Prostitution, human trafficking and sex trades:
I recently watched a documentary on the Showcase Channel ('Very Young Girls') on prostitution, the sex trade industry, and child sexual abuse...the documentary was very informing and is very important to see for those in society that think that paying for sex if you are single or otherwise is no big deal...it is a big deal...and its sad..."Girls Educational & Mentoring Services" (GEMS) http://www.gems-girls.org/ is a wonderful site that is focused on helping girls that are victims of sexual abuse get out of the life of prostitution and the sex trade industry. Here is the link to watch the trailer of 'Very Young Girls'.
Trailer: Very Young Girls:
I hope many people watch this documentary. The young girls/adolescents are very honest about what their experiences have been like working in the sex trade industry and it is truly heartbreaking but so important for society to see. It is also very important for society to realise that most of the girls start at age 13 and a lot of the time the girls look a lot older.
Sexual abuse of children, child prostitution (as the average age of a prostitute on the streets is age 13) and child porn is illegal and has to stop. Child prostitution and child pornography is a central part of ritual abuse and a lot of ritual abuse survivors (if not all) have been subjected to this. Most cult victims/ survivors have never seen a dime of the money that was made off of their exploitation. The cult perpetrators (just like the pimps on the street) are the ones that retain all of the money. This is heartbreaking as children as young as toddlers and even infants have been subjected to this kind of abuse within the cult setting. Because of this I am very sensitive re: the porn industry and I am totally against it in every way.
I know how it feels to be a victim/ how it feels to be forced into this way of life and see none of the money that is exchanging hands. The girls that end up on the streets prostituting, dancing in strip clubs, or working as escorts are mostly victims of some sort of sexual violence, usually within their own family (incest). I think it is insensitive and self serving to believe that these girls "enjoy" what they are doing and are just " happy and out going" . I feel that this way of thinking is very ignorant. I think society needs to be educated in this area. If they could just see that this girl is someone's daughter, sister, mother etc, maybe there would be some remorse. I am a huge activist for women/ girls who have encountered sexual violence in their lives. I believe 100% that most of the girls out working the streets, strip clubs etc are sexual abuse survivors. I myself contimplated living on the streets as a prostitute at 15-16 yrs of age because I was desperate to get out of my abusive home and I had no where else to go. I didnt care, anything was better than my home life. Thankfully my boyfriends family took me in when I was 16. I also contimplated becoming a stripper in my early 20's out of desperation to make money, believing sex was all I was good for. Thankfully I was able to stay away from this way of life that I could have easily fell into because of my abusive upbringing. I am so grateful that I was able to recognize my destructive thinking (thinking that sex was all I was good for) and luckily I realized that I had another choice. Many girls go down this path because of the abuse that they have suffered growing up feeling that they have no other option.
I feel it is very important to mention an emotional response to trauma known as 'Stockholm Syndrome'. Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological response where the victim feels and shows loyalty to their abuser. The victim becomes emotionally attached and will even defend the abuser after being rescued. Young girls/victims/ survivors attach themselves to their abusers and they develop an emotional dependancy or love attachment. This happens often with the young girls working as prostitutes and it can make leaving the world of prostitution even more difficult and complex for these girls. This emotional response to trauma is very common in all victims of abuse as well as survivors of sexual and ritual abuse.
I want to stress that boys are also victims of child sexual abuse, child trafficking, child pornography and prostitution. I am an activist for boys/ men as well and I feel very passionate about raising awareness on these awful crimes committed against children.
Human trafficking is a serious global issue and is prevelent within the cult setting. This is one major way that the cult aquires its victims for such purposes as child rape and torture, child prostitution, and disposable victims for their rituals. The cult has a lot of connections to the black market and the underground world. A lot of money exchanges hands high up in the cult mostly from the exploitation of its victims.
Here is the link to my page on Helium.com (I have recently written an article on human trafficking) Just click on 'Articles' at the top of my Helium page and you will see all of my articles and you can click on Human Trafficking.
We all have a purpose in life. I do not believe that anyone's purpose is to be used and abused, bought or sold.
I am watching the Ricki Lake Show ( http://therickilakeshow.com/ ) and today's topic is on survivors of child sexual abuse. Please click on the link below.
I watched the Katie Show today ( http://www.katiecouric.com/ ) and her topic was "The War On Human Trafficking". I am so grateful that she chose to air this topic so the world will know what is taking place. It takes people like her in the public eye to get important, global issues like this out so that society begins to see the real issues that are happening day to day so that maybe someday these horrific crimes will stop, and the perpetrators will be held accountable. This is my wish. Below is a link to read, view the information on today's show.
http://www.katiecouric.com/on-the-show/2013/01/14/jada-pinkett-smith-and-the-war-on-human-trafficking/ (Sorry, you will have to cut and paste link into your browser)
Human Trafficking Video:
http://notmylife.org/ (You will have to cut and paste)
National Human Trafficking Resource:
(*I will be adding more information on this subject over time as I feel this is a very important subject to address when dealing with ritual and sexual abuse.)
Information on child trafficking:
Polaris Project: Combating Human Trafficking & More...
Trailer: Child Prostitution:
Children Forced into Prostitution:
Child Trafficking...Part 1 of 5:
Child Trafficking...Part 2 of 5:
Child Trafficking...Part 3 of 5:
Child Trafficking...Part 4 of 5:
Child Trafficking...Part 5 of 5:
Below is a small excerpt from "Unlocking Buried Secrets #2: Healing From Satanic Ritual Abuse Workbook for Male and Female Survivors" Part: 16 For Supporters Of Survivors
HOW PROSTITUTION WORKS
By Joseph Parker, Clinical Director
The Lola Greene Baldwin Foundation
Prostitution, pornography, and other forms of commercial sex are a
multibillion dollar industry. They enrich a small minority of predators, while
the larger community is left to pay for the damage.
People used in the sex industry often need medical care as a result of
the ever-present violence. They may need treatment for infectious diseases,
including AIDS. Survivors frequently need mental health care for posttraumatic
stress disorder, psychotic episodes and suicide attempts. About a
third end up chronically disabled and on Social Security.
The sex trade plays an active role in promoting alcohol and drug
problems. Pimps also use prostituted women in forgery and credit card
fraud. The community must pay for chemical dependency treatment,
insurance costs and incarceration.
In addition to these costs, the community loses the contributions
which might have been made to legitimate community productivity by those
used up in the sex industry.
The operators of sex businesses not only do not pay for these expenses,
many manage to avoid paying taxes at all.
No business can afford to create a product for which there are no
buyers. The first step in understanding the sex industry is to understand the
customers, the johns.
Real sexual relationships are not hard to find. There are plenty of
adults of both sexes who are willing to have sex if someone treats them
well, and asks. But there lies the problem. Some people do not want an
equal, sharing relationship. They do not want to be nice. They do not want
to ask. They like the power involved in buying a human being who can be
made to do almost anything.
The business of prostitution and pornography is the use of real human
beings to support the fantasies of others. Anyone working in prostitution
who tells a john too much about who they really are, interferes with the
fantasy. They risk losing a customer, and may get a beating as well. In real
relationships with real people, you are stuck with the limitations of who you
are, who your partner is, and what you can do together without hurting each
Some people do not want real relationships, or feel entitled to something
beyond the real relationships they have. They want to play "super
stud and sex slave" or whatever, inside their own heads. If they need to
support their fantasies with pictures, video tapes, or real people to abuse,
the sex trade is ready to supply them. For a price, they can be "a legend in
their own minds."
The most common type of prostitution customer is the user. He is
quite self-centered, and simply wants what he considers to be his needs
The user would deny any intent to harm anyone, and might even claim
some empathy for the sex workers he uses. However, his empathy does not
extend to discontinuing his using behavior, nor to helping anyone escape
from the sex industry. He does not care whether the person he is using is
unwilling or unusually vulnerable. He simply feels entitled to whatever he
wants, whenever he wants it. If someone is hurt, that is not his problem.
He feels that the fee he pays covers any damages.
He sees himself as a respectable person, and works to protect that
appearance. Users provide a large, safe, and steady income for the pimps
and other "businessmen," of the sex industry.
Sadists are people who have the ability to take pleasure in another
person's fear, pain, or humiliation. They constitute about ten percent of the
population. Sadists vary in severity, ranging from those who just make you
feel bad, on up to those who do torture murders. There is a definite practice
effect. If allowed to hurt people often, their sadism gets worse.
Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse by sadists drives their child
victims from their homes into the street, trying to escape. The pimps and
“chickenhawks” take it from there.
Sadists are attracted to prostituted women and children because they
are willing to get into a car or come to a place where the sadist can be in
control. Sadism is about control. Hurting people who cannot stop them is
their most intense and pleasurable form of control.
Sadists play close attention to matters of power. They are most brutal
with small women and children, and are more careful with larger women and
men. They avoid people who may have someone to protect them, or
someone who may take revenge on the victim's behalf.
There are pimps who specialize in supplying victims to sadists, and
who base their fees on the amount of damage done to the victim.
Sadists are found at all levels of society, including the respected and
powerful. They often use this, saying, "You are just a whore, nobody is
going to believe you." If they do kill someone, they are very aware that, to
some extent, the effort society puts into finding the killer will reflect the
value placed on the victim. People working in prostitution are safe victims.
Necrophiles are people who can take pleasure in filth, degradation,
and destruction. They are the users of the sick, the old, the psychotic, the
brain damaged, the "tracked" and tattooed casualties of the sex industry, in
the end stages of their lives. For necrophiles, broken bodies and broken
minds are a turn on. They glory in their superiority over ruined human
beings, and feel entitled to express their contempt in every way.
Necrophiles must keep their perversion secret from their friends and
families, both to protect their social standing, and to protect their fantasies
of superiority. Normal people just would not understand.
Child molesters participate in the sex industry in several ways.
Some have been aware of a sexual attraction to children, often of a particular
age and sex, from some time in late childhood. They then make the
choice to act on it.
Some have sadistic characteristics. Children are easier than adults to
control. The molester’s own children, in his own home, are the easiest of all
Necrophilic child molesters enjoy the knowledge that, when the
molesters are finished with them, the children's lives will never be the same.
They enjoy the fact that the children may later self-destruct in addiction,
prostitution or suicide. It proves that they were right.
Sex offenders against children operate with varying degrees of sophistication.
Some do careful "grooming." They use pornography to break down
resistance, and supply drugs, alcohol, and money. Others just start out with
forcible rape. Many claim unusual "love" for children. They claim that sex
between adults and children is not harmful, and should be legalized.
Pedophiles actually teach children that they are helpless, hopeless, worthless,
and only good for sex and hurting.
A large portion of workers in the sex trade started out as sexually
abused children. Some were even "broken in" by being shared with or
rented out to others by their own families.
There are specialist pimps who provide children to johns. The fees
vary depending on the age, sex and appearance of the child, as well as the
amount of damage the child has already incurred.
When caught, the pimps and johns claim not to have known the child's
real age. There is a market for small adults made up to look like children,
both for direct sex and for pornography. But the truth is in the fees: real
children sell for more than fake ones.
Prostitution buffs are like police and fire buffs, that is, people with
an intense interest in those occupations even though they do not belong to
Prostitution buffs are people with a morbid fascination for or obsession
with prostituted persons and their activities. Some characterize themselves
as "researchers", and amass hundreds of pages of notes and photographs,
that somehow are seldom published.
Others claim to be intent on religious redemption of "sinners", and
spend huge amounts of time in vice areas, but never quite manage to offer
anyone practical help.
A third group consists of “community livability" activists, who blame
the people being prostituted for the behavior of the johns, pimps, and drug
As with any obsession, with some people it may get out of control.
Police buffs may take unlawful police action, and some fire buffs eventually
Each type of prostitution buff strongly believes his or her rationalizations
for their activities, and would vehemently deny any personal sexual
interest. The trouble is, it is obviously there. They show a lot of subtle
signs which may indicate to someone working in prostitution that they may
be potential customers.
When a prostituted person approaches the buff to offer their services,
the response may be unpredictable and dangerous. Sometimes the buffs
will accept their services, and the worker may never realize that they are
anything but a normal trick. At other times, they will be met with rage, as if
they are making a hetero- or homosexual attack on the buff. They may be
beaten, knifed, or thrown out of a moving vehicle.
Most of the "research" and "religious" buffs are men, and spend
enough time studying their subject that their identifications of who is and is
not prostituting are fairly accurate.
Many of the "community livability" activists are women. Some may
pepper spray or draw weapons on young people who are in no way involved,
but who fit whatever stereotype the activist has for what a prostitute should
Three forces generate streams of customers for prostitution: Isolation,
sexual abandonment, and unusual interests. Prostituted people are
used to service populations which are physically isolated from the life of their
communities. These customers come from military bases, logging or mining
camps, and from farm labor camps. Operators of these facilities often are
involved in arranging for services through local pimps.
Other customers are isolated by travel, such as seamen, truckers, and
traveling businessmen. Hotels and motel, bars and other businesses which
provide support services for travelers often also participate in arrangements
for sexual services.
In some religious cultures, and some individual family cultures, sex is
regarded as an unpleasant duty of marriage, and once the child bearing
years are over, one partner may cut the other off from sexual activity. The
sex industry does not reach out to middle-aged women, so their only choice
is to have affairs. This may be morally unacceptable to them, or eligible
partners may not be available. For them, there may be no solution.
For men, prostitution is quite available, and many men may see it as
less wrong than having affairs, or as requiring less effort. These men
provide a large and steady income for the sex industry.
Most of these johns would be classified as “users”, and an unclear
proportion of them might not be prostitution customers if they were not
Customers who remain in or near their home communities are more
likely to use prostituted people due to unusual interests, such as sadism,
pedophilia, or sexual addiction. They are isolated by the nature of their
desires, rather than their location. For example, men who prefer sex with
boys, but who do not view themselves as homosexual, support a whole
segment of the industry involving prostituted males. It is unclear whether
local law enforcement efforts, or the openness and aggressiveness with
which with the sex industry is allowed to operate in a community, affects the
stream of “special interest” customers.
A large portion of prostituted people are also used in and around he
communities where they grew up. The fact that survivors often meet
previous tricks in local grocery stores and other random places can be a
considerable problem for their recovery.
For those whose special interests place them at serious legal risk in
their own community, there is sex tourism. Some cities in the
known to run more 'wide open' than others, that is, there are fewer and
weaker laws on the books, and police and other officials are discouraged
from enforcing them. These conditions are often the result of cooperation
between business and elected officials, who are repaid by the sex industry in
No one really wants to have sex with five, ten, or twenty strangers a
day, every day. Besides the sheer numbers involved, some of those strangers
are going to use a person in ways that are bizarre, painful, disgusting,
and occasionally fatal.
When people who have worked in prostitution call it repeated rape,
they are not exaggerating or being "hysterical." They are being legally
precise. Rape is sexual intercourse, against the will of the victim, carried out
by threat or force.
In prostitution, the john performs the sex act with the unwilling victim,
but subcontracts the intimidation and violence to another man, the pimp.
The john would like to believe he is paying for sex, but the person he
has sex with gets little or none of the money. The money goes to the pimp
to pay for the force needed to keep prostituted women and children working.
It goes to the drug dealer who provides whatever it takes to keep the
workers from becoming psychotic or committing suicide. It goes to pay the
businessmen who provide the real estate, support services, and legal
protection for the trade.
Pimps come in three general types. Media pimping, like other kinds,
involves selling fantasies that ultimately hurt people. Two of their central
lies are that women are only good for sex, and men are only good for
They claim that they produce sex and violence because that is all that
sells. In fact, many other things sell as well or better. (For example, Walt
Disney and Steven Spielberg productions often are very successful.) Media
pimps often have a tremendous sense of superiority over "common" people,
yet lack the intelligence and creativity to do high quality work. They very
much enjoy selling a degraded view of the human race.
Advertisers often implicitly promise that buying their products will
bring happiness, power, and sexual success. After spending their money,
the victims of this "bait and switch" scam find that they get only a pack of
cigarettes, a bottle of shampoo, or a magazine full of dirty pictures. They
are just as lonely and unhappy as before, but their money is gone.
Media pimps perform another "bait and switch" function, in cooperation
with business level pimps. They attract young people hoping for fame
and fortune in the legitimate entertainment business, and manipulate them
into the lower levels of the sex industry.
They degrade ordinary people living ordinary lives, by showing only
idealized characters with perfect bodies, high powered jobs, and plenty of
money. The characters’ problems are always solved in an hour or two, with
a liberal application of sex and violence.
Real people, whose lives cannot hope to measure up to these "ideals”,
are made to feel inferior and worthless. The media pimps work to divert
people from the ups and downs of real life, into dependence on the fantasy
worlds that they sell. The sex industry, above all, sells fantasy regardless of
who gets hurt.
The media pimps have a lot of money. They own magazines and
newspapers, and produce movies and television programs. They can afford
to hire law firms and advertising agencies to further their interests. Their
money can buy access to political officials, and special treatment for their
businesses. In return they offer favorable media exposure, and large campaign
Their money often goes to support various front organizations which
work to direct public discussion toward "free speech rights," and away from
the damaging effects of the sex industry on the women and children used in
Business level pimps extract profits from the sex industry in ways
that minimize the risk of public exposure or criminal prosecution.
They own the bars and strip clubs which attract concentrations of
potential johns. They offer jobs as dancers and hostesses to vulnerable
young people who are potential candidates for more direct use in the sex
trade. They own the adult book stores, massage parlors, motels, and legal
They posture as legitimate businessmen, conceal their ownership
behind corporations and front men, and deny knowing that their property is
being used in the sex industry. They charge sex businesses far higher rents
and fees than they could get from legitimate tenants, which indicates that
they know what the businesses are doing.
Through contacts in the business community, they arrange for sexual
services for visiting businessmen, politicians, celebrities, and sports teams.
By keeping these arrangements secret, business pimps insure a degree of
protection for their other activities from their customers in high places.
Business level pimps separate themselves from the "dirty workers" of
the sex trade by treating them as independent contractors rather than
employees. This enables them to avoid having to pay taxes, overtime pay,
health insurance, and workmen's comp. If one of the workers is arrested,
the businessman is protected from any legal involvement. They subcontract
any violence needed to the street level pimps.
With support from elements of the "legitimate" entertainment industry,
as well as street level pimps, they produce and distribute commercial
They support and have the support of "civil liberties" advocates, who
oppose censorship regardless of the harm done to the people used in making
the pornography. They disclaim any responsibility for the actions of potentially
violent sex offenders who use pornography to “fuel” their fantasies
until they are ready to commit actual violence.
Business pimps often join civic organizations, make highly public
contributions to charity, and play a role in local politics. They continually
assert their identity as legitimate businessmen. When threatened, they call
on the support of the real, legitimate, non-sex business community, often
Unlike street level pimps, the businessmen usually manage to hold
onto their profits. They have investment skills, can afford lawyers, seldom
are addicted, and rarely take the risks involved in garden variety crime.
Often the greatest danger they face is from the Internal Revenue Service,
not from the police.
Street level pimps are the foot soldiers of the sex industry. Typically,
they are small time criminals, who have a high need for sadistic gratification.
The johns and business level pimps subcontract to these men the
brainwashing, terror, beatings, and the occasional murder needed to keep
prostituted women and children working.
Pimps are part of the business even where prostitution is legal.
Brothels do not run employment ads. The brothel owners require that any
new “employee” be “referred” by someone ready to supply whatever force is
necessary to control the woman.
Street pimps learn the business from friends and relatives already in
the business, from other criminals in jails and prisons, and from other pimps
they meet hanging out in the bars and clubs. Occasionally, someone
especially talented in greed and cruelty learns the trade solely by practicing
on available victims.
Pimps tend to avoid identifying themselves as such, except to other
pimps. They like to present themselves as husbands, boyfriends, or protectors.
When caught in acts of violence, they try to prevent outside interference
by claiming that it is "only a domestic matter." In fact, the pimps
themselves are the greatest danger to those they exploit. The johns and
the police are lesser hazards.
Street pimps pride themselves on their finesse, on controlling their
victims by psychological manipulation. They claim that prostituted women
and children give their money to the pimps because they "love" them. (In
criminal language, "She loves me" means "I can control her.") Street pimps
try to play down their use of threats and violence, despite the fact that it is
their biggest contribution to the sex industry.
Throughout human history there has been the kind of greed that takes
the form of wanting to own other human beings. Slavery died out in most
areas because it was unprofitable compared to more modern methods of
production. The one trade where the would-be slaver can still find success is
in the sex industry. For many pimps, the gratification of owning slaves is as
important as the drugs and the money.
Contrary to the images in the media, most pimps exploit members of
their own race. Many are nearly the same age as their victims.
Most pimps are male. Women are becoming more and more involved
as active operators in the sex industry. Some are involved in helping a male
pimp to control his "stable," or act as madams in brothels owned by someone
else. Some run "escort" or out-call services themselves, but maintain
relationships through which they can call on male enforcers when needed.
Occasionally women are involved in supplying their own children to
pedophiles, pornographers, or others in the sex industry. The mother's own
addiction is the usual cause. Plain greed for money, and the mother's own
sexual perversity are less common motivations.
Street level pimps usually spend their money on clothes, jewelry, cars,
and especially on their own addictions. They often are involved in other
types of crime, especially drug dealing, and may go to prison for those.
Successful prosecution for pimping itself is quite unusual.
It is rare for a street pimp to hold onto his money and make the
transition to a business level operator, but there always are a few at the
business level who got their start as street pimps.
WHERE THE WORKERS COME FROM
The sex industry ultimately is about power. This is best demonstrated
by the care which the industry takes to ensure that those it uses are
powerless. The predators are neither irrational nor stupid. They watch
carefully for a kind of "victim profile," and avoid anyone who may be uncontrollable
They focus on young people coming out of families that are abusive,
disorganized, or non-existent. One fundamental function of the family is
protection of its members, especially its children. The family also is a team,
and all players must do their jobs. If a member is lost or disabled, others in
the extended family or community must step in to carry on. When one or
more adults in a family are absent, addicted, mentally ill, or severely
demoralized, the children are in danger.
When the family is poor, or part of a devalued minority group, and
opportunities for education and good jobs are limited, some members of
those families may be willing to take risks. If the young people are being
terrorized, beaten, or sexually abused by the very people who should be
protecting them, many are going to take their chances on the street. For
some, nude dancing or even prostitution may look better than no job at all.
If they are under age, have no address, or cannot afford to have their
parents involved, most social service agencies will not help them. Children
are still treated as some adults' property.
The juvenile system has little interest in noncriminal runaways or
"throwaways." There are age requirements for normal jobs, usually between
14 and 18 years of age. The very young are practically forced into the sex
industry, even before the pimps and johns get involved. They may have to
do prostitution from age 12 or 14, until they turn 18, and can get a "better
job" such as nude dancing.
There are three general patterns for "breaking" someone into prostitution.
In slave taking, a young male predator "befriends" a victim long
enough to be sure she is not dangerous herself, nor protected by anyone
who is. He manipulates her into a situation where she can be kidnapped and
held in isolation in a place the slaver and his friends control. Over a prolonged
period, she is terrorized, tortured, and gang raped. She is threatened
with her own death, and that of anyone she loves.
Once she is convinced that her only chance of survival is to do exactly
as she is told, she is "turned out." Her first "trick" may in fact be a member
of the prostitution organization, set up to make sure she performs as
directed. After she has been properly "seasoned," she is put to work for her
captors, or sold to another pimp.
The domestic violence transition targets young people coming out
of abusive homes who are emotionally needy, and have no real idea of what
a normal love relationship looks like. They become involved with a "boyfriend"
who initially treats them better than they have ever experienced
before. The boyfriend gradually becomes extremely controlling, and eventually
violent. He introduces commercial sex in terms of his pressing need for
money, and "If you love me, you will do this." He quickly transitions from
"just this once" into “You are just a whore, my whore!” and requiring daily
prostitution. He continues controlling the victim with alternating emotional
manipulation and explosive violence, while living on her earnings, for as long
as she lasts.
The "grooming" process is used by older and more sophisticated
predators, and is especially used on younger children. These perpetrators
become adept at identifying abused, neglected, and depressed children, and
"befriending" them. They develop a "special" relationship, one that isolates
the child from others, and makes the child feel indebted to the groomer.
Slowly, resistance is broken down, using gifts, money, alcohol, drugs,
and pornography. In the sex industry, pornography is not only a profitable
product, it also is a working tool.
They engage the child in progressively more direct sex, and begin to
merge the abuse into the child’s identity: “You want this”, “You like this”,
“You make it happen”, “Now you are dirty, perverted, queer”. These
predators often are only interested in children of a specific age or appearance.
When they develop beyond that, the kids may be passed off to
pedophiles interested in older children. Being suddenly “dumped” for no
understandable reason often is very painful for the child.
Over a lifetime these predators may victimize an incredibly large
number of children. The emotional damage they do leaves a child even
more isolated and vulnerable to further involvement in the sex industry.
The experience of prostitution is remarkably similar for males and
females, but there are some differences.
Most young men used in prostitution are heterosexual. They are
drawn into the sex industry by many of the same forces as are women.
Many johns consider themselves straight, and claim that only the prostituted
young male is gay. Those used in male-on-male prostitution often are left
with tremendous confusion about their actual sexual orientation. When
trying to escape “the life”, they may encounter all the prejudices encountered
by gays, in addition to the stigma of prostitution. They are at higher
risk of HIV than prostituted women.
Rape and sexual slavery are common in jails and prisons. There is
considerable public support for it as a normal part of the punishment. Some
of those who run institutions do their best to maintain a safe and controlled
environment. They may be hampered by outdated, hard to supervise
buildings and lack of staff. Others may care very little about what inmates
do to each other.
Inmates who go to staff for protection often end up in protective
custody which is practically the same as disciplinary isolation. The response
of convicts toward “snitches” ranges from abusive to deadly.
Almost all of these traumatized men eventually are released. Many
dissolve into alcohol and drug dependence, or are disabled by psychological
symptoms. Others wander the streets, intoxicated, armed, and ready to
react explosively to any threat of harm or humiliation.
Women used in prostitution usually have children sooner or later.
Mothers who cannot protect themselves rarely can protect their children. In
the endless whirl of sex, drugs and violence, the children may be neglected,
traumatized, or even become merchandise in the sex industry themselves.
One of the most painful events in the life of prostitution is losing custody of
children, regardless of how good the reasons for that loss may be.
Most prostituted women want very much to be good mothers, often
trying to give their children the love and care they never received themselves.
The birth of a “trick baby”, that is, one fathered by some unknown
john, produces very complicated feelings. Some mothers can separate their
feeling for the baby from the anger at the way the baby was conceived, but
others cannot. Some “trick babies” are given up for adoption by mothers
who fear that they otherwise might abuse them.
If the baby was fathered by a pimp, or is at least claimed to be in
official records, the courts may fail to recognize, or ignore, the real nature of
the relationship. The pimp may be given visitation rights or even custody.
This gives the pimp a new person to threaten and a new means of controlling
the mother. It makes escaping from the sex industry even harder than
it already is.
Both male and female survivors of prostitution usually develop a
tremendous hatred of men, especially those in authority. They hate both for
the actual harm done, and for the help that was not given when it was
The larger society provides the pimps with a very powerful weapon. It
makes prostitution an identity, not an occupation. Once you have taken
money for sex, you are a prostitute. Society does not allow an expiration
date on that identity, nor a way to be publicly accepted as something else.
Society offers help to people in trouble largely based on the value set
on that person. It is much easier to get help for a married, middle class,
domestic violence victim, than for a refugee from the sex industry trying to
escape from a pimp.
Many people prefer to view prostitution as a "lifestyle choice," or even
an "addiction" to a lifestyle. They think most people in the sex industry are
there to support their drug habits, when actually the drugs are used to cope
with what is happening to their lives. Society assumes that nothing can be
done to help them, so there is no need to try. The pimps count on it.
Being trapped, under the control of violent and merciless men, without
hope of outside help, sets the stage for Stockholm Syndrome. When the
victim cannot successfully fight or flee, she may try to form a protective
relationship with her captor. She hopes that if she can prove her love and
loyalty to the pimp, she can “love” him into being good. This can become
such a desperate attachment that she actually believes she loves him, and
passes up chances to escape. Stockholm Syndrome often is the real reason
for what others see as the “choice” to stay in the sex industry.
Prostitution and the drug trade go hand in hand. Customers for sex
often are buyers for drugs also. Many pimps are supporting their own
habits, and dealing drugs as well.
The pimps consider drugs and alcohol a cost of doing business.
Without the chemicals, their "livestock" may become psychotic or commit
suicide. In addition to the brainwashing and violence, addiction provides a
form of control. Drugs also produce isolation from people who otherwise
might try to protect a victim or help her escape. The only creature less
worthy of help than a prostitute, is an addicted prostitute.
The health effects of prostitution are devastating. Prostitution,
especially in childhood, is at least as effective as war in producing posttraumatic
stress disorder. Survivors usually have some combination of
depression, anxiety, and dissociative disorders. Brain damage, psychosis,
and suicide are common. Long term psychiatric disability, serious medical
illness, and the effects of accumulating injuries shorten lives.
People who have had luckier lives, as well as those who profit from the
sex industry in some way, frequently refer to prostitution and pornography
as “victim-less crimes”. They point to a tiny fraction of sex workers who
actually might be involved by choice. They selectively read history to find
some tiny minority, somewhere, at some time, who gained something in the
The very selectiveness of their attention indicates that, on some level,
they know that for almost everyone, involvement in the sex industry is a
As many an old cop will say, “Anyone who thinks prostitution is a
victimless crime, hasn’t seen it up close.”
Herman, Judith Lewis. (1992). Trauma and Recovery.
Jarranson, James M. and Michael K. Popkin. (Eds). (1998). Caring for
Victims of Torture.
Copyright 1998, Joe Parker