am a survivor of prostitution.
A survivor of brutal beatings and rapes.
A recovering heroin addict.
Five years out of the life and I will NEVER forget the smell of a
crusty old trick.
The knives and guns and fists and tire irons and jail cells.
I will never be quiet!
Too many times I have been beaten near death.
Left for dead.
The cops said it comes with the territory.
Being a worthless whore.
If I had been murdered, no one would have remembered my name.
I would have been a NHI.[i]
Thank you for remembering Emma.[ii]
Remember the millions like her.
Women, sisters, daughters, mothers.
Considered less than human.
Let us lift them up.
Let us never forget.
Be quiet about the outrageous brutality that is prostitution!
[i] NHI – an abbreviation for
No Human Involved, a label reported for murdered prostituted women.
[ii] Emma Bacon, a 20 year old
prostituted woman, was murdered in Madison, Wisconsin in April 1997.
She was memorialized in speech by Chris Grussendorf from the Minnesota
Coalition Against Prostitution.
I was sexually abused from the age of five by a secret
society in a ritual setting that involved candles, incense, meditation,
drugs and alcohol. The perpetrators said that I was put on earth to serve
men sexually. They told me that I would die if I tried to get away. I left
home and began prostitution at age 14. In prostitution, I was brutally
beaten by tricks and "boyfriends" -- pimps. I have survived more
than thirty rapes and been left for dead more than once. I have been
incarcerated numerous times. The last time I was arrested was February 10,
1993. In the next six months behind bars, I found hope that I might be
able to do something different. I had spoken to Norma Hotaling a number of
times--every time I went to jail--and upon my release, I contacted her. I
thought, if she got out, maybe I could, too. I went into an 18-month
treatment program for substance abuse. I was concerned that prostitution
and sexual trauma were not addressed in the program I was in, and began
searching for a place to get some help. There was nowhere to go. I began
working with Norma Hotaling, speaking out about the need for special
services for survivors. After several years of hard work, SAGE in San
Francisco was funded. In the past six years I have gone from being a
homeless, hopeless, worthless-feeling whore on the street to being a
strong, happy, and loving mother. I work in social services, helping pull
my sisters out of the darkness. I love my life, and I love the work I do.
I am currently living in San Francisco, USA.