build a relationship.

“The second one was also just to meet each other and to get to know each other. We were talking about going on a date though. But there were never a couple of men in one day. I’m allowed to have a personal life.

“There’s nothing shameful about that. I’m a young, healthy, single woman. ”

Natasha said the experience left her shaken and she now strongly believes that both the refugee and host should be properly matched so the living situation works out well.

She added: “I’m sure there are families who took in Ukrainians and it all went well.” And Natasha said that when she was called a sex worker she was upset as she’s a highly-educated woman who would never be involved in those activities.

She added: “I actually cried as I was so offended. I don’t usually cry but I wasn’t expecting it. I wasn’t hiding anything and I told her that I didn’t want to just stay home every day. There was nothing in the area.

“We actually sat down at the start and talked about boundaries and we agreed.”

Natasha said she has since been allocated accommodation in a hotel in Bray, Co Wicklow. She added: “I am very happy where I am now.

“My daughter is really happy here too.

“I’m in love with Ireland, the people here are great, the nature and culture.

“I actually applied to be an extra in a TV show called Vikings, it’s close to where we are staying.”

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