Never 100% safe with somebody that you don’t know. It’s through different things that happen you kinda get that resilience in you, to expect the unexpected. You really have to build up a front to be able to show you can handle yourself, even if you cannae. You still have to show that you can and if that doesnae really go with your makeup, you’ll be targeted. There’s people out there who prey on you. You can never trust anybody in that situation, just can’t trust anybody.
I mean it wasnae unusual to be somewhere and you see a girl that’s getting out a car that’s just been raped or beaten, robbed. Out on the street you see that happening as well. It was quite a regular thing that happened. When I look back it is a terrible situation but it’s something you just canny get involved in, because you’re bringing yourself in to be a target as well. You kinda lost your human compassion for people, you just have to kind of cut yourself off and protect yourself really.
People used to stop in cars shouting things, throw things at you. They used to think it was funny. You wish that the ground could open up and swallow you. You don’t want to but you become quite hardened to it, always ready to jump into something, ready to fight, ready to argue.
You’re always just waiting for something to kick off or something to happen. If you’re going somewhere, you kid on you’re on a mobile phone to somebody else. Wave to somebody that you don’t even know when you’re in a car or when you’re leaving, shout a male name so that they think there’s a male waiting for you.
Quite a lot of the time I did take a knife with me, or a biro pen, that was good as well. I was very very skinny, very emaciated. I couldnae stand up to a man so I used to carry a pen with me. I ended up getting the pen took off me by a punter and he stabbed me. You soon quickly learn that you’ve no really got any means of protection.
You have to just take the abuse. That’s the only way to deal with it, is just to take the abuse.
A number of times I’ve been attacked by men and also sexual attacks as well. I just never ever reported them. I just felt that, for starters I wouldn’t be believed, because I was soliciting myself and also because I was a drug addict. Reporting it is not something that really comes into your mind, you just want to forget about it and you can’t be dwelling on anything… you don’t want to spend any more time on it, because you have to put it behind you and forget about it. You just have to get on with things but know in future it’s going to come back to haunt you.
Girls aren’t out there because they like sex. They’re not out there because they’re nymphomaniacs. They’re out there because they’re in a situation they have to be there, nobody’s there by choice. I’ve never met a girl that’s there by choice, who really wants to be there, really wants to be doing that. There’s usually a lot behind why that person’s there. This person hasnae came from a brilliant house, has loads of money and decides to come down there and stand to sell theirself. I mean you’re selling your body to somebody to do what they like with it.
It’s situations that have taken people there. It’s not a choice. It’s just drastic. It’s such a horrible, horrible thing to be involved in. It brings you down so, so much. It’s horrendous. There’s no any good parts to it at all. There’s really no. There’s nothing positive about it at all. There’s so much negative and no positive. It’s degrading. There’s nothing that you can gain from it. There’s so much you can lose and nothing you can gain.
It’s no a job like any other. The girls out there are victims and they’re usually victims of a lot of stuff that you don’t know about. You have to look behind that to see what’s behind that. There’s so much that goes with it.
So much emotional stuff, so much abuse.
There’s nothing enjoyable, nothing you would get out of it that you would get out of a job… satisfaction… There’s nothing like that out there. Most women that are raped once in their life it’s a tragedy but girls out on the street, they can be raped a number of times.
I mean it’s really soul destroying. There’s so much that it takes away from you and it changes you, your personality, and your looks, your everything. You’re opening yourself up to be victims. They might put a front on but they’re victims. I put that mask on, I felt that I had to do it. You go into survival mode and you do what you have to do to survive.
When I was about 21, I still looked very young and one man took me out and he says “You’re far too young” and actually drove me back. That was the only ever bit of kindness I was ever shown out on the streets. That was it. Nothing else ever happened that was nice or anything like that.
I would make it against the law right across the board because as I say there’s no good in it. Everything is a negative. I would eradicate it.
There has been a lot of changes, years ago punters never used to get stopped by the police, it was always the girls. The punters have been getting stopped and their cars looked at. I think that is a really good thing. I know everybody wouldn’t agree but if the men weren’t there looking the women wouldn’t be there. If you stop a man who’s got a job, who’s got a family, they’re going to get into a lot more trouble than what the girl is gonnae. I think that’s the way to target it, target it through the men.
I think those Punter John Schools would be a really good thing, a mandatory thing if you get caught. I saw a programme on it – you’d see it from their arrest right through to the end and their attitude’s actually changed.
They have speakers, women who have been involved in prostitution. I think really seeing a human being instead of a sexual object and learning about the women. I think that’s really the biggest benefit to it. When you take that away from the punters, they have to see the girl as a person… what she’s really doing and I think it makes a big difference.
I met one police officer. She had me in the car, taking me to jail. She was different. I just feel that she treated me like a human. She spoke to me, asked me “why are you doing this? What do you think could help you?” She told me about a diversion programme running. She was going to put my name forward for it, I wasn’t aware of anything like that. It was just you get jailed and you were fined before that.
So the diversion program really, really turned my life around. It was great support for that.
What I would say to the police officer that I spoke to, I would say thank you to her. Just for taking that wee bit of time to talk to me as an individual. To take a wee bit of interest in me. She actually said to me that she had faith in me, that I could overcome this. At that time it never really meant much to me, but now looking back, just they few wee kind words made such a big difference. It’s made such a big difference to me.
I think the police here have a big role to play for women in prostitution. Sometimes they could be the only people you’ve spoke to except for punters that whole day. They need to treat the person as a human being, to see them as a victim, and not as just committing a crime. I don’t think they should go in with such a hard approach, I think it has to be a more gentle approach, a more human approach. I think there’d be great benefits from that. I think the girl would be a lot more relaxed, be able to approach the police a lot more, have more faith in the police, trust. It would make you look at the police differently.
I mean you could more trust in them, be able to report things, feel more comfortable round about them and you’re not running away from them. I think that you would catch a lot more criminals.
I think it’s important for women to be able to report crimes, because there’s people out there committing crimes and they’re not being punished for it. The woman has to realise that she shouldn’t be treated in that way. She should be treated as a human being, not treated as piece of meat. I feel that’s the way a lot of girls are treated. Inhuman.
I think you have to remember that when you’re out on the street and that you’ve not got anybody, if there is somebody he’s usually looking for something off you. It’s very hard to learn to trust people.
In the diversion program it was really getting to know your worker as well, I mean, that can take a wee bit of time. I think it made such a big difference in helping me to get out of prostitution, and helping me with my drug addiction. They’re such a big, important part of what you need at that time. The program helped me so much. It gave me so much more confidence in myself… the support was really good as well. It just gave me so much confidence, positivity.
I’ve been out of prostitution for a couple of years now.
Well, really I feel the last year and a half I’ve just started my life. My life changed dramatically. It’s so different, I feel so much more confident. Positive things have been happening to me. I’m looking forward to the future, getting to know myself – that’s been a journey, getting to know what I like.
I want to stay on with my education and then hopefully have a career, working with women at the end of it. Something that actually I could get enjoyment and take things out of. I want my own house, to have my daughter back and really just to know myself and to be settled in my life.