An excerpt from Wendy’s story.

“I don’t know what I thought of myself back then.  I would never have called myself a sex worker. I would have said “prostitute” ‘cos that was the word put on me by other people. I was a very mixed up girl putting herself through a lot o’ abuse. There was a time I thought it’s okay ‘cos I’m doin’ it for my own reasons and own terms. When you’re in it, I suppose you kinda tell yourself you’re in control. You don’t wanna admit the way the men are treating you is all wrong. Admittin’ that, it’s like saying is there somethin’ wrong wi’ me? While you’re in it, and you’re still usin’, you don’t realize how detrimental it is. You don’t realize the damage.

I eventually shut off to it so it’s deeply buried that touching it or looking at it again is hard. There can be just moments where it can just take your breath away. It hits me. It can hit me anytime. I’ve had, you know like panic attacks? I get flashes of all these different cars and all these different men and all these different smells, you know? All those hands on me. It’s as if all their hands are on me at once. All the flashes of faces just going continuously in front o’ me. It’s like as if they’re all there and they’re all touching me all at the same time. Like every single one of them is back with me again. Sometimes I’ll see a man on the high street and I look at him and think, “I know your face.”  Part of my brain automatically tries to put that man in a car and, “Is that how I know you?” It takes a lot for me to bring myself out of it, that’s when I really have to breathe.

I have to put it all away in a box. Sometimes the lid comes off but then the lid goes back on again. It has to ‘cos of the panic and the overwhelming feelings. The box is there, it’s very much there and you can only open it bit by bit ‘cos if you were to let all of it out, you would be in self-destruct mode. It would be an instant overload of I’ve done this, these things have happened to me.”


For Wendy’s full story go to