Dedicated to Chelsea Geddes, who I hope can understand.
I am often asked how I exited indoors prostitution, as if the answer will give the listener/reader a neat and happy ending.
When I exited, there was no exiting programmes, no real understanding that indoors prostitution could cause long-term damage – there was no interest in getting the prostituted freedom and full humanity.
I exited because I choose to live, I exited because I could be torture any more – but I exited by my sheer stubborn will to be a human that could matter.
I am fully behind the Nordic Approach, if there are long-term and holistic exiting programs in all countries that do that system.
It is not good enough to just fine punters – that is a small start, but do not make a finish.
Personally, I cannot understand the fear to imprison punters – are they not serial rapists, do they not pay to torture the prostituted, have they not done GBH on the prostituted – or do we have to wait to they murder the prostituted, till we may imprison the prostituted.
It is not good enough to just punish the sex trade profiteers, and to attempt to destroy as much of their business as possible.
Without exiting programmes, without long-term counselling, without a safe place to live, without an real job or route to a job, without knowing prostituted women can keep their children – we are just abandoning those inside the sex trade.
I will speak to how I exited, speak to a time without the Nordic Approach – a time that made fight for abolition where all the human rights of the prostituted are made a priority.
To exit from prostitution is never easy – especially as the vast majority of the prostituted do without support, without the belief that they had been harmed.
Most of us who have exited – exited into a void, where we were refused the right to be fully human.
Most exited women I know, only exited because they did not want to die, they refused to the disappeared women – but too many brilliant prostituted wanted to exit and were wipe out instead.
Those of us who somehow exited carried our disappeared/dead Sisters with us all the time, for we know it was just a toss of a card that we survived.
I exited because I chose to live, I chose to resist, I chose to make a life where I had some purpose.
But it was hell to find a way to exit, and exiting is a life-long event, for the poison of prostitution never truly leave my body and mind.
To be exited, is to daily have the courage to know where you came from, and use that knowledge to refuse the self-harm that makes it seem easier to be back in the deadness of prostitution.
I am daily stunned and amazed of the exited women who made this journey without specialist therapy, without help with housing, without knowing whether they can kept their children or not, without a job to go to, and usually with physical and mental health issues as their norm.
Exited women are the bravest people that I know – for the world give them little or nothing, but they have the dignity and self-respect to want to educate for real freedom and change for all the prostituted.
To go back, to my personal place of exiting – maybe the way to speak to that time, is to put you there.
Know in my mid-20’s I was feeling what it was to be prostituted – I was losing my deadness, and getting life in my body.
The last three years of my prostitution was the worse time in my life – for I wanted out, but I had no idea that I could exit.
In that time, I felt every rape, every sexual torturing, every bashing up, every verbal insult, every look to remind that I was sub-human.
I could not shut it out – so I tried never to sleep, never to think, I try to make it nothing – but it was all too real.
At that time, most of the punters that consume were sadists, many place me on the edge of death.
I live in a haze of not knowing if I alive or dead – only knowing I was somehow still breathing.
It was in that fog, that a punter anally raped me until I landed in hospital.
It was that that was the beginning of discovering I must exit.
In hospital, I was made sub-human.
I was told I was so severely injured I should get a bed – but the nurse ignored that, and after yelling that I was just a whore wasting her time, she sew me up without any painkiller.
That was the straw that broke me – for a small voice in me said – you are worth more than this.
I run away from the hospital, and ended up in my bed – to find I was paralyse for three days.
I had never stopped for all the years of prostitution – by being always moving, I could sometime not know my own reality.
But as I laid paralysed, I thought I just die, or somehow force myself to move and live by running away.
I force myself to live – when in many ways death was the better option.
I did run away – only to find it was many years till I was no longer raped or made sub-human.
But by running, I had made the huge step to tell myself that I was important and not just a sex-toy for punters.
It was a long and extremely painful journey to being in a world where rape and torture is not my norm – but I have built for myself.
I had very little support, very little understanding till I found a community of exited women -they saved my sanity and my life.
But we must have more than that sheer will to survive – that is why we must build long-term and holistic world-wide.