The Beginning of Something Else

On June 1, 2007 I found out my husband and partner of almost two decades had been unfaithful to me since before our marriage, and had been having intercourse with prostitutes for 3 1/2 years. This is what happened next.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Who prostitutes are

More than 90% of prostitutes suffered childhood sexual abuse, often incest
70% believed that being sexually abused as children influenced their decisions to become prostitutes
Two-thirds began working in prostitution before they turned 16
Average length of career is 4 years
96% who began committing prostitution as juveniles were runaways.
75% attempted suicide
15% of all suicide victims are prostitutes
(source for stats above: Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault)

2/3 of prostitutes were sexually abused from the ages of 3-16. (The average age of victimization was 10).
2/3 of prostitutes abused in childhood were molested by natural, step-, or foster fathers. 1
0% were sexually abused by strangers.
More than 90% of prostitutes lost their virginity through sexual assault.
70% of prostitutes believed that being sexually abused as children influenced their decisions to become prostitutes.
91% of prostitutes sexually abused as children told no one. Only 1% received counseling for the effects of the abuse

Because many prostitutes have been sexually assaulted, they suffer from psychological effects of rape and child sexual abuse. These include rape trauma syndrome, low self-esteem, guilt, and self-destructiveness. Prostitutes often will not seek counseling for their problems because they are suspicious of outsiders and authorities, fear rejection, and fear change. Prostitutes often fear admitting they have been harmed. They may have difficulty establishing enough control over their own lives to seek counseling, and they may fear that health care and other services will not help them because they are prostitutes. Mimi Silbert, a counselor, states that many prostitutes have a "psychological paralysis" that involves wanting help, but rejecting it. However, it has been found that if 24-hour hotlines, counseling, advocacy and shelter care are made specifically available to prostitutes, these services will be used. Counseling has been found to help prostitutes recover from sexual trauma and improve their self-esteem


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