Trafficked to Britain from Moldova, Gloria was forced into prostitution before escaping her traffickers and seeking asylum in the UK.
She said if she returned home she would almost certainly face violent reprisals from the gang that trafficked her, and she won her case.
In Britain, the Home Office (interior ministry) recognises that the forced recruitment of women for sexual exploitation is a form of gender-related violence, and as such may amount to persecution - a key condition for obtaining refugee status.
Yet the outcome for Gloria - not her real name - could have been very different had she ended up seeking asylum in another European country, says Asylum Aid, a London-based campaigning charity. For example, Spain's asylum system does not recognise human trafficking and forced prostitution as persecution.
This disparity in the way different European Union (EU) states handle gender-related asylum claims like Gloria's is at the heart of a new report by Asylum Aid.
"Asylum seekers fleeing from gender-related violence are among the most vulnerable people in Europe. When someone has escaped rape or sexual violence or forced marriage, and turns to us for help, the least we should offer is a fair and safe asylum system," said Debora Singer, policy and research manager at Asylum Aid.
"The research shows how far this remains out of reach. Our focus now must be on using the research to make a fairer system a reality across Europe."
The report, Gender-related asylum claims in Europe, compares asylum law, policy and practice in nine EU states - Belgium, Britain, France, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Romania, Spain and Sweden - to assess how asylum seekers fleeing gender-related persecution are treated.
It reveals that only four of the countries studied - Malta, Romania, Sweden and the UK - have adopted guidelines to help those making decisions about gender-related asylum claims.
It also highlights that some forms of harm are overlooked. For example, France, Malta and Romania do not always accept that female genital mutilation amounts to persecution.
In a statement, Jean Lambert, a member of the European Parliament (MEP), said the report proves that "national asylum systems across Europe are continuing to let women down", and more needs to be done to address the problem.
One of the authors of the report, launched at the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday, said humiliation and distress features in many of the stories told.
One woman who was interviewed had fled human rights abuses in Kosovo, and claimed asylum in Hungary. "Desperately in need of protection from persecution, she found instead humiliation," Asylum Aid's Christel Querton said.
The woman told the researchers: "When we arrived in Hungary, the police (were) rude with us. They checked us and we had to take off our clothes. For me – as an old woman – this was very embarrassing."
Another woman who had fled to France from Sri Lanka had to bring her seven-year-old son to her asylum interview because no childcare was provided.
"She was forced to choose between discussing terrible, traumatic details in front of him, and holding back crucial information about why she had been forced to flee," Querton said, adding that he heard everything. “Her son asked to leave the room when it became too much."