(photo by Wendy 2017)

“I met a very influential man. Big dangers came wi’ being associated with him. I was his play thing, I was his entertainment. I was in a homeless hostel, getting phone calls at three o’clock in the morning. He said there was money to be made off of me and did I know how to make it? I didn’t have a clue. He explained it, “There’s girls sell themselves all the time.” He wanted to put me in a flat to do whatever he wanted me to. I was like, “No” but he kept on and on at me. I was worried, not only what he would do but what his associates might do to me. I ran away to Olivia’s, one of my friends who was also a drug user.  There was just no money there. I had no family to beg, steal and borrow from. There wasn’t anybody I could sleep with, I didn’t know any of the dealers in the area. We had absolutely nothing.

It wasn’t like I just got up one morning and said, “Today I’m going to do prostitution.”  It wasn’t like that. There’d been a sort of build up to it ‘cos I already had been sleeping with men, whether it was their gratification or whether to get drugs or sometimes just to have a place to crash overnight. To get a roof over my head.

Olivia and I, we talked about prostitution loads of times. She had already slept with local men people for money but it wasn’t a case of walking the streets. I thought that if I worked the streets then I would only be hurting myself. I’m not out shop lifting getting charges mounting up against me. I just knew that jail wasn’t for me and what I’d faced out here would be nothin’ compared to in there. You can’t escape, there’s nowhere you can go. I did think working the street was a means to an end, I have to do it and that’s that. If you don’t do this, you’re just not going to be able to feed your habit.

I don’t know how I managed to take that first step. That first night I remember getting a bath, shaving my legs, putting on perfume and picking out nice underwear. I made myself look nice. I think I was telling myself, “You’re going on a date. You know?”

Olivia was supposed to come but she didn’t even get ready. Looking back now she knew fine well that I would go ahead wi’ it. She said she couldn’t face it, she didn’t have a clue what to do to start prostituting streets. I didnt either.”