The Importance of Escorts Reporting Abuse:
Escorts can unexpectedly find themselves in a bad situation,...
where they've lost control, and then have their rights and their bodies violated.
Please read this
advisory so you will be informed if you ever become a victim of a violent incident:
To Report an Assault: Reporting helps escorts regain
a sense of personal power and control. Reporting allows escorts access to specialized medical care. Reporting helps
preserve evidence which could be valuable in prosecuting offenders.
Reporting helps escorts resolve concerns about their personal safety
and security. Reporting does not mean prosecution is certain,
but if pursued later, the first steps have been taken.
Call the Police: Reporting the assault is not the
same as prosecuting. The decision to prosecute can be made
later. Police should be notified at 911 and local law enforcement
will handle the case. The police will arrive at the location
of the victim; take an initial report and then transport the
victim to the hospital for medical attention. The victim should
refrain from showering, bathing, douching, eating, drinking,
or brushing their teeth so that evidence will not be disturbed.
Clothing worn during the assault should be saved in a paper
bag, and the location at which the assault took place should
not be disturbed.
Go to a Hospital Emergency Department: Receiving
medical attention is important immediately after an assault
regardless of whether the victim decides to report the assault
to the police or not. It is important to determine the presence
of physical injury, sexually transmitted infections, or pregnancy.
If the police are contacted, they should transport the victim
to the hospital, or the victim may choose to have a friend
or family member take them. If the victim goes to the hospital
before calling police, the hospital usually contacts law enforcement
if the victim says he/she has been sexually assaulted. However,
the victim is not required to file a report when the police
arrive at the hospital. Hospital personnel are prepared to
conduct a standardized medical exam known as a "rape
protocol exam." This exam ensures relevant evidence is
collected and certain observations are recorded. The cost
of the exam may be covered by special government state funds
set aside for crime victims. The victim must file a police
report for the cost of the rape protocol exam to be covered
by the state. This does not obligate the victim to pursue
Get Follow-Up Counseling: Several types of community
counseling services and agencies are available to victims
of violet or sexual assault and are strongly recommended.
4. How To Respond If More Than 72 Hours After The
Many victims of sexual assault do not come forward until days,
weeks, months, or even years after the assault. When a victim
reports a sexual assault that happened more than 72 hours
ago, all of the same procedures apply with the EXCEPTION of
the necessity to go to the hospital for evidence collection
(rape protocol exam.) The victim should still be encouraged
to report the assault to the police and go to a medical center
to check for internal injuries, sexually transmitted infections,
and pregnancy. Counseling should be emphasized to assist the
victim in the healing process. Certainly, the type and extent
of police involvement, medical exam, and counseling will depend
on the amount of time that has lapsed since the assault, but
should be encouraged regardless. You should also follow the
same reporting procedure by contacting the Office for Sexual
Health & Violence Prevention as soon as possible and file
an anonymous report.
most women do not report incidents of violence to the police.
This is evidenced from the results of previous victimization
surveys both in the USA and abroad. The Women's Safety Survey
reported that only 19 per cent of women who experienced an
incident of physical assault by a male in the previous 12-month
period reported the incident to police. Similar findings were
found in the Crime and Safety Survey , where 28 per cent of
female victims of assault reported the incident to police.
The reasons offered for not reporting an incident of assault
- preferred to deal with it themselves
- too trivial/unimportant (17%);
- did not want the offender arrested
- they told someone else instead (5%);
- they thought that there was nothing
that the police could (6%), or would do to help.
Take this valuable information and use it to your advantage
to help fight violent crime and help protect the escorts in
Factsheet on Human Rights Violations
Prostitution Research & Education from:
a) sexual harassment
d) verbal abuse
e) domestic violence
f) a racist practice
g) a violation of human rights
h) childhood sexual abuse
i) a consequence of male domination of women
j) a means of maintaining male domination of women
k) all of the above
The commercial sex industry includes street prostitution,
massage brothels, escort services, outcall services, strip
clubs, lapdancing, phone sex, adult and child pornography,
video and internet pornography, and prostitution tourism.
Most women who are in prostitution for longer than a few
months drift among these various permutations of the commercial
All prostitution causes harm to women. Whether it is being
sold by one’s family to a brothel, or whether it is
being sexually abused in one’s family, running away
from home, and then being pimped by one’s boyfriend,
or whether one is in college and needs to pay for next semester’s
tuition and one works at a strip club behind glass where
men never actually touch you – all these forms of
prostitution hurt the women in it. (Melissa Farley, paper
presented at the 11th International Congress on Women’s
Health Issues, University of California College of Nursing,
San Francisco. 1-28-2000)
"The everyday life of prostitution is distant from
most of us. And here, our imagination is a poor assistant.
Negotiate a price with a stranger. Agree. Pull down one
pant leg. Come and take me. Finished. Next, please. It becomes
too ugly to really take it in. The imagination screeches
to a halt." (Cecilie Hoigard and Liv Finstad, Backstreets:
Prostitution, Money, and Love, 1992, translated by Katherine
Hanson, Nancy Sipe, and Barbara Wilson; first published
as Bakgater in Norway, 1986, Pennsylvania State University
Press, University Park, Pennsylvania).
Men call up the image of the whore when they are abusing
their partners. The accusations in between the kicks and
slaps: "You slut....whore...." Historically, the
words mean "subhuman," "having no rights,"
"invisible," and "wicked." As recently
as 1991, police in a southern California community closed
all rape reports made by prostitutes and addicts, placing
them in a file stamped "NHI." The letters stand
for the words "No Human Involved." (Linda Fairstein,
Sexual Violence: Our War Against Rape, 1993, New York, William
"[The prostitute] is a victim of every bad thing men
do to women: physical and sexual abuse, economic oppression
and abandonment." (Mick LaSalle, "Hollywood is
hooked on hookers, " San Francisco Examiner, December
Women in prostitution are purchased for their appearance,
including skin color and characteristics based on ethnic
stereotyping. Throughout history, women have been enslaved
and prostituted based on race and ethnicity, as well as
gender (Kathleen Barry, 1995 ,The Prostitution of Sexuality,
New York University Press).
We usually don't see prostitution as domestic violence because
it is just too painful: "...the carnage: the scale
of it, the dailiness of it, the seeming inevitability of
it; the torture, the rapes, the murders, the beatings, the
despair, the hollowing out of the personality, the near
extinguishment of hope commonly suffered by women in prostitution."
(Margaret A. Baldwin "Split at the Root: Prostitution
and Feminist Discourses of Law Reform" in Yale Journal
of Law and Feminism, 1992, Vol 5: 47-120)
"Male dominance means that the society creates a pool
of prostitutes by any means necessary so that men have what
men need to stay on top, to feel big, literally, metaphorically,
in every way;..." (Andrea Dworkin, Prostitution and
Male Supremacy, in Life and Death, Free Press, 1997).
"Prostitution isn't like anything else. Rather, everything
else is like prostitution because it is the model for women's
condition." (Evelina Giobbe, 1992, quoted by Margaret
Baldwin in "Split at the Root: Prostitution and Feminist
Discourses of Law Reform," Yale Journal of Law and
"The sex industry markets precisely the violence, the
practices of subordination that feminists seek to eliminate
from the streets, workplaces, and bedrooms." Sheila
Jeffreys, (1997) The Idea of Prostitution, Spinifex Press,
North Melbourne, Victoria.
The practice of prostitution is a practice of sexual objectification
of women. "... every act of sexual objectifying occurs
on a continuum of dehumanization that promises male sexual
violence at its far end." John Stoltenberg (1990) Refusing
to be a Man, Fontana, London.
The average age of entry into prostitution is 13 years (M.H.
Silbert and A.M. Pines, 1982, "Victimization of street
prostitutes, Victimology: An International Journal, 7: 122-133)
or 14 years (D.Kelly Weisberg, 1985, Children of the Night:
A Study of Adolescent Prostitution, Lexington, Mass, Toronto).
Most of these 13 or 14 year old girls were recruited or
coerced into prostitution. Others were "traditional
wives" without job skills who escaped from or were
abandoned by abusive husbands and went into prostitution
to support themselves and their children. (Denise Gamache
and Evelina Giobbe, Prostitution: Oppression Disguised as
Liberation, National Coalition against Domestic Violence,
The age of entry into prostitution is decreasing. For example,
how do we even conceptualize "juvenile" prostitution,
when the age of consent for legal sexual activity is constantly
lowered, as in Netherlands and Philippines? (Kathleen Mahoney,
Professor of Law, Calgary University, Canada, 1995)
*"Incest is boot camp [for prostitution.]" (Andrea
Dworkin, "Prostitution and Male Supremacy," in
Life and Death, Free press, 1997)
Estimates of the prevalence of incest among prostitutes
range from 65% to 90%. The Council for Prostitution Alternatives,
Portland, Oregon Annual Report in 1991 stated that: 85%
of prostitute/clients reported history of sexual abuse in
childhood; 70% reported incest. The higher percentages (80%-90%)
of reports of incest and childhood sexual assaults of prostitutes
come from anecdotal reports and from clinicians working
with prostitutes (interviews with Nevada psychologists cited
by Patricia Murphy, Making the Connections: women, work,
and abuse, 1993, Paul M. Deutsch Press, Orlando, Florida;
see also Rita Belton, "Prostitution as Traumatic Reenactment,"
1992, International Society for Traumatic Stress Annual
Meeting, Los Angeles, CA M.H. Silbert and A.M. Pines, 1982,
"Victimization of street prostitutes," Victimology:
An International Journal, 7: 122-133; C. Bagley and L Young,
1987, "Juvenile Prostitution and child sexual abuse:
a controlled study," Canadian Journal of Community
Mental Health, Vol 6: 5-26.
80% of prostitution survivors at the WHISPER Oral History
Project reported that their customers showed them pornography
to illustrate the kinds of sexual activities in which they
wanted to engage. 52% of the women stated that pornography
played a significant role in teaching them what was expected
of them as prostitutes. 30% reported that their pimps regularly
exposed them to pornography in order to indoctrinate them
into an acceptance of the practices depicted. (A facilitator's
guide to Prostitution: a matter of violence against women,
1990, WHISPER - Women Hurt in Systems of Prostitution Engaged
in Revolt Minneapolis, MN)
The male sexuality in prostitution is "male masturbation
in a female body." (Hanna Olsson, regarding a study
of Swedish prostitution, quoted by Kathleen Barry in The
Prostitution of Sexuality, 1995, New York, New York University
Press) In prostitution, "men buy not a self but a body
that performs as a self, and it is a self that conforms
to the most harmful, damaging, racist and sexist concepts
of women..." (Kathleen Barry, The Prostitution of Sexuality,
1995, New York, New York University Press)
The prostitution market is driven by customer demand for
sexual service. During WW II, the Japanese military forced
from 100,000 to 200,000 Korean women into prostitution to
service their military. (Kathleen Barry, The Prostitution
of Sexuality, 1995, New York, New York University Press).
In 1974, police estimated that there were 400,000 prostitutes
in Thailand, procured primarily for the U.S. military on
R & R from the Vietnam War. As of 1993, an unofficial
estimate is that there are 2 million prostitutes in Thailand,
whose national economy is dependent on tourism. Prostitution
is the largest commodity for the 450,000 Thai men who purchase
prostitutes daily as well as for a large percentage of the
5.4 million tourists a year who arrive in Thailand for "sex
tours." (Kathleen Barry, The Prostitution of Sexuality,
1995, New York, New York University Press).
A more accurate term for "sex tourism" is prostitution
tourism. (Melissa Farley, 1997)
90% of prostituted women interviewed by WHISPER had pimps
while in prostitution (Evelina Giobbe, 1987, WHISPER Oral
History Project, Minneapolis, Minnesota).
Pimps target girls or women who seem naive, lonely, homeless,
and rebellious. At first, the attention and feigned affection
from the pimp convinces her to "be his woman."
Pimps ultimately keep prostituted women in virtual captivity
by verbal abuse - making a woman feel that she is utterly
worthless: a toilet, a piece of trash; and by physical coercion
- beatings and the threat of torture. 80% to 95% of all
prostitution is pimp-controlled. (Kathleen Barry, The Prostitution
of Sexuality, 1995, New York, New York University Press)
Describing the trauma of prostitution, and its consequences,
one fourteen year old stated: "You feel like a piece
of hamburger meat – all chopped up and barely holding
together" (D. Kelly Weisberg, 1985, Children of the
Night, Lexington Books, Toronto).
The answer to the question "why do prostitutes stay
with their pimps?" is the same as the answer to the
question "why do battered women stay with their batterers?"
(Melissa Farley, 1996) Humans bond emotionally to their
abusers as a psychological strategy to survive under conditions
of captivity. This has been described as the Stockholm syndrome
(Dee Graham with Rawlings and Rigsby, Loving to Survive:
Sexual Terror, Men's Violence, and Women's Lives, 1994,
New York University Press, New York.)
"About 80% of women in prostitution have been the victim
of a rape. It's hard to talk about this because..the experience
of prostitution is just like rape. Prostitutes are raped,
on the average, eight to ten times per year. They are the
most raped class of women in the history of our planet.
" (Susan Kay Hunter and K.C. Reed, July, 1990 "Taking
the side of bought and sold rape," speech at National
Coalition against Sexual Assault, Washington, D.C. )
Other studies report 68% to 70% of women in prostitution
being raped (M Silbert, "Compounding factors in the
rape of street prostitutes," in A.W. Burgess, ed.,
Rape and Sexual Assault II, Garland Publishing, 1988; Melissa
Farley and Howard Barkan, "Prostitution, Violence,
and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder," 1998, Women &
78% of 55 women who sought help from the Council for Prostitution
Alternatives in 1991 reported being raped an average of
16 times a year by pimps, and were raped 33 times a year
by johns. (Susan Kay Hunter, Council for Prostitution Alternatives
Annual Report, 1991, Portland, Oregon)
85% of prostitutes are raped by pimps. (Council on Prostitution
Alternatives, Portland, 1994)
Prostitution is an act of violence against women which is
intrinsically traumatizing. In a study of 475 people in
prostitution (including women, men, and the transgendered)
from five countries (South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, USA,
62% reported having been raped in prostitution.
73% reported having experienced physical assault in prostitution.
72% were currently or formerly homeless.
92% stated that they wanted to escape prostitution immediately.
(Melissa Farley, Isin Baral, Merab Kiremire, Ufuk Sezgin,
"Prostitution in Five Countries: Violence and Posttraumatic
Stress Disorder" (1998) Feminism & Psychology 8
83% of prostitutes are victims of assault with a weapon.
(National Coalition Against Sexual Assault)
A Canadian Report on Prostitution and Pornography concluded
that girls and women in prostitution have a mortality rate
40 times higher than the national average. ( Special Committee
on Pornography and Prostitution, 1985, Pornography and Prostitution
in Canada 350.
Many of the health problems of women in prostitution are
a direct result of violence. For example, several women
had their ribs broken by the police in Istanbul, a woman
in San Francisco broke her hips jumping out of a car when
a john was attempting to kidnap her. Many women had their
teeth knocked out by pimps and johns. (Melissa Farley, unpublished
One woman (in another study) said about her health: "I’ve
had three broken arms, nose broken twice, [and] I’m
partially deaf in one ear….I have a small
fragment of a bone floating in my head that gives me migraines.
I’ve had a fractured skull. My legs ain’t worth
shit no more; my toes have been broken. My feet, bottom
of my feet, have been burned; they've been whopped with
a hot iron and clothes hanger… the hair on my pussy
had been burned off at one time…I have scars. I’ve
been cut with a knife, beat with guns, two by fours. There
hasn’t been a place on my body that hasn’t been
bruised somehow, some way, some big, some small." (Giobbe,
E. (1992) Juvenile Prostitution: Profile of Recruitment
in Ann W. Burgess (ed.) Child Trauma: Issues & Research.
Garland Publishing Inc, New York, page 126).
In one study, 75% of women in escort prostitution had attempted
suicide. Prostituted women comprised 15% of all completed
suicides reported by hospitals. (Letter from Susan Kay Hunter,
Council for Prostitution Alternatives, Jan 6, 1993, cited
by Phyllis Chesler in "A Woman's Right to Self-Defense:
the case of Aileen Carol Wuornos," in Patriarchy: Notes
of an Expert Witness, 1994, Common Courage Press, Monroe,
Like combat veterans, women in prostitution suffer from
posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a psychological reaction
to extreme physical and emotional trauma. Symptoms are acute
anxiety, depression, insomnia, irritability, flashbacks,
emotional numbing, and being in a state of emotional and
physical hyperalertness. 67% of those in prostitution from
five countries met criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD –
a rate similar to that of battered women, rape victims,
and state-sponsored torture survivors. (Melissa Farley,
Isin Baral, Merab Kiremire, Ufuk Sezgin, "Prostitution
in Five Countries: Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder"
(1998) Feminism & Psychology 8 (4): 405-426
"For a great part of 1992 I lived in a beautiful apartment
on Capitol Hill. I drove my expensive car. I bought lovely
clothes and traveled extensively out of the country. For
the first time in my 20 years as an adult woman, I paid
my own way. There was no need to worry about affording my
rent, my phone bill, all the debts one accumulates simply
by living month to month. I felt invincible. And I was miserable
to the core. I hated myself because I hated my life All
the things I came to possess meant nothing. I could not
face myself in the mirror. Working in prostitution lost
my soul." Survivor interviewed by Debra Boyer, Lynn
Chapman and Brent Marshall in Survival Sex in King County:
Helping Women Out (1993), King County Women;s Advisory Board,
Northwest Resource Associates, Seattle.
"[In the past, we had a women's] movement which understood
that the choice to be beaten by one man for economic survival
was not a real choice, despite the appearance of consent
a marriage contract might provide. ...Yet now we are supposed
to believe, in the name of feminism, that the choice to
be fucked by hundreds of men for economic survival must
be affirmed as a real choice, and if the woman signs a model
release there is no coercion there." (Catharine A.
MacKinnon, "Liberalism and the Death of Feminism,"
in Dorchen Leidholdt and Janice Raymond (eds), The Sexual
Liberals and the Attack on Feminism, 1990, Teachers College
Press, New York.)
67% of 475 people in prostitution from South Africa, Thailand,
Turkey, USA, and Zambia met diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic
stress disorder (PTSD). 92% stated that they wanted to leave
prostitution, and said that what they needed was: a home
or safe place (73%); job training (70%); and health care
(59%). (Melissa Farley, Isin Baral, Merab Kiremire, Ufuk
Sezgin, "Prostitution in Five Countries: Violence and
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder" (1998) Feminism &
Psychology 8 (4): 405-426
Other studies have noted that those in prostitution want
to escape, and have the same needs as others who are in
similar circumstances. El Bassel found that women who used
drugs and who also prostituted were significantly more psychologically
distressed than were drug-using women who did not prostitute.
El Bassel et al. (1997) "Sex Trading and Psychological
Distress among Women Recruited from the Streets of Harlem,"
American Journal of Public Health, 87: 66-70.
In order to understand the trauma of prostitution, it is
necessary to also understand the ways in which racism and
sexism are inextricably connected in prostitution (see Vednita
Carter,1993, "Prostitution: Where Racism and Sexism
Intersect," Michigan Journal of Gender & Law, 1:
81-89. Also see Jackie Lynne (1998) "Street Prostitution
as Sexual Exploitation in First Nations Women’s Lives."
Essay submitted in partial fulfillment of Master of Social
Work, University of British Colombia, Vancouver, B.C., April
1998. See a short version of Lynne’s thesis "Colonialism
and the Prostitution of First Nations Women in Canada"
on the Prostitution Research & Education web site <http://www.prostitutionresearch.com>
There are few if any programs which address the needs of
children of prostitutes. In a recent study of 1,963 prostitutes,
more than two-thirds had at least one child. The average
number of children was 2. 40% of the children lived with
their grandmothers, but 20% lived with a mother working
as a prostitute. 9% of the children were in foster care.
5% of the working prostitutes were pregnant when interviewed.
(Adele Weiner, "Understanding the Social Needs of Streetwalking
Prostitutes," 1996, Social Work, 41: 97-106.)
In 1994, women in the sex industry were identified as one
of three populations most in need of specialized services,
primarily as a result of the violence inflicted upon them
as a result of their work. (City of Seattle Dept of Housing
and Human Service, Domestic Violence Community Advocacy
Program Expansion, Feb. 1994)
In prostitution, demand creates supply. Because men want
to buy sex, prostitution is assumed to be inevitable, therefore
'normal.' Here are quotes from three different johns:
1. "It’s like going to have your car done, you
tell them what you want done, they don’t ask, you
tell them you want so and so done…" (McKeganey,
N. and Barnard, M. ,1996, Sex Work on the Streets: Prostitutes
and Their Clients. Milton Keynes Open University Press,
2. I am a firm believer that all women… are prostitutes
at one time or another" (Hite, S. ,1981, The Hite Report
on Male Sexuality. New York, Alfred A. Knopf)
3. Discussing his experience in a strip club, one man said,
"This is the part of me that can still go hunting"
(Frank, K. (1999) Intimate Labors: Masculinity, Consumption,
and Authenticity in Five Gentlemen’s Clubs, Unpublished
doctoral dissertation, Duke University, Durham, N.C.).
4. Violent behaviors against women have been associated
with attitudes which promote men’s beliefs that they
are entitled to sexual access to women, that they are superior
to women, and that they are licensed as sexual aggressors.
( White,J.W. & Koss, M.P 1993, "Adolescent sexual
aggression within heterosexual relationships: prevalence,
characteristics, and causes. " In H.E. Barbaree, W.L.
Marshall and D. R. Laws.(eds.) The Juvenile Sex Offender,
Guilford Press, New York.
If we view prostitution as violence against women, it makes
no sense to legalize or decriminalize prostitution. The
primary violence in prostitution is not "social stigma"
as some maintain. Decriminalizing or legalizing prostitution
would normalize and regulate practices which are human rights
violations, and which in any other context would be legally
actionable (sexual harassment, physical assault, rape, captivity,
economic coercion.) or emotionally damaging (verbal abuse).
In 1999, the Swedish Parliament put into effect a law which
criminalizes the buying of sexual services but not the selling
of sexual services. This is a compassionate, social interventionist
legal response to the cruelty of prostitution. (see,Sven-Axel
Mansson and Ulla-Carin Hedin, 1999, "Breaking the Matthew
Effect - On Women Leaving Prostitution," International
Journal of Social Work. Also see Prostitution Research &
Education web site, http://www.prostitutionresearch.com
for a copy of the Swedish law.
"It takes a village to create
P.R.E.: Melissa Farley, PhD is at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tip #3 — Have a way out. Do NOT rely
on dates for your transportation; make arrangements
for your own way to get around.