Confusing love and sex: how the care system creates a context for grooming and child prostitution

In this searing article based on her own experiences, ‘Alice’ brilliantly articulates the disturbing reality of girls growing up in the failing British ‘care’ system and why they make such easy prey for pimps. Essential reading. Read More

Prostitution policy: The Nordic Model or full decriminalization?

This page provides access to the recording and transcript of our ‘Prostitution policy: The Nordic Model or full decriminalization? What do sex trade survivors say?’ webinar that was held on 24 January 2021.

The theme of the webinar was the debate about the Sexual Exploitation Bill that Dame Diana Johnson recently tabled in the UK Parliament. If passed, this would establish a Nordic Model approach to prostitution legislation and policy in England and Wales. Read More

‘Any girl, and most boys, growing up in care become targets for the sexual predation of adult men’

‘Alice’ sent this harrowing testimony about growing up in a UK children’s home through our Share Your Story page.

“A lot of the time surviving in the care system prepares girls for prostitution later. We all allowed degrees of sexual access to adult men for basics like food or clothing. Even beyond that most girls acquiesce to men’s sexual demands in return for things that make you feel like a ‘normal’ young teenager, but aren’t necessities…” Read More

Swedish sex trade survivors back international campaign for the Nordic Model

This article, by a group of people who have experienced prostitution in Sweden, explains why they formed the organisation #intedinhora (#notyourwhore) and why they back the Nordic Model approach to prostitution policy.

“We see prostitution as neither work nor sex, but as an oppression built upon oppression based on gender, race, class and/or age. We believe this, not despite our own experiences of being in the sex industry, but because of them.” Read More

‘My father started sexually abusing me before I was two years old…’

“I’m a survivor of familial sex trafficking. My father started sexually abusing me before I was even two years old and by age six, he was selling me to strangers for sex. This went on until I was about 16 years old.

He threatened my younger brother and me, saying he would kill our mother if we ever told anyone what he was doing… Read More

‘Sex buyers, pimps and traffickers are delusional, narcissistic murderers of innocence’

A woman who wants to remain anonymous sent this powerful piece about her experiences in, and understanding of, prostitution through our Share Your Story page. This provides a space for women to tell of their experiences of the sex trade in their own words.

“Sex buyers, pimps and traffickers are delusional, narcissistic murderers of innocence that malevolently groom, then prey upon, people who are often victims of child molestation and sexual assault. These vulnerable people also tend to struggle with substance abuse, mental illness and most of all, financial insecurity… Read More

‘Gagged and bound, I’m led down the steps into the basement…’

‘Sarah’ sent this harrowing and powerful piece about her experiences in prostitution through our Share Your Story page.

“Gagged and bound, I’m led down the steps into the basement. A group of men stand there and my legs begin to buckle beneath me. Surely, I’m not to be offered up to all of them? I’m horrified and afraid. But the question has already been answered in my mind and I know that my life will be changed forever… Read More

Three Dangerous Myths About Webcamming, Debunked

There are many popular myths about cam girls. The men who pay them often believe cam girls are lazy, superficial, money-hungry [insert gendered slur of your choice here]. A lot of women think the work will be sexually empowering, or at the very least, innocuous.

However, I once worked as a cam girl and got to find out first-hand what being one was actually like.  I learned that all the myths about webcamming are not only false and misleading but dangerous. Here is the truth behind three of the biggest myths… Read More

Hidden in plain sight

This is a transcript of Rebecca Mott’s talk at the ‘Experience of Prostitution’ webinar on 27 September 2020.

“I was prostituted from the age of 14 until my early 20s. I will speak to what it is to be prostituted; to the conditions for the prostituted and the breaking down of their humanity.

To understand prostitution, we need to see deeper than the generalised language of it being a bad thing. Instead, I will speak about the mental and physical trauma of the prostituted…
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Ireland must invest in services to help people exit prostitution

This piece was sent in anonymously through our Share Your Story page, which provides a space for women to tell of their experiences of the sex trade in their own words.

“I am a 43 year-old Irish woman who was actively involved in prostitution for five years from 2008 to 2013. My involvement in the sex trade came about as a result of my chronic addiction to heroin. I was not a victim of trafficking, nor was I being controlled by a pimp… Read More

‘I had no support or way out’

Stacy sent this account of her life in the sex trade, and after, through our Share Your Story page, where women can enter their experiences of the sex trade anonymously and in their own words.

“I prostituted for more than seven years and endured lots of physical, sexual, mental and spiritual abuse from both my pimp and the johns. I became an alcoholic and drug addict to ease the pain. Selling sex was never OK for me but I was in fear and had no support or way out.” Read More

‘Made to feel like nothing, made to feel worse than nothing, like she was just disposable’

A woman, who wants to remain anonymous, sent us this #MeToo account of her life in prostitution through our Share Your Story page. This provides a space for women to tell their stories in their own words.

“Imagine going to the cops because you have been severely raped/beaten/robbed and they laugh at you because you are a whore and you got what you deserved…” Read More

‘I believe legalised prostitution strengthens and emboldens misogynistic attitudes in men’

‘Siobhan’ sent us this #MeToo account of her experiences in the legal sex trade in New Zealand and Australia through our Share Your Story page. This provides a space for women to tell their stories in their own words.

“These deliberate attempts by punters to mess with my head have affected me much, much more than the multitude of times I was physically and sexually assaulted in prostitution. I still ruminate about the veiled insults they made about my worth, my looks and my character… I thought I had low self-esteem at 17, but prostitution has absolutely destroyed it.” Read More

‘I am a child impacted by the sex trade! I am a child impacted by paid rape!’

Imagine being a trapped in a world where sex is money and your body is an item for someone else’s pleasure. Now imagine being trapped in that world as a young mother with a tiny baby you would give anything for to see have a better life – only to have that baby removed from your care while you’re left unsupported to just “deal with it.”

That woman you’re imagining was my mum.

That tiny innocent baby was me… Read More

‘His hands are on me, my skin is screaming. Every touch burns.’

“He’s here.

A faceless, nameless, terrifying man. He could be anyone really.

I’m trying to hear the music but I can’t. His hands are on me, my skin is screaming at him. Every touch burns.

His lips touch, and ask, and demand, and smile. It’s not a happy smile, it’s a smile of contentment, an “I own you” smile. I’m not here. I can’t be here.” Read More

The cost of Western Europe’s rampant prostitution: the genocide of Romanian women

“I have decided to try this avenue and post here, not my story, not the story of a relative, not even the story of a friend, but the story of a whole country, my country – Romania. It is a gruesome story – in fact, ‘story’ is a misnomer. It is a gruesome reality. Of course, you are well aware of it, but I’ll tell it nonetheless.

“Here in Romania, we’re at the end of our wits and we, as common people, are doing everything we can on our part and I can only hope I can contribute by telling it here in the hopes of making a dent, at least…” Read More

I was an altruistic surrogate and am now against ALL surrogacy

In this article, a woman who was herself an altruistic surrogate for some friends writes about her experiences, which led to post-traumatic stress disorder, and why she is now against all forms of surrogacy.

“Women should not be encouraged to endanger their emotional and physical health and safety for other people’s ‘need’ to have babies. Women matter. Women should not be encouraged to put ourselves second, and to risk our lives for other people.” Read More

Thursday afternoon at the brothel

This is a diary entry from way back when Huschke wasn’t yet called Huschke, and was sitting around in the brothel as Svenja or Charlotte or whoever.

“Enough of this. I could not do another client today, it would hurt too much. To own up to this, to open myself to this, feels lethal. It does free me somehow, but the fear of Monday is back, where I mustn’t be this vulnerable any more, where I must push aside my knowledge that this is abuse, if I don’t want another murder to be perpetrated against my soul.”
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Open letter to all the sex buyers everywhere

‘Jo’ sent us this powerful and moving open letter to all the sex buyers everywhere through our Share Your Story page.

“Behind your backs we share a very different reality. We are tired of the emotional labour you put us through, not only the fact that you feel entitled to our bodies, but also that you feel entitled to our souls too. We talk about how much easier a client is when he is fast, less demanding. I’m saying ”we” because I’m talking about the majority of prostitutes I talk with, as well as my own experience in the sex trade.”
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‘I am a prostitute. I have been a prostitute since I was underage. I’m in my mid-30s now’

‘Jo’ sent us this #MeToo account of her experiences of the sex trade through our Share Your Story page. This provides a space for women to tell their stories in their own words.

“I would just sit on my bed afterwards, looking at the money, focusing on it, counting my savings every day to keep myself motivated, and counting how much more I would have to save to retire. To never return, to leave and to forget all that had happened in prostitution. Ever. To erase every single detail of my past.” Read More

‘I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone seeking a short fix. The damage it has done to me is irreparable.’

These #MeToo accounts of women’s experiences of the sex trade came in through our Share Your Story page. This provides a space for women to tell their stories in their own words.

“I made money from it, but felt like I had been all used up doing something that completely went against my core values. That experience induced trauma and I ended up going through even worse trauma in the years following that. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone seeking a short fix. The damage it has done to me is irreparable.” Read More

‘Men circling the streets, looking at the women like meat and yelling at them like dogs’

In this article women who have not been in the sex trade themselves share how it has nevertheless affected their lives in various ways. We received these #MeToo accounts through our Share Your Story page. This provides a space for women to tell their stories in their own words.

“It always made me sick to my stomach, the way that one human buys another. To use her as his toilet and dump her back in the street after – only for another man to pick her up.” Read More

‘The psychological damage & impact on my self esteem was devastating’

We received these #MeToo stories of the sex trade through our Share Your Story feature. This provides a space for women to tell their stories in their own words.

“They’ve even managed to get me to think that because I found prostitution and pornography traumatic that I was just one of the ones who ‘weren’t cut out for it,’ or was lacking in character and resilience somehow. I hate this so much.” Read More

‘I have A LOT of anger towards men’

Here are some more #MeToo stories that survivors of the sex trade have sent through our Share Your Story page. Thank you to every one who shared these powerful words.

“It hurts me when I read on twitter about how happy [prostitution] is and about choice and it’s empowering. Those people have never been in this situation. It is insulting to reality of so so many women worldwide who are in this not through choice and who don’t have much of a voice.” Read More

‘I survived but only just & sometimes I wish I hadn’t’

Here are some more #MeToo stories that survivors of the sex trade have sent us on social media or through our Share Your Story page. Thank you to every one of you who shared these powerful words.

“I was beaten, set on fire, cut, bitten, choked, robbed and raped, sometimes by men who were high up in the police or were judges, doctors, politicians.” Read More

Is ‘sex work’ real work? ‘If work is being slapped/beaten/told you’re a worthless whore… Then yes it’s work’

Is ‘sex work’ real work? “If ‘real work’ is having a 70 year-old drunk man bargaining with your ‘price’ because you won’t continue without a condom… that man getting aggressive and asking for his money back… if work is being forced to give up 50-100% of your income to a pimp… if work is being forced to have sex with men on the run from the police for domestic abuse… if work is being filmed without your consent… if work is being slapped/beaten/told you are a worthless whore… Then yes it’s work.” Read More