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The Psychology of Prostitution

# Prostitution and the need to punish the "self"

This time we will talk about an unspoken and perhaps even strange and non-intuitive topic.

Quite a few survivors share with us about a kind of addiction, a sort of unexplained urge to engage in prostitution. In order to deeply understand the reasons for this, one must dive into the depths of the soul and the trauma and understand its roots.

Many of the women share with us about their past as unprotected children. Difficult stories of abuse (of any kind), neglect and harm.

In their own way, children mentally survive severe abuse if they blame themselves and not the adult who was supposed to protect them (I tempted dad, I deserved a beating because of my behavior) This is a survival mechanism This is almost the only logical choice, because the alternative - I didnt Nothing and I suffered harm' is much more destructive and hopeless.

Following this thought process, the one who is guilty, the "self", must be "punished".

Prostitution is a kind of "the knife that cuts the flesh", prostitution is a way to punish/hurt/humiliate parts that deserve to suffer.

It is important to say that parts of self-harm exist in all of us, but when you learn from such a young age that it is guilt, this element becomes stronger in adulthood.

This is only a partial explanation and not exhaustive, in the hope that we can understand a little more destructive behaviors such as "choosing" prostitution.

# Prostitution - the issue of choice

In the neoliberal worldviews, the concept of "choice" is considered an almost sacred value.

No one asks themselves what led a person to "choose" a certain life path. Economic situation, social disadvantage, dramatic life events and the like are not considered as long as there is a "choice".

In the prostitution field, the term "choice" is a key point in any discussion of "whether she chose it or not."

If the woman chose prostitution, then there is a veiled guilt here - or an assumption that she must be satisfied because she made a choice.

We suggest not dealing with the question of "choice" (to what extent each of us really has a choice is a philosophical question), but with the issue of damages.

The harms of prostitution are evident and visible to every woman in the field and are well documented in the research literature. There is no other occupation in which people suffer from such a large variety of: anxiety disorders, depression, dissociation, eating disorders, sleep disorders, dysfunction, double morbidity and much more...

Therefore, even if someone "chose" prostitution with a clear mind, she could not foresee the damages and certainly not "choose" them.

# prostitution and intimacy fake

One of the most difficult things in prostitution is the request to fake a bond of love, eye contact, kisses, etc. Survivors share how horrible it is for them and does not allow them to detach. The lack of authenticity in the encounter between species is seen as something impossible to accomplish. Sharing a very, very difficult testimony (!!) of the survivor requesting that we support her:

"You're writing to me at home now after a shift

I feel like I'm having a mental breakdown

I went to work in five hours and got 8 men

And so like a robot... until the eighth came

He was stoned and didn't stand up to him and wanted hugs and a conversation

It's worse than having sex with them

And suddenly I had a panic attack from his smell

Sometimes I don't understand the source of the anxiety because there are many reasons at work

But this time I know it was the smell from my mouth from the house and it stuck to me and not my soul and he saw me crying for another second and walked away saying I'm weird

I had two more customers waiting for me and I couldn't accept them

I showered like crazy and I don't feel like it passed

And I come to the manager you smell it you smell it ..almost like a delusional attack

They tell me no

I couldn't, I begged to go and apologized again

Now at home and still stressed

I want to cry, I'm so disgusted with them

I always try to have relationships with them with my back because I can't look at them

And the worst thing is that they ask, oh yes, look me in the eyes

It's torture..because I always close my eyes and it helps me imagine things..

And they cut off my imagination, I don't function

I take comfort in writing and also in the knowledge of sharing.'

# Prostitution and female empowerment

Xavira Hollander,   In 1972 Xavira wrote a book, a world bestseller, called "The happy hooker"  translated in Hebrew to "House of pleasure"._cc781905-5cde-3194- -136bad5cf58d_The book, which I was also exposed to years ago, describes the horny and passionate memories of someone who was a woman in prostitution in the merry 60's and later a famous madam in Manhattan, writes a regular advice column for the monthly "Penthouse" and the like.

The book gives a sense of a turbulent and adventurous sex life and describes the world of prostitution as a place that empowers women, glamorous and wonderful.

In 2002, Kasoira wrote a book called "No Longer a Girl" in which she describes her childhood during the Holocaust, the brutal attacks she and her mother experienced in a Japanese POW camp and the sexual vulnerability they were exposed to. The book actually describes how the girl's psyche can be prepared for what is known as "traumatic sexualization" later in life.

The last book did not become a bestseller.

For further reading: (descriptions are very, very triggering, see their warning)

# Prostitution and drug use, further explanations

It is common to see the use of drugs as a way to comfort yourself and disconnect from the difficult experience of prostitution.

But there are other reasons.

Rachel Moran, a survivor of prostitution herself, writes in her book: "Paid for - my journey through prostitution", because drugs are a way to distance yourself from the "prostitute" image that stuck to you. According to her, it is so difficult to contain this social humiliation, that the drugs make it possible to detach from the difficult self-image created by our sick society.


# Prostitution and male triggers

Many survivors experience triggers even when they are in communication with men, even years after leaving the world of prostitution.

A male voice on the phone, getting into an elevator with a man or just walking down the street is enough for this to cause them distress (post-traumatic stress disorder) and even disconnection (dissociation).

Sometimes contact with men activates coping patterns in them that do not serve them: from paralysis to excessive kindness - everything stems from threatening situations in the past that caused women to develop automatic defense behaviors.

These are situations in which, for the sake of survival, the brain has learned to disconnect itself and perform, similar to training.

Of course, it is not possible to walk around the world in a sterile and male-free environment, and there are also men who are sensitive and moral enough not to take advantage of the situation and their intentions are good, but even in front of them the difficulty may arise due to the bitter past attempts of the survivors.

We recommend that, at least in the initial stages of rehabilitation, try to avoid trigger situations and stay safe. This is especially true for inpatient settings for drug and alcohol rehab - here, from our experience, we unanimously recommend going exclusively to settings designed for women only.

  • *The post was written in collaboration with "Cat in a Dress", a survivor of our community.

# Prostitution and a sense of transparency

Many women in prostitution share the experience of being "invisible", transparent. Many times the roots of this experience lie in childhood. The girl's family hurt her, neglected her, physically and/or emotionally, or failed for one reason or another to protect her from the vulnerability of the surrounding world.

In any discussion of this issue, there will be voices that will argue that it is not possible to state conclusively that all women in prostitution were abused or neglected in their childhood. In connection with this, our claim is that even if a woman experienced a childhood that can be called a normal childhood, and perhaps even a happy childhood, then prostitution in itself is overwhelmingly a pretense. In this way, it is argued, the counterfeiting, and in light of this also the transparency, are integral parts of the world of prostitution.

The woman, in order to satisfy the men's demands, often has to pretend that she is enjoying herself, to pretend that she is interested in what is happening or in the person and is forced to pretend that what is done to her is her sincere and authentic desire.

In this way- her feelings are transparent and invisible, her feelings are transparent and invisible, her body becomes transparent and invisible (but a tool to satisfy needs only), and in this way- she herself as a woman, as a person, becomes transparent, invisible- and perhaps does not even exist in the eyes of others.

We do not stand by and see you - in our community you are no longer invisible in the world - for us you are important, for us you are precious - for us you are a part of the community - just as you are, unconditionally and without the need for anything in return.

*The post was written in collaboration with "Shelgia" a member of our community.

# Prostitution and the reconstruction of the initial trauma 

We were asked to publish this post this time by S., a survivor of our community member. She seeks to explain the psychological process of prostitution from her point of view.


"The data is always the same data. What changes from country to country are the faces and periods.

As a survivor of street life, with all that implies, I know that all my friends have a similar background

It doesn't matter where we were born or where we were raised

It doesn't matter where we studied or what our dreams were

We've all been hurt during trauma recovery!

The average survivor will tell you about a difficult case in her past. This case (and maybe more cases) wounded her terribly.

The life after, the post-post-trauma of shopping street life, etc., is based on an endless fear that they won't love me - and then I give myself extra hours without being asked.

Lest I be lonely - then I'm also nice to those I want to kill

Lest I get hungry - then I just buy ten packs of tuna. in my life

Lest I run out of gas - so I fill up every two days.

I don't know how to bargain for myself, I have no price for myself. I myself have been hurt and now I am learning to give myself space and a comfortable and safe life thanks to education and work, and even there, you have to set limits

When you come from a place of scarcity to the world of commerce, you see people lie just to hurt themselves a little more with mind-altering substances\ you see skeletons nodding just to get another Adolen cork and you know that all the girls who look at you with a glazed look come from your damaged background.'

# Prostitution and reproduction as compensation for absence

In the past we wrote about the subject of reconstruction (re-victimization) in prostitution, this time we will refer to the subject of reconstruction from another explanatory angle: a narrative explanation.

Prolonged sexual abuse in childhood generally takes place under the cover of threat and concealment. These injuries take place underground, while obliging the girl to keep the injury a secret.

Since little girls lack the language required to conceptualize what is happening to them (or still lack language at all), the hurt often remains in a vacuum devoid of words, and even when the girl does try to speak the hurt, in the childish language that is accessible to her, she is often met with misunderstanding on the part of The environment ignored, mocked and even angered and threatened her.

The threats made many times to the girl by the abuser (because if you tell, no one will believe/no one will care/everyone will be angry with her) prove themselves to be reality in practice.

Those silenced parts do not remain quietly in the dark - but continue to aspire from their place, which is often unconscious - for compensation and recognition - from the environment, and sometimes - also from the girl herself who has grown up.

In light of this desire for compensation, many times the very act of prostitution constitutes in itself a mental impulse to create a narrative for a premature injury that remains without words, without understanding, without language, sometimes even completely cut off from the main stream of consciousness. Along with the need to create a narrative in order to connect to a whole self, other theories that deal with the reconstruction of vulnerability, speak of the fact that there is a hidden hope that this time someone will know about the harm, that someone will choose to see and come to the rescue, that this time things will be different.

Unfortunately, in a world where there are so many stigmas towards the subject of prostitution, as well as in a world where ridicule, disdain and jokes are frequently heard towards women in prostitution - these deep needs for attack, recognition, visibility and salvation are met time and time again with similar reactions, and even the same, as those encountered at the time The initial injury itself. In this way, the woman-child remains in the cycle of helplessness and abandonment, and the needs themselves, who once again failed to win the compensation they longed for and waited for, continue to turn again and again around the same cycle of harm - in the hope that maybe this time someone will see, maybe this time someone will hear - maybe this time... Maybe.. after all, help will come.

*The post was written in collaboration with "Shelgia", a survivor of our community.

# Prostitution "and the girlfriend experience"

Prostitution, in its popular sense, is recognized by most of the public as a sexual act in exchange for a sum of money. In the past, we detailed various other aspects of violence that are frequently included in the world of prostitution and are part of the harsh, violent and offensive reality of prostitution.

In this post we would like to highlight another practice that is an integral part of the prostitution world, a practice that is perhaps one of the most exploitative practices in the prostitution field, and that is the GX.

This practice means that fornicators demand that the woman behave as if she were "their friend". I mean, look into their eyes, kiss, cuddle with them - just like a woman in love behaves.

Apparently, this is an innocent and harmless request. Perhaps among some of us it can even arouse empathy towards them. However, in fact - this request is not essentially different from the sexual act itself - these two requests are completely equal to each other. The thing that is possible in view of this request is the creation of a blurring of the essence of the situation - which is exploitation and harm and the extroverted view of a woman who suffers from the situation.

Beyond obscuring the immorality that this practice produces, most of the survivors are disgusted by it. Contrary to external thinking that may and may be formed in connection with this practice - one that believes that it is better to be the request and not such and such deviations or violent behavior - this practice is not only not superior to other requests - but sometimes it is even experienced as worse than them.

Worse because unlike a technical and cold sexual act which allows one to detach and not be, leaving only the body to do what is required of them - this request actually forces the woman to be present there - to experience the disgust and disgust - and to stay, and not just in her body. Thus, this practice, which is perhaps perceived as less violent, denies the woman the only freedom she still has left in the situation - the emotional escape from the unbearable.

In doing so, many times this practice scars the soul even more, drains more strength, causes much more suffering - deepens and worsens the trauma, when the other party feels that he is a good person, neither violent nor offensive - but just someone who wanted to buy some love and proximity

*The post was written in collaboration with "Shelgia", a survivor of our community.

# Prostitution and regaining control

Prostitution can be experienced by the woman as a relationship in which she functions as strong and controlling. Among women in prostitution, the sense of control often takes on a particularly large weight, as a result of the fact that many of them were deprived of control during their childhood.

A search for control, whether conscious or not, is a correction for the helplessness that often accompanies the lack of control in previous relationships.

Following on from this, women describe the experience of controlling prostitution in that they are the ones who decide, they are the ones who choose and collect the money, so when it comes to a "service provider" versus a "customer" - there is a false sense of control

Although we respect the narrative of returning control and understand the need, as well as the longing for a relationship that will embody other, even opposite, power relations - our claim is that in reality, this control is a mirage and an illusion.

This relationship often leaves the woman dependent on money and therefore very far from controlling the situation.

This reality leads to the fact that women, even if at first they felt that they choose or know how to set the legitimate limits in their eyes, are slowly forced to flex the limits, or, in other words, to agree to acts they are not interested in, and with adulterers who shy away from them. If so, the ability to choose within the field of feeding is very limited, and with the passage of time disappears completely.

*The post was written in collaboration with "Shelgia", a survivor of our community.

# Prostitution and dissociative identity disorder

As we have written many times in order to succeed in the difficult field of prostitution, many women use drugs and alcohol in order to silence themselves, in others mental mechanisms called dissociation are activated, which we have also written about many times.

Dissociation, for those who don't remember, is the possibility of detaching from the experience in such a way that only the body is present, while the mind "wanders" to another place, as if it is not present in the situation (though to emphasize that dissociation can appear in expressions where the body loses sensation to the point of paralyzing parts of it or is experienced as fake)

One of the extreme and rare manifestations of dissociative states is dissociative identity disorder. This disorder, popularly known as "split personality" - develops against the background of serious and continuous sexual injuries in early childhood, injuries that are not given any empathic response from the environment.

The mechanism of dissociation, as remembered, is a mechanism that manifests itself over a continuum. In prolonged injuries, it is usually customary to talk about the child who detaches at the time of the injury and the normal routine that continues between injury and injury - which is possible due to the mechanism of detachment. In contrast to repression, the matter of harm is not unconsciously manipulated but isolated from the main consciousness. In severe injuries and at an early age, when there are no defense mechanisms and the child is completely helpless in the absence of any supportive environment - sometimes the division of consciousness into parts is so fixed that each part becomes an "entity" in itself - with a unique personality, unique features, unique style and unique preferences. These parts operate independently and disconnected from the main consciousness, when often their role is to protect the child in times of stress. Even after the end of the injury, as an adult, these continue to exist, and automatically appear as a response to a trigger, in order to protect the central personality in times of stress and tension.

It should be noted that although the basis of the mechanism is protection, the dynamics of this mechanism, which contains damaged parts, childish parts, as well as parts that identify with the offender, results in the fact that when there is a trigger leading to the appearance of these characters they can be harmed, harming the body which, as mentioned, they all share with the main identity and can resort to self-destructive behaviors.

What does all this have to do with prostitution? The connection is that although it is a disorder that is not common among the population, it is apparently more common among women engaged in prostitution.

How? This is another proof that prostitution is sexual abuse. Victims went through childhood without a support network, adopted different identities. Some of the identities are of "prostitutes". One of the likely explanations is that these identities are intended to try to control the situation of the injury - to reproduce it and demand money after it as part of a repair. Another explanation is that some of these identities, by virtue of the fact that they are the ones who have experienced the harm, thus protecting other parts who experience themselves as entities that have not been harmed - adopt the narrative that they are prostitutes or that this is their destiny in the world, as well as - sometimes the parts that have been harmed Accused by parts that did not go through the harm (remember, each part functions as an independent and autonomous entity for everything - and these can also talk to each other) because these parts wanted the harm, enjoyed it or went through it by virtue of being promiscuous and promiscuous.

*This post was written in collaboration with "Shelgia", a survivor of our community.

# Prostitution and trigger situations

Women in prostitution experience serious sexual trauma. When a trauma occurs, a chain of brain processes result in the trauma being stored in the memory in a different way than a narrative memory.

Compared to the healthy memory, the traumatic memory is characterized by a "frozen" and invasive memory of the traumatic events, or alternatively - characterized by the splitting of the memory into different components of the event, so that sometimes a woman can even forget the details of the event itself but remember certain smells or certain symbols that will be associated with certain feelings and this without You will understand why these feelings arise.

Sometimes: a certain smell, noises of a special nature, sights, places and the like may lead to the "invasion" of various elements from the traumatic memory.

Many prostitution survivors try to avoid these flooding memories and try to avoid coming into contact with them as much as they can.

This can lead to a very limited and fearful life.

For example, we hear from survivors that they are afraid to pick up the phone to a government office (maybe a man will answer) or are afraid to walk around a certain area (because it reminds them of things), etc.

It is important to understand that this is not purely anxiety, but avoidance serves as a defense mechanism that helps protect the mind from the flooding of the disconnected or unprocessed traumatic contents that were encoded during the trauma and threaten the life and soul of the survivor - whether she is aware of them or not.

*The post was written in collaboration with the survivor, a member of our community, "Shelgia".

# Neglected environment and prostitution

"No one cared about anything, when I go, when I come back, if I ate, I went to the doctors alone, a 9-year-old girl, alone" (from a surviving testimony).

A neglectful childhood environment is on the vulnerability continuum and is the other side of the same coin - abuse.

While the physical and sexual injuries in childhood "invade" the girl's life and erase her being a human being, so does neglect and neglect which do a similar action.

Girls who have grown up and been neglected are often looking for someone to see them, to notice the "deletion", to give attention... to give what they didn't receive. This is fertile ground for exploitation by pimps and fornicators, since they are often aware of this plight of the women. This awareness allows them to use the relationship as bait.

Thus, some of them demonstrate a soft and humane attitude towards the women at the beginning of the relationship, while giving attention and giving a sense of value and visibility.

This creates a trap in which the woman who is so thirsty for visibility and attention from someone in the world, any person - enters into a relationship with the person who sees her and seemingly reaches out to her. Then, slowly as the relationship progresses, the mask of exploitation, violence and humiliation begins.

# Prostitution and trust in the world

"Open the gate, open to space

Walk through here

false chain"

(Shad Aryot/Smeder Weinstock)


Women in prostitution are often used to relations of exploitation, abandonment, abuse and betrayal.

In many cases these relationships originate from the beginning of their childhood. Parents and close adults in their world who were supposed to provide security, love, concern, guard and protection - used their power as responsible adults for abuse, exploitation and harm. Alternatively, or sometimes even at the same time, those adults ignored the children's needs for warmth, love and protection, as well as the calls for help - and behaved in neglect, neglect and abandonment.

The dynamics of these relationships, as learned in childhood, is established in the deepest and most rooted perceptions of the self and its environment - and thus affects all interpersonal relationships and the relationship to the world in general. Unfortunately, many times women who were hurt or abandoned in childhood continue to encounter factors that recognize their vulnerability even in adulthood, taking advantage of this in order to continue the chain of exploitation and betrayal - thereby further confirming their thoughts and knowledge of who they are as human beings.

Thus every relationship, even a benevolent one, is examined suspiciously and with doubt. The good is seen as dangerous, true worry is seen as heavy and the anxiety of abandonment is constantly present in the experience. In a world where the terms "unconditional love" or benevolent relations with the world - these are things that were never given and were not there - sometimes, understandably, our teams are also suspected of having hidden intentions and as those who will continue the cycle of exploitation and harm and want a return.

Building a relationship of trust is a long, arduous, delicate and difficult process that takes a long time, puts us through quite a few tests - this while expecting that we too will be hurt, disappointed, abandoned and hurt, and sometimes while trying to even provide proof of this (whether consciously or unconsciously).

We are aware of this difficulty in front of people and in front of the world. We are aware that the possibility of knowing another side of the world, as well as believing in the possibility of goodness and sincere caring are things that are unbearably difficult, sometimes even seen as impossible at all. Therefore, we will do as much as we can to try to slowly build a new possibility, perhaps the first, to create trust - in us, and perhaps in the future also in the world. We will try to enable the creation of hope for an encounter with another type of human being. And above all - the possibility of knowing and believing that we are here. Whenever you want - by your side and with you.

*The post was written in collaboration with "Shelgia", a survivor of our community.

# Prostitution and eating disorders

Trauma and sexual abuse are sometimes manifested in eating disorders. Eating disorders can manifest in a multifaceted way starting with reductions, starvation and purging, through binge eating to patterns of binge eating followed by compensatory behavior. Eating disorders have many meanings. Some of them are compensating for an internal void, silencing pain with food, and controlling what enters the body. Therefore, it is not for nothing that there is comorbidity between eating disorders and complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

But even if we decide to put the psychological explanations aside, women in prostitution are measured and evaluated based on their appearance, both by pimps and customers. Entire sites on the Internet rate, recommend and measure their fonts.

The pressure to be thin according to the accepted model (hereafter: "market demands") give their signals and are a source of the development of an eating disorder.

In other words, being in prostitution may ignite an eating disorder or deepen and worsen an existing eating disorder.

Also, it is worth noting that sometimes the trauma of prostitution itself may be a trigger for the development of an eating disorder, as part of the defense mechanisms required for survival in this reality or for the purpose of dealing with post-traumatic symptoms from which many women who have already left the world of prostitution suffer.

This is how we once again become aware of the heavy costs of prostitution, the destruction of the body and mind that is created or deepens due to prostitution and the suffering that many women have to deal with, whether they are still in active prostitution or whether they have already left it.

 *The post was written in collaboration with the survivor of our community.

# Prostitution and sleep disorders

Both the professional literature and evidence in the field indicate a direct link between being in prostitution and the development of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Some of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are characterized by severe sleep disturbances: difficulty falling asleep, nightmares and sleep disturbances, awakenings during the night, etc.

Many women in prostitution tell us about sleep disorders. Night sleep is not seen as desirable and comforting and they are afraid to go to sleep for fear of bad dreams and the lack of protection.

Anesthesia is associated with the release of control and calmness, two elements that are especially difficult for those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder - therefore, more than once women have turned to us for advice on how to put them to sleep.

Thus, through this difficulty, we are once again evidence that prostitution is an act of violence against women that leads to severe mental consequences and damage to normal functioning.

# "Dissociation" in prostitution

"Interviewer: work in prostitution. What does it mean to stand on the street, catch clients? You're not really answering me.

You talk around as if

Gila (angrily): Say, don't you understand that I wasn't there? Only my body was there. I don't remember anything from there."

(From the book: "Promiscuous" / Anat Gor).

Dissociation means disassociation. That is, a situation in which different components of the experience are disconnected and isolated, when some components may be disconnected from the main consciousness.

Dissociation is described in the literature as a continuum ranging from normative dissociation to pathological dissociation that exists as a defense mechanism that allows the psyche to survive severe traumas, which the psyche is unable to contain at the time of their occurrence.

Despite the advantage of the dissociation mechanism many times when this defense mechanism is used to survive severe injuries that began in childhood, the use of dissociation is established as an automatic way of dealing with stress and risk situations and is activated repeatedly involuntarily even years after the initial injury has ended.

Thus, the victimized girl is able in her adulthood to enter these situations in order to protect herself from suffering, but these situations are a "paradise" for repeated exploitation by fornicators and pimps, because, those disconnected situations allow them to do as they wish.

This is how many women describe the experience in prostitution of the situation in which they are not really present, disconnected from themselves. Although dissociation protects the soul from experiencing further suffering, it is the one which, as mentioned, at the same time serves the continuation of exploitation by parties who are aware of this mechanism and harness it to their needs.

# Paving for prostitution - verbal condemnations in childhood

"When I was eight years old I was called a 'slut', outside my friends said I was a slut... and now I became one, a slut."

The process of "indoctrination" into prostitution often begins at a young age. Verbal condemnation is another possible factor (plural) for entering the world of prostitution. The environment sees you as such, treats you as such and in the end, like any self-fulfilling prophecy, you identify with what the environment treated you and adopt these sayings.

Life stories of women in prostitution include descriptions of how the closest people humiliated and ridiculed the girl, attributed "traits of a prostitute" to the girl and did not allow her to see herself as something else.

Unlike an adult person with an established personality, a girl's personality - especially at young ages - is still in the process of construction. The meaning of this is that the way a girl perceives her value and essence in the world is through the eyes of the significant adults in her life.

When these repeat over and over again that this is the girl's only value - this will also be the perception that the girl will develop about herself and grow within and into her.

This perception is interwoven, fixed and embedded as an inseparable part of the self-perception, so that even if in adulthood the ability to see critically regarding these statements develops, the feeling of the essence of existence as a "prostitute" will still remain stubbornly embedded in the depths of the soul.

That's why it's very difficult to get rid of this self-image, but for us at "Not Standing" no one was born a prostitute and that's not the vocation of any person.

# Prostitution and living on the fringes of society

"I didn't come from a home like everyone else's, I didn't have a normal childhood, I didn't have a normal life, what about me and a normal job, who am I working for?!" (from a surviving testimony)

Many women in prostitution describe the feeling of living on the margins, a sense of self-inability to function in the "mainstream".

Many come from dysfunctional families, and set out on an independent life with no tools to cope, when in most cases leaving home is done as part of an escape without any resources.

In the absence of support or support in the world, these women are exposed to exploitative environments. Since for the most part an exploitative and abusive environment is the only reality these women know, this does not arouse their suspicion or opposition to this reality - rather it seems to them a matter of course. Thus many times they begin to deteriorate down the road to prostitution.

In turn, living in prostitution continues and deepens the sequence of emotional harm that began long ago, when this harm leads to further confirmation for the woman of her low self-worth, her inability, her difference and her alienness in relation to others and others in the world.

These women feel that they are not worthy and that they are unable to hold on to a normative job. These feelings are also accompanied by objective functional difficulties arising from the very complex post-trauma that many women in prostitution suffer from.

Thus the identification with that "marginality" becomes part of the woman's inner identity and gradually she internalizes that prostitution is her destiny.

This is one of the reasons why it is so difficult to get out of the circle of prostitution and the advice: "Go work a normal job like everyone else" does not take into account how difficult this journey is for them.

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