Monday, March 05, 2007

Dutch prostitutes, drugs and labour conditions

Main

I actually wanted to make a post specifically about Dutch prostitutes, but actually, there's not much information specifically about Dutch prostitutes. Often Dutch prostitutes are described alongside the foreign women as if they were one group. That's why I took some other subjects and melted it into this one post. I will actually go deeper into other questions which I ignored at first because they now come forward when you dig deeper. For instance, how many prostitutes actually do use drugs? And how are the labour conditions really?? It seems that the answers to these questions are as contradictory as to the question how many prostitutes are forced.

I start with some quotes from the report:
Achter de ramen, veldwerk onder raamprostituees in Groningen, een verslag van het project Vertrouwensvrouw migrantenprostitutie 1997-1998, by Liesbeth Venicz (1998) [“Behind the windows, fieldwork among window prostitutes in Groningen, a report of the project Confidence-woman migrant prostitutes 1997-1998] She spoke with 21 Dutch prostitutes. Also 2 Belgian women, 5 German, 1 Spanish and 1 Italian woman (among many others).
(translated from Dutch)
page 3:
Behind the windows you learn to adjust your view about prostitutes again and again. Of stereotypes like the ‘poor trafficked foreign woman’ or the ‘independently working Dutch woman’, there’s little truth in practice. In the most rough forms they do exist, but at the same time every woman shapes her own exception to the stereotype. The foreign women are not so dependent as the popular image wants to, on the contrary. Also the Dutch woman are by far not all those independently working women like we want to see them.
How sensitive the prostitutes are to that image, becomes clear through the smoke screens the women lay around them, especially when they don’t completely work voluntarily. This makes the stories that I hear, sometimes very confusing. The others from the ‘milieu’, like the errand boys, added a little extra with their casual chats and their clear-cut utterances about some prostitutes.
Again and again I was confronted with the fact that I judged too quickly about a situation. Behind every image that I formed of a woman there turned out to be another, more nuanced story. A very independent looking woman, allowed herself to be given a black eye by her boyfriend. A woman who I thought looked like she was succumbing, turned out to have a surprising resilience. From all those different and sometimes conflicting images something comes to the surface that is missing the most in the popular image of prostitutes: nuance. I hope something of that nuance resounds in this report.
page 10-11:
5. Dutch girls who work for pimp-boyfriends

It concerns fairly young girls, of just 18 until around 25, who often come from the working-class areas of the large cities. Most of them went into prostitution at the urging of their boyfriends, sometimes after they ran away from home together with him. Another group met their boyfriends at their working place. This does not concern girls with a normal love affair, but girls who have a love affair with boys especially because they are interested in the earnings of the girls. To acquire these earnings, the pimps resorts to emotional manipulation and certainly in the beginning of the relationship also physical violence. The relationship is many times only started to get the girl into prostitution. Some boys have multiple girls at their disposal. The combination of being in love, threats and isolation makes it difficult for the girls to break free from this.

It must be emphasized that this concerns not all Dutch girls. There are also girls who do work independently, sometimes after working for some time for a pimp-boyfriend, or who choose to maintain their boyfriend and decide for themselves what amount of money they hand over to him. Through the smoke screens the women create around themselves, it is not easy to say with precision who does or does not belong to this group.

6. Independently working Dutch women.

These women are mostly older than 25. A part of that group worked for a pimp in the past and now want to work for themselves for a while. Another part works parttime (for instance during the weekend) or to reach a certain goal (to pay off debts or to finance a study for example) or simply because they see this as the best way to maintain themselves.

7. Women from the EU

They come mainly from neighbouring Germany and Belgium. They work in Groningen because of the anonymity and sometimes because of the labour conditions. In relation to that a German woman told to prefer to work behind a window above working in clubs in Germany, because she can work here more independently and also because the inspection of venereal diseases is based on voluntariness. This contrary to some German states where the inspections are more or less compulsory.

Just like the German girls they sometimes work with pimp, sometimes without.
page 12:
The ethnic background of the pimps seems to have changed a bit during the last couple of months. A couple of years ago they were mainly boys of Moroccan descent from the Randstad, now there come more young Groningers of Turkish descent. It seems that they have copied their ‘profession’ from the pimps from the Randstand.
page 20:
Housing is a serious problem for the young Dutch women with pimps. They usually live for a long period in their working room. Not only one never comes outside the prostitution milieu this way, there is also no possibility to take a distance from the work. Because the rent has to be paid daily there’s little room to work a little less or to stop working for a while when somebody is sick or tired. Finding other accommodation turns out to be difficult when one cannot submit an income declaration, because one doesn’t pay taxes. When taxes do get paid, it turns out to be complicated, because one needs a declaration of the income taxes. The woman who hasn’t worked for that long or who pays taxes, doesn’t have that yet. Then an accountant declaration has to be submitted. Those sort of arrangements are often already enough to give up.
page 23:
Young Dutch girls who work for pimp-boyfriends often turn out to have caught a venereal disease through their boysbriends. They cannot offer resistance towards their boyfriends.
page 25:
Forced prostitution is often associated with foreign women. Also Dutch women are sometimes in a situation were they cannot decide freely if and how they work. The problem is that especially when force comes from somebody with whom they also have an affair, a girl will try to hide this from herself and her environment. The girls often don’t always look like being under pressure. Also women with a self-confident posture sometimes turn out to be a victim of human trafficking.
A quote from “Uit het donker opgelicht” (Illuminated from darkness) (Date:October 2003) (orginal document) ) see also Illuminated from darkness
(translated from Dutch)
Involuntary prostitution has boomed the last two years in the Netherlands. There seems to be a shift within the criminal domain from the high risk trafficking in drugs to the almost risk-free exploitation of women. Because of the lacking supervision by the government of the huge flow of money within the prostitution industry, it is very tempting for criminals to change over to this lucrative ‘branch of industry’. Therefore it came to no surprise that among a random sample survey of 439 Dutch window-prostitutes in de Wallen in 2001 and 2002, more than 380 women indicated that they were introduced to prostitution by a loverboy[pimp].
This is also confirmed by the policewoman in the book “Verlicht Kwartier, 40 jaar Arnhemse Spijkerbuurt”(2003) by Kees Crone about the Spijkerkwartier in Arnhem, a window-prostitution area (also see 'I love my job'):
(translated from Dutch)
Many girls say they work for themselves, but it turns out that nevertheless certain men are circling around them. ‘If I ask such a person how she got here, I usually hear the same story. At the age of eighteen, they fell in love with a dark boy, just at the moment there were problems at home. One thing followed after another, and at the end, they stood behind a window. I can’t prove it, but I think most girls enter prostitution this way.’
According to the research Er gaat iets veranderen in de prostitutie ['Something is going to change in prostitution'] (2000, Liesbeth Venicz, Ine Vanwesenbeeck):
(translated from Dutch)
page 22:
These ‘loverboys’ leave a heavy mark on these younger generation of Dutch prostitutes. Also the other prostitutes on the work places where they are present, have to deal with them. (…)
page 28:
For the youngest generation of prostitutes force by pimp boyfriends (in recent publications also called ‘loverboys’) plays an important role in their ‘choice’ for prostitution. Also under the pressure of these loverboys the younger generation of respondents seem to be starting earlier in prostitution than the older generation.
I’ve asked several window-prostitutes if it’s true that most Dutch window prostitutes have entered prostitutes through loverboys. Two acknowledged it but stressed that most prostitutes eventually break free from their pimps and start working for themselves (one of those two said that other prostitutes warn the pimped girls). Another also acknowledged it. An older woman said that most young prostitutes are indeed the victim of pimps but also the older ones could be. Another window prostitute denied the whole human trafficking as a myth. On forums I also stumbled upon a couple of window prostitutes who also denied the problem. I asked prostitutes to name percentages, they gambled: 0%, 15%, 20%, 30%, 50%, 75-80%. Another window prostitute on the internet estimated on a forum that 90% of the women she worked with have pimps (she works in alleys between young women). All in all, the information that prostitutes give is very contradictory.

Interesting is that one window prostitute said that on de Wallen forced prostitutes are concentrated in certain alleys. She named the Dollebegijnensteeg, Trompettersteeg, Sint Annendwarsstraat and de Stoofsteeg. The last alley was according to her also known as the 'pooiersteeg'(pimp alley). A certain café in that alley is known to be a gathering place for pimps. It is very interesting what she said because I asked another prostitute who was forced where she was forced, and indeed, she was forced in these alleys (except the Stoofsteeg). What she saw was that indeed 75-80% are forced. It's also funny that the last prostitute I visited and who said many girls who work there have a pimp worked in the Dollebegijnensteeg (at least that's what I figured out where she worked). Also the notorious Turkish human trafficking operated in these alleys. In an article in Het Parool some of the alleys are mentioned. Search on http://www.parool.nl/ for the article: "Turks-Duits netwerk bediende zich van grof geweld" [Turkish-German network used excessive violence], September 7th 2007, a quote (translated from Dutch):
On De Wallen the brothers put the women preferably on popular spots like the Trompettersteeg, the Sint Annenstraat and de Sint Annendwarsstraat, the environment of the Monnikenstraat and the Oude Kennissteeg - plus obviously on de burgwallen.
The report by Liesbeth Venicz gives a grim picture about Dutch window-prostitutes. It shows us that the situation for these prostitutes is not better and many times worse compared to the situation of foreign prostitutes, despite the fact that Dutch window-prostitutes are not illegal or even poor. But the question remains for me, is this also true for Dutch prostitutes outside window prostitution?
Frank Bovenkerk is of the opinion - see his report about Loverboys and modern pimps - that pimps and human traffickers in general work predominantly in window prostitution.

According to Essy van Dijk probably most of the prostitutes, foreign as well as Dutch, legal as well as illegal prostitutes are exploited and are therefore victims of human trafficking:
Mensenhandel in Nederland 1997-2000 [Human trafficking in the Netherlands 1997-2000] (2002, Essy van Dijk)
(translated from Dutch)
on page 21:
(…) aside from that, in a study of the Werkgroep Prostitutie en Mensenhandel [Working Group on Prostitution and Human trafficking], the number of prostitutes from outside the EU is also estimated at 50% (Luyck en Van Soest, 1999). And although not all of these prostitutes work illegally in the Netherlands, experience shows that in most cases this is the case (Visser, 2000). Furthermore there’s a reasonable agreement among key figures that “the majority” of the foreign prostitutes in the Netherlands are economically exploited and therefore victim of human trafficking (Visser, 2000). [footnote at the bottom of that page: “This is according to insiders probably also true for legal, Dutch prostitutes.”] (…)
on page 152:
Concerning domestic human trafficking it is observed that also only a part of the legal prostitutes in the Netherlands are self-employed and independent. The majority is, judged by the experience of the interviewees, dependent on pimps. This phenomenon will continue to exist according to them, although the labour conditions will improve in some circumstances. (…)
I wonder what is true. I want to find more data to confirm this. I have analyzed all cases of human trafficking in the Netherlands I could find, in the media, in reports etc… It’s indeed surprising that many known cases where Dutch women are forced into prostitution involve window-prostitution. At the moment I’m writing this I have analyzed 91 cases involving Dutch victims. Actually those cases range over a long period of time, dating back to the sixties, the large majority are from the nineties till present. Those cases are distributed over the different types of prostitution like this (multiple types could be involved per case):
64% window prostitution
20% clubs/brothels/privé-huizen
18% street-prostitution
12% prostitution in an apartment (usually that of the pimp)
10% escort

What immediately becomes clear is the heavy overrepresentation of window prostitution. It most be borne in mind that only a small percentage of the Dutch prostitutes work in this type of prostitution. That could mean that Frank Bovenkerk is right when he refers to window prostitution as the place where most of the pimping occurs, at least in the case of Dutch prostitutes. This seems not to be true however for foreign prostitutes. For those prostitutes I find a distribution like this, for 84 cases I found:
36% window-prostitution
45% clubs/brothels/privé-huizen
16% street-prostitution
5% prostitution in an apartment
14% escort

The foreign victims are much more evenly distributed (okay now some calculations to clarify this. Official estimates for 1998/1999 are that 20% of the prostitutes works behind windows, 45% in clubs and brothels, 15% as escort, 5% at home, 5% on the street and 10% in other forms like massage parlours. My estimate from hookers.nl is that in the different sectors 70% of the window prostitutes are foreign, and in other forms this lies around 50% except for home-prostitution which is like 15%. That means the distribution of foreign prostitutes among the sectors must be roughly like this: 28% window prostitution, 42% clubs and brothels, 14% escort, 1.4% home, 4.7% street and 9% other).

BTW: the overrepresentation of Dutch victims in window prostitution seems to be a historical pattern. Already in the fifties and early sixties many known cases of pimping involved window prostitution. You can find that data in the book "De souteneur in het Nederlands strafrecht"["The pimp in Dutch law"](1964) by J.F. Hartsuiker (see table 20 on page 123). The data about pimps is from files from 1951-1961. He counted 184 files. 80 files (43%) were related to window prostitution, 55 (30%) to street prostitution, 30 (16%) to cafés, 13 (7%) to hotels or private houses, 3 (1,6%) to cars and 3 to unknown forms of prostitution. It has to be acknowledged however that actually the distribution over the different types of prostitution among prostitutes in general at that time is very unclear. It could be possible that the mentioned distribution of pimps reflects the general situation. For instance, he also separately analyzed the distribution over the different types of prostitution of 3 types of pimps: the exploiters (90 cases), the 'genommene' (passive pimps who were recruited by the prostitutes themselves) (37 cases), and others (57 cases). In present days the so-called 'genommene' pimps would likely never have been prosecuted. But for this group and 'the others' the relative involvement in window prostitution is even stronger than for the exploitive pimps, very typical. But lets go back to the present.

Also, Dutch victims of human trafficking nowadays are also exported to foreign countries, particularly Belgium, where they are put to work behind the windows of Antwerpen (Schipperskwartier). There seem to be a lot of them over there, like mentioned in an article in De Volkskrant (March 10th 2007, "Nederlandse meisjes voor prostitutie Antwerpen geronseld"["Dutch girls recruited for prostitution in Antwerpen"]). Of the 561 registered prostitutes in Antwerpen, 202 are Dutch. According to the local police most Dutch prostitutes have been recruited as minors by a loverboy, and were put to work there at the moment they were eighteen. I know two guys from a forum who live near that area (Schipperskwartier) and take a lot of evening walks out there. According to these persons many women who work there have a pimp. One of them estimates the percentage to be over 80 percent (which is peculiar because I can derive from hookers.nl that during ~2004-2006 a lot of somewhat older women work there, say 63% are older that 24 and 32% are older than 30, also true for the Dutch prostitutes). That's because he could see who brought and collected the women and how they treated the women.

Dutch forced prostitutes generally seem to be much younger than prostitutes in general.
I’ll show some numbers:
An age distribution of victims of loverboys in the 2004 report of the Dutch foundation against trafficking in women:
Jaarverslag 2004 - Stichting Tegen Vrouwenhandel
___________Age at recruitment____Age at report
____________(14 unknown)
10-14 _________2 (5%)
15-17 ________11 (30%) __________9 (18%)
18-23 ________24 (65%) _________36 (71%)
24-30 ________________________5 (10%)
31-40 ________________________1 (2%)
(the drawback in these statistics is that Dutch cases registered are generally reported by youth institutions and they typically work with people younger than 24)

I'll also show an age distribution of victims of loverboys in "Loverboys: Feiten en cijfers, een quick scan"(2005) [Loverboys, Facts and figures, a quick scan] by Anke van Dijke and Linda Terpstra, information is from trials:
0 - 17: 5(11%)
18-23: 30 (64%)
24-29: 8 (17%)
30-36: 4 (9%)
36-99: -
(the drawback in these numbers is that no information is given of the moment they had the ages mentioned)

Compare those number to a rough age distribution of Dutch prostitutes in general that I acquired from hookers.nl:
0-17: ???
18-23: 35%
24-29: 31%
30-39: 20%
40-99: 14%

Rarely the Dutch victims are older than 30 or even 25 (that’s also the opinion of Liesbeth Venicz), while the average age of Dutch prostitutes in general must be close to 30. Surely there must be some very old victims, one client of prostitutes mentioned to me that he knew two Dutch window prostitutes who worked for a Moroccan loverboy who were both older than 40.
This is confirmed by the cultural anthropologist Paul van Gelder who has studied Moroccan pimps. See: "De Wallen - Vriendjes en pooiers, wakaman en loverboys: nieuwe vormen van pooierschap" [De Wallen - boyfriends, wakaman and loverboys: new forms of pimphood] by Paul van Gelder in the book "Veranderingen van het alledaagse 1950-2000" [changes of the everyday 1950-2000] (2005, editors: Isabel Hoving, Hester Dibbits en Marlou Schrover):
page 299-300 (translated from Dutch):
When pimps have girls working in their place of residence, they usually come from another town. Behind the window Moroccan girls sometimes look very different, like with bleached hair and with piercings. This way they are not easily recognizable as Moroccan.
As far as can be ascertained the ethnic background of the young women who work for Moroccan pimps, is mostly Moroccan. Aside from that Dutch young women are involved. At the end of the nineties also Polish and Russian women came into view. Furthermore isolated minor asylum seekers, the AMA’s [Alleenstaande Minderjarige Asielzoekers] among who Chinese, Vietnamese and Bosnian girls are involved. The ages of these girls and young women range between 12 and 36 years. A Moroccan pimp once even had a Dutch woman in her early forties working for him, so I heard.
The notion that Dutch victims of human trafficking are generally very young, combined with the notion that most Dutch victims work behind windows, would suggest that actually the group of Dutch victims of human trafficking is relatively small. Frank Bovenkerk (Loverboys and modern pimps, 2004) estimates in 2004 that there are some 50 Dutch victims on de Wallen during a weekend. When you extrapolate that to other window-areas in the Netherlands (on de Wallen there were some 350 windows compared to 2040 windows in total in the Netherlands in 2004) and you assume that aside from the forced Dutch prostitutes in window prostitution there are also some in other sectors, then the number of Dutch victims must lie in the hundreds. Perhaps some 200-600 at any moment. The number of Dutch prostitutes must lie in the thousands, think about some 3000-5000 at any moment.

This information is very important because that could mean that if a client would avoid the Dutch window prostitutes and would go to Dutch prostitutes who don't work in this type of prostitution and he would visit a somewhat older prostitute then the chance of encountering a forced prostitutes becomes very small.

But I’m wondering if these distributions I mentioned earlier actually reflect the reality. This should not be necessarily so. The samples might not have been random. For instance, those Dutch victims in window-prostitution might have a much bigger chance of coming forward in the media. Maybe the type of pimp per type of prostitution might be different. For instance, maybe those pimps in window-prostitution are more violent what could heavily increase the chance of these victims to come forward. That could also be true for younger victims. That’s why I need more information. What about eye-witness reports?

Lets look more carefully at numbers. Numbers don’t lie (I hope). I hold the Scharlaken Koord in high regard. If they say that 87% of the Dutch prostitutes on de Wallen have been forced or manipulated into prostitution, then I believe them. There are other numbers available from different researches, they give a more broader picture of prostitutes in general, other types of prostitutes are researched. The results of these researches yield much lower percentages of the (Dutch) prostitutes who have previously been forced or manipulated into prostitution. I’ll show an example, around the same period the Scharlaken Koord made their sample on de Wallen (in 2002) Liesbeth Venicz and Ine Vanwesenbeeck researched prostitutes in the Netherlands as a whole in the report: Er gaat iets veranderen in de prostitutie (2000, Liesbeth Venicz, Ine Vanwesenbeeck) ['Something is going to change in prostitution']. Almost a quarter of the prostitutes in this research (24 of 105) indicated that they initially had been forced into prostitution (page 19). It has to be admitted though that forced prostitutes (who still worked in prostitution) didn’t want to cooperate with this interview so this estimate is probably an underestimate. They had interviewed 105 female prostitutes of whom 22 worked in window-prostitution. 62 were born in the Netherlands from Dutch parents, 17 were born in the Netherlands from foreign parents, and 26 were born abroad.
Also foreign prostitutes had been interviewed in this research, but they found no strong correlation between forced prostitution and ethnicity or being foreign (but beware that they interviewed only a small number of foreign prostitutes, the Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficient was r=0,09, see table 3.4 on page 22).

Okay, when you compare the quarter of the (Dutch) prostitutes in general with the 87% of the Dutch prostitutes on de Wallen who initially had been forced in prostitution then it becomes clear that it indeed seems to be true that human trafficking is much more common among Dutch prostitutes in window-prostitution than for Dutch prostitution who don’t work in window-prostitution. But then it has to be said that I compare statistics which were acquired by different methodologies. I assume that the Scharlaken Koord also contacted Dutch women who were still under the control of their pimp, whilst in the study of Vanwesenbeeck and Venicz those prostitutes didn’t cooperate. So the quarter of these prostitutes who were initially forced into prostitution could be in reality much higher, especially if you know that according to some sources probably most Dutch prostitutes are controlled by pimps (Essy van Dijk in “mensenhandel in Nederland”). So the comparisons between these statistics aren’t very useful.

Also in other studies prostitutes had been asked if they had been (or previously had been) forced into prostitution. Two of such studies are described in "Prostitutes' well-being and risk" by Ine Vanwesenbeeck (1994). In one of these two studies, the 'protective behavior'-study, 28,9% of 127 women were previously forced (see Appendix 5.11, page 207). In this study also many foreign women were interviewed, 16% came from other Western countries and 28% from non-Western countries (table 4.1, page 68). In the other study, the "coping and well-being"-study the percentage of prostitutes who have been coerced in the past is 43,4% (see appendix 5.9, page 206). In the latter study only a few foreign women were interviewed, 10% were foreign, 3% came from non-western countries (table 4.1, page 68). In another study the interviewed prostitutes were also asked if they were forced: see Evaluatie opheffing bordeelverbod; de sociale positie van prostituees 2006 ["evaluation lifting the ban on brothels - the social positon of prostitutes 2006"]. Of the 354 prostitutes 8% indicated they had been forced into prostitution. Could this signal a drop in forced prostitution over the years?

Another method (to find out if Dutch window prostitutes are indeed much more often forced into prostitution) would be to interview a large number of (former) Dutch prostitutes more or less evenly distributed across different sectors and then to look which prostitutes have been or are forced and then to look in which types of prostitution they worked. This way a much larger group of (former) forced prostitutes come into view. If this way it turns out that again window prostitution is overrepresented then I would come to the conclusion that this would indeed reflect the reality. Unfortunately such research never took place. In the past there have been researches (like those by Ine Vanwesenbeeck) where quite a substantial number of prostitutes have been interviewed but unfortunately the researchers declined to ask the women who were forced to ask where they were forced. I really see that as a missed opportunity..... but at the end I found an old study which does give some attention to this issue. Actually it is done by Ine Vanwesenbeeck:

“Hoe (ex)prostituees zich zelf redden — Een onderzoek naar (de afwezigheid van) hulpvragen” [How (ex)prostitutes fend for themselves — a research into (absence of request for) assistence] (Ine Vanwesenbeeck, Sietske Altink, Martine Groen, 1989)

It is the same group as described in “Sekswerk ? Ervaringen van vrouwen in de prostitutie” [Sexwork ? Experiences by women in prostitution] written by Sietske Altink, Ine Vanwesenbeeck and Martine Groen (1991). It is also the same group as in the "coping and well-being"-study in the book "Prostitutes' well-being and risk" by Ine Vanwesenbeeck (1994).
They interviewed 60 women. 54 women were Dutch (88%). These women were distributed among the different types of prostitution as follows:
14 (23%) predominantly in clubs
12 (20%) predominantly in privéhuizen
16 (27%) predominantly in window prostitution
4 (7%) predominantly in street prostitution
3 (5%) predominantly in the escort
3 (5%) predominantly at home
2 (3%) predominantly in a SM-house
6 (10%) a combination of different types of prostitution

According to this study the women in window prostitution are much more subjected to violence than the rest. That could mean that indeed Dutch window prostitutes are many times more often forced into prostitutes. Only the researchers are very vague. They give numbers like F=7.04 and p=.01. I don’t really understand what the numbers mean. The p is the p-value, it determines how large is the chance that the differences are by chance (like 0.01 means a 1% chance). The F is probably the F-distribution. My knowledge about statistics is limited (I’m working on it).
Page 75-76:
Different workplaces

When we compare the total scores on the different scales with predominantly working in clubs or privéhuizen, or behind the window, or on the street, in the escort, at home, in SM or a combination of different types, then we find significant differences on two scales. To begin with there are differences in drug use (F=2.2, p=.05): the drug use is lower than average in the escort and with home workers and higher than average on street and with women who have worked on a combination of workplaces.
Secondly women who have worked behind the window, on street and at home or do SM-work score significantly higher than average on criminal and sexual victimisation on a later age by acquaintances (F=2.6, p=.02) [they mean as adults]
When we compare club- and privéhuis workers with the other groups then we find a difference on these scores as well (F=10.9, p=0.00): women who predominantly work or have worked in clubs and privéhuizen report significantly less victimization on a later age by acquaintances than average on that scale. Furthermore these women turn out to have a lower total score than average on victimization (F=5.6, p=.02) and on psychosomatic symptoms (F=4.2, p=.05)
When we compare the window workers with the other groups, then on the contrary we generally find higher scores for the window women: these women report significantly more victimization by acquaintances on a later age (F=7.04, p=.01) than average, report more physical symptoms (F=7.6, p=.01). With the emotional and psychosocial problems and victimization in generals the same tendency occurs, but these relations are insignificant.
In general in can be stated that women in clubs are better of than women behind the window. Obviously this causality doesn’t necessarily lie in the workplace itself.
Another way is to look at eye witness reports. There are some which seem to contradict the notion that Dutch forced prostitutes predominantly work in window prostitution.

For instance I heard an (former) escort operator say that she regularly witnessed that “housewives” were forced by their husbands.

Or think what Jeanette told on her weblog, she worked in 2 brothels (so called “privé-huizen”):
De weblog van Jeanette
(translated from Dutch)
I have met many girls who were forced to work in this world [of prostitution]. The majority were forced. Either by their partner, boyfriend, or their addiction. The strange thing was that the ones who worked for a pimp always pretended he was their boyfriend. Well, I believe some really believed that and that they didn’t realise in what kind of unhealthy relation they were in, but I am amazed about how these girls delude themselves. I realise that many women who enter this world are forced to stay there because they trust nobody and therefore nobody can help them to step out of this.
She also tells a story of a clearly addicted girl who was forced by her boyfriend:het verslaafde meisje (just 18).

In the reactions of that same post she tells:
(…) Yes, unfortunately I also had to conclude that most girls are forced to work. It is absurd that one [the girls] often believes that they are there voluntarily. “We are saving money to buy a house, my boyfriend had debts and I help him to get rid of it so we can start a family, my boyfriend believes it’s horny that other men lust after me but I am his” Really I was sometimes flabbergasted what such a fellow makes such a girl believe this time. By making the girl believe that she does it voluntarily, she is not difficult and she will do her best for clients. Sad. The girl who I was talking about above [the drug addicted girl] was the most sad case I witnessed. She is unfortunately not the only one, not unique but mostly these girls walk the streets or sit behind windows. (…)
Or look at her story about the “slanke meisje” (slender girl):
Nevertheless this girl wasn’t satisfied with her body. She compares her figure with a very slightly built girl, and came to the conclusion that she must be too fat. Despite the fact that she made good money, she thought her earnings could be better, and she was actually right about that but she could have better looked at her way of working than to her figure. Her boyfriend (read: pimp) agreed that her earnings could go a bit upward because now she earned too little to save for a wedding and a house. (…)
It has to be said that after asking more that Jeanette opts out about the number of women working for pimps. She doesn’t know, but she knows these women are in the brothels too. She also mentioned that the women who worked in these brothels were mainly Dutch women of foreign descent.

... or think about CarmenElectra on hookers.nl (on July 19th, 2005):
Hoe kan iemand voor sex betalen? [How can someone pay for sex?]
(translated from Dutch)
Hello gentlemen. I am a former “lady of pleasure”, this work is imposed upon me and I found no pleasure in it. Like there are many who do this work. Because I, and many girls in this sector, was slipped drugs, I could keep going. Helpful persons helped me out. (…) During the time that I worked in clubs I have got to know many girls, girls who were forced there, girls who couldn’t do anything after that (mostly the older ones). (…) I got to know many girls and certainly more than half were forced there, all in their own way but still always against their will. Go ask the police how many pimps they know of who force girls, I went there once. I was almost laughed at by that official, he even knew who I was talking about, “an acquaintance” he said while he almost laughed!!
But it’s possible she’s talking about foreign women.

Or think about the prostitute in the report:
(onderzoeksrapport:) Er gaat iets veranderen in de prostitutie
(translated from Dutch)
(page 46):
Although the pimps [they talk about loverboys] in clubs and privé-huizen are less visible, also there there are prostitutes who work for them. “In every club where you come there are a couple of girls who are forced to work for their boyfriends.” [a prostitute is quoted here]
Also here it’s possible that they are speaking of foreign women.

Or an operator of (probably) a club in the report of the Rode Draad (on page 140):
Rechten van prostituees (October, 2006) [Rights of prostitutes]
(translated from Dutch)
He holds a plea about, how weak women in prostitution are. He regularly has to safe them from bad boyfriends. When his actions don’t help, then they ask for themselves and they have to fend for themselves.
But also here he could be speaking about foreign women.

Another source which could give an answer is the report by Ine Vanwesenbeeck, Mechtild Höing and Paul Vennix, "De sociale positie van prostituees in de gereguleerde bedrijven een jaar na de wetswijziging” (2002) [the social position of prostitutes in the regulated businesses a year after te amendment]. They asked 230 prostitutes how much they witnessed forced prostitution in the sex businesses they knew. Look at table 16 on page 27. As can be expected there were a lot of different answers.
About forced prostitution: 9% thought it happened a lot, 25% thought sometimes, 30% never, and 36% didn’t know.
About prostitutes who handed over a part of their earnings: 16% thought a lot, 32% thought sometimes, 22% never, and 31% didn’t know.
About boyfriends/husbands who meddled in their colleagues' work: 18% thought a lot, 38% sometimes, 18% never, 26% didn’t know.
And now what’s most interesting. The researchers compared the answers across the different types of prostitution: they found no (significant) differences. That’s important. Probably those “bad boyfriends” are also very present outside window prostitution.
By the way, of those 230 prostitutes, 31% worked in clubs, 33% in privé-huizen, 13% in window prostitution, 10% escort, 10% massage parlour, 2% at home. Therefore, the sample of window prostitutes of 13% of 230 prostitutes (~30 prostitutes) is obviously a small sample, so not very significant, but nevertheless this is very interesting.

In the study Er gaat iets veranderen in de prostitutie ['Something is going to change in prostitution'] (2000, Liesbeth Venicz, Ine Vanwesenbeeck) the researchers also asked the question to the prostitutes of how many of their colleagues are forced on their workplace, but this time they asked percentages (see page 33, table 4.4). 77 prostitutes (of the 105) answered the question. 51,6% of the prostitutes thought it was 0%. 24,2% thought it was below 25%. 16,1% thought it was between 25% and 50%. 3,2% thought it was between 50% and 75%. 4,8% thought is was between 75% and a 100%. On average it was higher than 10%, the median lied around 10%. 2 respondents named a percentage of 90%.

Perhaps a corner of the veil is raised by Dieuwke Talma. She led some haptonomy groups in the past and she wrote of her experiences with them in the book “vrouwenmantel” (2003). I have the impression these must be predominantly Dutch prostitutes. 57 prostitutes tell a bit of their life stories in the book, but what becomes clear is that 7 of them were forced by their boyfriends or husbands at the moment they took part in the haptonomy groups!!!! I would call this an absolute sensation because normally forced prostitutes are very difficult to approach. That could indicate that forced prostitution is indeed not a marginal phenomenon among Dutch prostitutes.

Ceciel Brand interviewed 12 Dutch window prostitutes in The Hague. See her report "Hulpverlening aan prostituées in Den Haag" [Aid to prostitutes in The Hague] (1983, Ceciel de Mol-Brand).
(translated from Dutch)
page 7:
...The way in which they entered the profession:
Of the interviewees 7 have entered the profession more or less forced, under pressure of their husband/boyfriend. Four of them have at first worked in a club and then switched over to window prostitution.
She also interview 6 heroin prostitutes.
page 12:
...The way in which they entered the profession:
Five have entered the profession as a result of heroin addiction; 1 by regular visits to a café in a prostitution neighbourhood; 3 at first worked forced as a window prostitute.
All in all, the problem up till now, is that it’s almost impossible to answer the important question, do Dutch forced prostitutes predominantly work in window prostitution?, there’s not enough data. I could tear my hair out.

A July 22th 2009 update: read my post about David Farer who has lived in several Dutch clubs in the nineties. According to him most (Dutch) prostitutes with husbands and boyfriends are maltreated by them. This turns everything upside-down again. The books he wrote are "Bordeellevens" [Brothel lives] (1995) and "Games prostitutes play – prostitution and child abuse" (2008). Lets quote from the English book from page 392 and 393:
Most prostitutes in permanent relationships have men who dominate, beat, belittle, insult, and attack them. Even women who dominate clients, other prostitutes, and managers at the brothel go home to men like Valerie’s boyfriend or worse. Valerie's man eventually hospitalized her, but she defended the creature even after the hospital released her.

These boyfriends are men whom the women choose for emotional reasons of their own.
Although perfectly dependent on the women, these men were cruel to them. They played no role in the women's professional lives. Many people call such men pimps, although they were not pimps in the sense of men who found their women customers and "managed" their careers as prostitutes. They had not pushed the women into prostitution. The men had no control over the women whatever, apart from that which the women gave them. Examples abound, but that which comes to mind first was when I spent hours and days explaining to a prostitute that she could and should get rid of her abusive boyfriend and find a nicer one who did not beat her up every night. She then very simply went home, packed his suitcase, drove him to a hotel, and gave him some money.
The next day she told me to pack my books and throwaway my clothes, Because she would drive by my home to pick me up. As my jaw bounced off the floor, the others took her aside and explained to her that David had not intended to apply for a position as her new pimp. She then drove to the hotel where she had deposited her old pimp and took him home. He celebrated their reunion by beating her unconscious that night.

Here is yet another example of my naiveté in intervening in situations that were over my head, and in which I went into battle armed with good intentions, but little sense.
The Latin American prostitute Catalina explains in the Dutch version (page 98):
In my opinion the Dutch prostitutes are very peculiar. They are not healthy. Many of them are addicted to drugs. I think they come from bad families. They make so much money, but they squander it to drugs and bad [boy]friends who beat them. I see them come in, full of bruises.
Lets delve into the past, maybe that could clarify things. A quote from “Sex Slavery” (1968) by Stephen Barlay, First Ballantine Books Edition: July 1977, in chapter “V. Game girls who lose”
page 118-119:
I got my second opinion from Major Alida Bosshardt, the Dutch Salvation Army Goodwill Organiser who has spent some thirty years in the Old City Centre of Amsterdam, the harbour and railway station area, where the Zeedijk is the main street, surrounded by picturesque canals and wharfs, countless little passages and alleyways. Within this comparatively small area, there are some fifty pubs and several hundred windows in which the majority of some 3,000 prostitutes are put on view.
According to Major Bosshardt, the real Dutch inhabitants of this notorious quarter steer clear of drugs and keep out of the clutches of sexslavers 'because they're not adventurous'.
'Dutch girls, prostitutes or non-prostitutes, like to stay at home,' she said. 'A prostitute here knows where she stands. She likes to visit her family and to run her life according to her own tastes. Her boy friend is much more likely to be a housekeeper than a business manager. He does her shopping, cleans her flat and is sacked or exchanged if she is dissatisfied. Usually, financial affairs remain firmly in her hands.
'She has a certain amount of security here. Prostitution is legal, she has nothing to hide, she is not breaking the law if she sits in her window without actually soliciting.
'Normally, three girls share a window (together with the room, of course) and they know exactly how much each "sitting" will cost them. (They pay the owner of the house an average of 20 guilders, £3, for the morning sitting from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 30 guilders for the evening - 4 to 10 p.m.; and 40 guilders for the night session - 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. The prices include lunch or dinner or supper and generous supplies of tea and coffee.) They even know roughly how much they can earn. So why take risks?
'With foreign - English, German, Asian, African - girls, of course, there's much more trouble. They usually cannot come into Holland and practise prostitution unless they take Dutch nationality by marrying a Dutchman. They're much more exposed to the traffickers.
'Another reason why the slavers cannot get a firm grip on Dutch girls is to be found in the attitude of the Dutch authorities. They say that a small country like ours cannot afford to risk her reputation through being represented abroad by the wrong kind of elements. Once a girl is a known prostitute, it's impossible for her to obtain a passport. Even if an American soldier on leave from Germany, marries a prostitute - and quite a few of them do - she must get out of prostitution and prove at least two years' good behaviour before, sometimes with our recommendation, she'd get a passport.'
In Holland, police-controlled prostitution helps to fight the slavers as well as venereal disease.
The family doctor J.W. Groothuyse owned his own doctor’s practice on de Wallen at the time of Major Bosshardt. He wrote two books about prostitution.

“De arbeidsstructuur van de prostitutie” [The labour structure of prostitution] (1970, J.W. Groothuyse)
(translated from Dutch)
Page 12:
Since prostitution on the limited area we can involve in our study has converted from a slaverylike structure into an increasingly sensible labour structure based on voluntariness, we could also inform after morality. Where, like in our known environment, the external compulsion into prostitution is more and more decreasing, room is created for freedom and morality.
Page 124-125:
Prostitution in the past was more hierarchically and coercively structured. Even the child from the rigid approved school of that time accepted the new authorities casu quo rulers in this pimp milieu. ‘When in those days one of the well-known pimps went by (names like: Buck Jonas, de Tijger [The Tiger], Jopie Boefie [Jopie Little Rascal] and others) then it appeared like the women in the alley jumped to attention, but now we laugh at them so to speak.’ That is true, because the young whore has no respect anymore for resounding names, who are for that matter hardly there anymore. We also state therefore, that the modern whore has had a more open form of upbringing, even when she is from a children’s shelter. That’s why she knows too much of the world, which for her is not limited anymore to a piece of old inner city or a village square in the past.
Page 159:
Personally we prefer this condition of free women in an especially free country above the organized coercion, which the prostituties in other Western European countries experience, but we want to explicitly state the following: the conventional woman would baulk at prostitution because of moral reasons and because she is to asthenic for it (asthenia is lack of daring, guts one could better say here) and because she uses her erotic power for her family.
Another book he wrote is “Het menselijk tekort van de pooier” [The human deficit of the pimp] (1973, J.W. Groothuyse)
On page 16 he divides the pimps into three groups. The dupe (passive) pimp, the working pimp (who has a job) and the criminal pimp. He estimates the percentage of dupe pimps at 75%, working pimps at 15% and the criminal group at 10% at most. Among the criminal group he counts (see page 20): the active pimp, the rough pimp, the hard pimp, the evil master of the woman, the more hardened pimp-women trafficker, bloodpimp, antisocial pimp (directed towards the society), the criminal pimp, the ‘protector’, ‘the dangerous type of pimp’.
(translated from Dutch)
Page 156-157:
But first a limitation: pure coercion into prostitution with a woman who doesn’t want to, we hardly know that in the Netherlands, neither trafficking in women. What is known to us about that, is derived from quotes in the literature and the daily press.
Page 161:
Until approximately 1970 it seemed that the blood pimp was disappearing; now, two years later, we see however an increase in maltreatments, injuries and black eyes. The obvious conclusion, namely that through import the number of psychopaths relatively increases, is wrong; what relatively increases is the number of displaced persons and frustrated people. Coercion and aggression under the influence of the present circumstances come to lie on a different level, everything takes place a lot rougher, fiercer and more uncontrolled. Still we hold onto the proposition that in a free community man and woman in prostitution are well matched. As long as our society can protect itself against corruption and intimidation, also a prostitute can maintain herself as a ‘free’ sex-worker. [Hey, he uses the English word “sex worker” before Carol Leigh coined it on a conference in 1978!!!!].
J.W. Groothuyse also quotes statements made by prostitutes and others involved which sometimes show a different picture than described above:
Page 134:
[H 37 – 19] [He means a prostitute aged 37 who is in prostitution for 19 years] Receiving money by a pimp. He doesn’t see it anymore that it is actually her money; she doesn’t see it herself, or better, she does see it (and obviously blames him), but she doesn’t want to see it anymore. Look you should do it (as a doctor) for the fun of it: than you simply ask to such a lill woman: ‘Hey what a beautiful cloak you have’ and then she says: ‘Well I received it from my husband’. Only when they are angry they say: ‘Well, you all the same live from my money.’ Like this afternoon for example: ‘I received from my husband a beautiful sweater with a rollneck. I already saw it standing in the display window,’ says that woman. Those women, they really have to ask if they want to have something, because on his own initiative such a man only sporadically gives something. Well says the man: I have treated my wife with a fur coat or a bracelet.
Page 85:
[Nurse]: I despise pimps, I find the girls themselves very friendly and spirited. When those blokes lie in the hospital, they still command their wives when they come with flowers and pastry. Like: ‘Yes, go home girl; you have to sit again [behind the window]; it is your time again.’
Page 58:
[H x-x] In this neighbourhood there are lots of beatings by the blokes; you often see the women with a black eye; but it is not jealousy, because you know it anyway as a man what you do. But from his side it is being like the though guy; what you do as a woman with the clients they don’t know anyway.
Page 140:
[H 22 - 1,5] Those pimps are sometimes just like a moron. There are those periods, that you don’t earn back your rent and then you have trouble with your husband and then he starts to shout: ‘You are likely the only one again who doesn’t earn much, I worry about that.’
Here a peculiar statement by a prostitute who talks about buying black pimps from other prostitutes.
Page 142:
[H x-x] (...) Those girls from this neighbourhood buy those blackies from each other; who bids the most for it; and the girls are infatuated with it because blacks are much more masculine; somewhere it is always a man; the primordiality of the man is in them.
Also F.J.H. Wong Lun Hing had a family doctor’s practice at the time of Major Bosshardt and Doctor Groothuyse, but in this case in the Red Light District of Rotterdam (Katendrecht). He also wrote books about prostitution.
“Prostitutie” [Prostitution] (Dr. F. J. H. Wong Lun Hing, 1962)
(translated from Dutch)
Page 121-122:
The man, who extracts profit from the status prostitutionis and with whom the PP [puella publica=prostitute] maintains a relation, is the pimp (S[=souteneur=pimp]). The public opinion is inclined to see in this person of the S the ultimate exploiter. In superficial conversations with PP this opinion is often confirmed. After a more serious and profound research the statements of the PP turn out not to rise above the cliché-opinions of the majority of the public. In her rationalisation of her own situation unfathomed by herself she views the S on her side often as her partner, who lured her in this pernicious situation and who at present exploits her for the benefit of his own wallet. She therefore is not the culprit, so she explains, but he, her partner, who has brought her into this. Through blackmail and physical violence he forces her to play this inferior role. Finally, when there is no way out anymore, she resigns herself wearily in her harsh faith of life and she continues to prostitute in order to come home exhausted late at night to turn over her wage to her half drunk master in exchange for a beating. This public opinion starts from the naïve assumption, that if one wants to know about phenomena like prostitution and pimping, one could best ask this the persons involved themselves. Through a superficial journalistic interview, preferably take in a café or bar, the general opinion is confirmed and in the paper appears an article which horrifies many a person. The same popular motive can be found in the massively produced films about this subject, where the pitiful ‘girl of the sidewalk’ is beaten up by the brute pimp. It becomes more serious when the police in her measures operates following the same simple procedure. After the accession to office of a new officer, pimps were arrested on a large scale on the apparent assumption that prostitution could be nipped in the bud. When one eliminates the instigator of this evil, the one, who is his victim, will stop to prostitute on her own accord. After one single raid or two at most, the problem of prostitution is now suddenly solved…
It goes without saying that this way prostitution was influenced in no way. The letters of the PP to the detained S and his answer to her, which I often was allowed to read, gave evidence of nothing else than a distorted love relationship between to people on the fringe of society, who missed each other desperately and because of the arrest were even unhappier than before. It is of little principle importance, if the PP did or did not understand the statement which they signed which the police confronted to her [I don’t understand this sentence]. Among many it was pure innocence, among others on the other hand it was part of the S-PP-relationship, that they signed his sentence, but the result is in most cases the same. After the release of S whether after months, whether after years, the relationships in some cases become re-established again and life goes on old terms enriched with just another sad experience, an experience, which has brought these people even further away from a chance of rehabilitation than ever before.
That's interesting!! According to the famous Major Bosshardt and J.W. Groothuyse (and also Wong Lun Hing) forced prostitution was rare on de Wallen in the sixties! But the situation in the seventies seems to have changed completely as is indicated by Margot Alvarez in the book “Live Sex Acts” (1997) by Wendy Chapkis. Margot Alvarez is one of the founders of the Red Thread and worked at the end of the seventies and during the beginning of the eighties for four and a half years behind the windows (of The Hague) for her boyfriend.
On page 202:
I had seen a lot of bruises, saw women using a lot of speed or coke to be able to work the whole night through because if they came home with less than fl. 500 they'd be beaten. Nowadays, a lot more women work independently. But back then, it was kind of unusual for a woman to work without a pimp. I think it was part of the whole idea that a woman needed a man, whores included. The women's liberation movement has really changed that perception, so now you see a lot more women living and working independently—again, whores included.
Ceciel Brand seems to confirm what Margot Alvarez has said about prostitutes in the Hague (during the second World Whores' Congress in Brussels, 1-3 October 1986, see the book 'A Vindication of the Rights of Whores' edited by Gail Pheterson, 1989):
page 163:
Ceciel Brand (Netherlands): I am a social worker and I work with prostitutes in The Hague in the Netherlands. I have to say something. I am not just sitting here for the hell of it. Last year I met many women who are in prostitution. Very often they are under pressure and they experience violence. A number of these women are aware of the fact that this congress in being held and they asked me to report back because they are unable to attend themselves. I just wanted to tell that because I think it is very important to go back to them. I hope that all of us sitting here, this large group of women, can support each other and other prostitutes. I think that is of essential importance.
Margot Alvarez (Netherlands): Can I add something briefly? I once worked in The Hague and I know Ceciel as a social worker; in fact, I ended up in the center where she works. The Hague is rather an aggressive city for prostitutes. I know most of the women working there pretty well. I have also noted that many of the women who were abused came out of The Life for some years and then years later went back into the same situation and sometimes it was even worse. I think it's very difficult to save yourself from this kind of situation. I myself had to make a certain decision and say, "Look, it's just too much and I'm not going to do it anymore." Too often women are depicted as victims. I have tried to talk many women out of violent situations and they said, "Okay, fine," and then a week later they are back again. I do think there are lots of abused women in The Hague, very many.
Ceciel Brand also wrote a report "Hulpverlening aan prostituées in Den Haag" [Aid to prostitutes in The Hague] (1983, Ceciel de Mol-Brand) and interviewed 12 Dutch window prostitutes.
(translated from Dutch)
page 9:
...Do they work for themselves or for somebody else?:
in 7 cases the partner is the "souteneur"[pimp], the one who incites them to prostitution; 5 work completely independent.
Also the window proprietor "O.J. Timmer"(fictitious name) seems to support the statements made by Margot Alvarez in the chapter "Beroep:exploitant" (profession:operator) by Liesbeth Koenen in the book "Beroep:prostituee" (profession:prostitute) by Frank Belderbos and Jan Visser (editors) (1987). O.J. Timmer has/had a brothel with 4 windows on the Geleenstraat in The Hague.
(translated from Dutch)
page 37:
Timmer finds it utterly childish of the tax department to bother the girls: "Amounts are named.... idiotic. It is nonsense. There are days that they don't make anything. Furthermore it all goes to the pimp. Because why should a girl that has no man play whore? It's a form of brain washing. That friend tells them what you can do with all that money. They all have a goal, an ambition, but after five years they have nothing. Yes, an expensive car, or had a beautiful holiday. And that's it. I know not one who has achieved something."
"No, you simply have to register them all at the vice police and let them pay an amount per week. A normal amount that everyone can pay. Lets say a hundred guilders per week. So a fixed amount. They don't need sick pay and holiday pay, but they can miss that. Because at the end of the year nothing is left anyway. That has all gone to those men."
Most girls at Timmer work full-time. He also rents out per day and per evening, including "the daily cleaning lady, clean washing and such". In the Geleenstraat in The Hague and in the surrounding streets, 'the life' goes on 24 hours per day. This is the area that the municipality has made into a walking promenade. Here stands Timmer's double house (four windows). The place is always lively, and nobody has a contract up there. If it's up to Timmer it has to stay that way.
I quote from “Van de liefde kun je niet leven — Interviews met hoeren en hoerenjongens” [From love you cannot live — Interviews with whores and whoreboys] (Marcel Bullinga and others, 1982)
Koos and Coby run sexshops. Also prostitutes work in these sexshops. The testimonies of these people make you wonder about the situation in the eighties.
(translated from Dutch)
Page 30-31:
Koos says he really pays attention to what kind of reasons the girls want to work. When there is coercion, like what has happened to Coby in the past, he prefers not to accept them. Nevertheless he also collaborates with pimps. The prostitution rooms in ‘his’ alley are only rented out to men, who on their turn put women in them. ‘You can’t lump all pimps together. There aren’t that many anymore who recruit women, like it did happen in the past. Women know better nowadays! Anyway, I do no business with pimps who brutally force women to work or who persuade young girls to use heroin.’
Pimps are not darlings. Although they don’t maltreat the women, they employ all kinds of dirty little tricks. Coby: ‘they play the women off against each other. They speculate on the wish of every whore to stop with their work. Then they say against one of their girls that they have to work extra hard, because then they can go to Spain together for example, and start something there. The girl does do that and also has the idea that those others more or less work for her. In the mean time that bloke says the same thing to all girls.’ Coby doesn’t think highly about the girls either: ‘They fall in every trap, they are way too romantic and sentimental. And they all search for a steady guy. When they have found one, they start to pamper them, give them presents, slip them money and so forth. They persuade him to stop working, because she earns enough anyway. This way they make a pimp of him.’
Then there are women who enter the business on their own. What kind of girls are that and how does this all come about? Koos: ‘They simply drop by in the shops. Since there are so many shops with relax-possibilities [he means prostitution] prostitution has been thrown open a little bit more. The shops often have signs on the window with: female assistant demanded. A girl who wants to, can step inside and announce herself.’ According to Koos these are all kinds of women, young and old, some with a steady job. There are rumoured to be many nurses among them and girls from the art academy. But Coby says: ‘Behind every whore there is a problem. You have to view it as a profession, that’s what I believe at least, but it’s not a profession which you end up in just like that. When you talk with them you hear all kinds of things, one has a high mortgage, the other simply has debts, the third wants to start a business very quickly. And they all do it only temporarily, they say that for years in a row. But when at one point they are addicted to the money, they never ever step out.’
This situation during the eighties also seems to be confirmed by Ine Vanwesenbeeck in her study "Wiens lijf eigenlijk?" — Een onderzoek naar dwang en geweld in de prostitutie ["whose body actually?" — A study into force and violence in prostitution] in 1986:
(translated from Dutch)
page 16:
The number of prostitutes who go through life without a male partner is minimal. Although there are a small number of women who say they “have nothing to do with men”, the largest part is one way or the other involved in an ‘intimate’ relationship with a man. Obviously these relationships take very divergent forms, also related to the place of force and violence therein. There are pimps and men. Pimps (in more extreme cases called ‘bloodpimps’) seduce or force a woman intentionally into prostitution, where they reap the fruits of her earnings, while the ‘men’ are the friends and husbands of the woman working as a prostitute, who during the relationship can take more or less pimp-like positions. My findings of the last months point out that the number of women that work for a pimp still is considerable and that mental and/or physical violence is often a part of these relationships. Speaking with one of my respondents: “The old fashioned pimphood is still present and I do not understand where those rumours come from that this is not so”.
on page 19:
Often the violence will be acted out more ‘controllable’ than in this case [I skipped a part where she names examples of what forms of violence take place], there will be paid attention to which part [of the prostitute's body] there will be beatings, when a girl has two black eyes she will not earn money in the first place. How many prostitutes are subjected to this violence is as yet unknown. Female fieldworkers all indicate that percentages are very difficult to name. The estimates which are being made of the prostitutes who very regularly have to deal with battering vary from ten to thirty percent and another thirty percent ‘every now and then’. The estimates of the number of women who have a pimp range from forty to ninety percent!, varying per group or per city. It is continuously stressed that this is no more than an estimate, because the prostitutes themselves so often hush up the violence inflicted upon them, especially if it concerns their pimp.
And who are her respondents? She spoke with 8 (ex)-prostitutes (all white Dutch women), 6 (male and female) fieldworkers, 2 aid workers from the medical area, one female aid worker from the female circuit and 2 officials from the vice police. She sent letters to 20 police corpses; there were 13 responses. In addition she had 10-15 short conversations with prostitutes, brothel keepers and others involved during the orienting visits in the prostitution world. She spoke mainly with prostitutes in Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Women with experience in the east of the country assured that the situation across the Netherlands was similar to that of Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. The research took 10 months. At least one of the nurses also had experiences in clubs (that's important!!). Also the interviewed prostitutes often refer to clubs.

That’s peculiar because at first it seems that in the sixties the (window)prostitutes were very independent. During the 70ties/80ties they often seem to be forced, after which according to Margot Alvarez they were relatively free, and now (~1995-2007) there’s the situation that many (Dutch) window prostitutes are forced. But it's also possible that the situation is different for every window area. For instance, major Bosshardt is speaking about Amsterdam while Margot Alvarez and the proprietor "Timmer" speak about The Hague.

The second report of the “Profeitstudie” (2000, Elizabeth Venicz, Lorraine Nencel, Jan Visser) a possible explanation is given for the rise of the loverboys:
(translated from Dutch)
page 36:
There seem to be indications that pimps of young Dutch prostitutes, who in the media are often specified as loverboys, profit from the disappearance of a large part of the foreign prostitutes [because of expulsions] and the vacancy caused by that.
Good, up until now I have only focused on forced prostitution. But things could be much more subtler. We have already heard Jeanette1 and CarmenElectra mention that many prostitutes in the brothels use drugs. I want to get deeper into that.

Lets shift my attention.

Another report: “Escort in Amsterdam”, by Eysink, Smeets and Etman (2000) [BTW, they also interviewed 10 female escorts often put forward by the escort operators themselves.]
(translated from Dutch)
page 6:
The escort world is a coke world, where many clients ànd escorts are users. It is known that cocaine can be acquired through clubs and escort for inflated prices, together with the escort: ‘the package-deal’.
page 28:
The girls who wind up or enter prostitution – whenever they are highly or lowly educated – are ‘not able to follow anymore’, according to one operator of one top escort company. They step in with a past and step out damaged again.
page 29:
The revenues in clubs are partly derived from sexual services, partly from the sale of liquor. One informant reports: “I don’t know what makes the most money”.
In addition, multiple informants point to the excessive cocaine use in clubs and escort by both clients and (male/female) prostitutes themselves. “You can’t deny that in this business many people are with their nose in the powder, also our girls”, is a pronouncement of an operator which is confirmed by escorts. “In this work you get addicted to money and coke”, according to a girl.
Cocaine use makes it easier to have sex for hours and hours, what means revenue for the operator and escort. According to insiders it is possible to order both escort as well as coke – a ‘package deal’ - where the price of cocaine is obviously above the street value.
page 34:
Most escort girls can be characterized as ‘normal’ young women with jobs or allowance who want to earn extra money. Not ‘real whores’ – according to an experienced prostitute – not a woman who discloses to earn her money as a prostitute and wants to be visible behind the window. High in the market it involves Dutch and legally staying foreign young women with a completed education or students who know how to hold a conversation. In the upper middle segment it involves young Dutch women – both single mothers as well as young women with or without a partner – and boys, for whom the earnings are often a supplement for allowance. Aside from that there are many legal and illegal staying foreign girls and boys with varying levels of educational backgrounds. The more we go to the lower middleclass and bottom of the market, the more illegal staying girls and boys are active.

The move into escort
The girls who work as escort, mostly have a ‘past’, according to multiple types of informants, including the girls themselves. That all girls have an incest past, as is often assumed, is big nonsense, according to several informants. Some do it for the thrill, the adventure, but especially for the money. But is true that many women have youth experiences which cause them to be able to transgress boundaries and norms, according to one operator. There are personal problems, there are practically always financial problems, of debts which have to be put in order and where escort is a quick method.

There are multiple ways which bring the women into the work. A method which is quite natural way is going with a girlfriend, reported by multiple women.
Others relied on articles in ‘glossy’ magazines where escorts or owners are allowed to speak. And others take the decision to make fast money and call several advertisements on the yellow pages, read advertisements in magazines [footnote at the bottom of that page: a new way to recruit is to spread leaflets in student hostels and place advertisements in student papers]. Several renowned bureaus hold ‘selection-evenings’ where girls with interest in the escort can present themselves. Essential for the escort is that the threshold to get in is less high than in other – more open – forms of prostitution. Escort feels less like prostitution, escorts are less involved in ‘the milieu’ that surrounds other forms of prostitution. Escort sex is more discrete for clients ànd workers, where for the latter it is possible to ‘turn an escort’ unnoticed.
Funny thing is that this report “Escort in Amsterdam” doesn’t mention human trafficking or pimping related to Dutch escorts. This was used as “proof” by Frank Bovenkerk (see Loverboys and modern pimps) that there hardly is any pimping and human trafficking in the escort business. That is not true. This report also mentions trafficking in the escort, but then related to foreign women who voluntarily want to work in prostitution.

Quote from Prostitutie naar een illegaal en onzichtbaar circuit? (Margit Averdijk, 2002, pagina 63) ["Prostitution to an illegal and invisible circuit"]
(translated from Dutch)
(…) The aforementioned reasons initially caused in 2000 a drop in the number of Dutch prostitutes who worked in the prostitution businesses of Twente. According to operators and prostitutes this did not concern not a big part of the Dutch prostitutes. Many Dutch prostitutes are drug users according to these respondents.
Quote from "Handel in hartstocht" ["traffic in passion"] (Sietske Altink, 1995, pagina 134-135)
(translated from Dutch)
Brothel keeper Huub: ‘Nine out of eleven women that work here come from Eastern Europe. I don’t want the Dutch and German women anymore. Those are all addicts. (…)
"Who the fuck is Daatje Smit?" (Metje Blaak, 1997, pagina 353) [Metje Blaak is an ex-prostitute and spokesperson for the Red Thread]
(translated from Dutch)
We celebrated Sinterklaas-evening in Didi’s sex club. It was December 5 1991. For four years already I performed a [strip]show on Tuesday and Thursday evening for the waiting clients. There were ten ladies of pleasure, but there were only five rooms. So the entertainment as one goes along was not always pleasurable but necessary and functional. This way I saw many women and girls coming and going. The circulating part were mainly junkies and mostly didn’t stay longer than a week or three. Then there also were the even more sadder cases. They came with their humble possessions in a rubbish bag, and ask for work, board and lodging. This category actually belonged in a psychiatric institute…
The fixed core consisted of real girls of pleasure, who just like myself, wanted to make money and in the mean time had a lot of fun together. (…)
page 60:
[she tells that a client wanted to make her addicted, but…]
In the club I saw them dying like rats.
Rechten van prostituees ..... (Rode Draad, 2006, pagina 62-63) ["Rights of prostitutes"]
(translated from Dutch)
It is 2004. The door of the business is opened by a lady who cheerfully lets the Red Tread in. (…) The female owner in the meantime is massaged by an other girl. (…) She [the owner] complains that all women are on coke, also in her business.
Quote from "Power and control in the commercial sex trade" by Wendy Chapkis in "Sex for sale - prostitution, pornography and the sex industry" edited by Ronald Weitzer (2000). Former prostitute Jo Doezema is interviewed in 1993, Amsterdam. Jo Doezema also worked for the Red Thread:
There is an incredible amount of drug use in the clubs. It's the big hidden drug problem in prostitution. Everyone thinks of drug-addicted prostitutes as heroin-addicted street workers. But there are many more coke-addicted women working in clubs than heroin-addicted women working on the streets of Amsterdam. I am actually convinced that a lot of clubs are covers for coke dealing from behind the bar.
A young ex-window prostitute tells on hookers.nl (April 2nd, 2009) (translated from Dutch):
We are all young and we surely all have used something...

When I worked behind the window, and then whole days I did also take a sniff of cocaine every now and then....

I am very honest in that

And I think that a great many girls who work behind the window sniff cocaine, I know that with a 100 percent certainty, when I worked behind the window 90% of the women sniffed....
Then a client asks: "Perhaps a very blonde question, but why actually? Just for fun, and it was work to pay for their hobby. Or did they use to keep on doing the work.", she answers:
Well, I think that when these girls sniff that they can endure it for a longer time, especially if you work the whole day, and get many clients, then a little sniff can work relax you understand.
And no they don't work to pay for their cocaine, but yes, if you work longer then it can help a sniff of cocaine.
More about drug use later......

Elène Vis operated two high class escort agencies in the past for more than 20 years (“She International” and “escort à la Carte”):
In "Prostituee word je niet voor het geld" (Dirk Musschoot, 7-March-2005, Nieuwsblad)
(translated from Dutch)
“Most people in this business do it out of emotional poverty, rather than financial poverty. When a girl solicited because she needed money – five thousand euros for example, higher amounts were rarely mentioned – then I always asked if they found that amount of money worth the effort to venture into prostitution. I have always asked the solicitants to think hard about their step.”

(...)

You name people who step into prostitution damaged persons.
“At the time I started with this myself, I obviously didn’t know this. Now I now better. When you have your life really in balance, when you have enough self-respect, then you don’t step into this profession? Only for the money you don’t do this in my opinion. There are other ways to make a lot of money.”

“Honestly: if I knew then what I know now, then I would have never started an escort agency.”
According to Lucie van Mens (“prostitutie in Bedrijf” – Organisatie, management en arbeidsverhoudingen in seksclubs en privéhuizen, [Prostitution in Enterprise – Organization, management and labour relations in sexclubs and private houses], 1992) Dutch prostitutes have a better negotiating position. She interviewed 130 clients and 30 prostitutes (and had some shorter conversations with several other prostitutes). Those 30 prostitutes she followed during a longer period. They worked in clubs. She doesn’t specify the nationality of the prostitutes but elsewhere she hints that the women must be predominantly Dutch (page 117, they followed Dutch educations, and 118, 120, she ‘also’ “spoke” with some foreign prostitutes). Funny is that of this group of women “only” 1 was initially forced into prostitution. But 9 were once in the past.
(translated from Dutch)
page 116:
The data on which I base the analysis relies mainly on information I received from thirty prostitutes. With them I held – like I have written in the third chapter – an interview and I got additional information during the course of the research. Aside from that I got additional information during informal conversations with sixty two other women.
page 109
The financial conditions under which the foreign prostitutes are put to work, are therefore even worse than that of the Dutch. Because of the dependent position where the foreigners are in, a large number of people can reap the rewards from their labour. The foreigners – and certainly the women with a short residence visa and the illegal aliens – don’t have the possibility to set demands to those conditions. They are dependent on the ones who take them to the Netherlands. The negotiation possibility is also lacking because they have no knowledge of the culture and customs within Dutch prostitution and they also don’t speak the language. To the foreigners demands can be set that their Dutch colleagues don’t want to accept. First of all there are the long working hours. In clubs these can be twelve hours per day and that six days per week. Although the women only make money when they have to serve a client, they have to be fully present during the opening hours. This is also true for their Dutch colleagues, but because their negotiating position is better, they are able to insist that they can also work part-time. Thanks to the foreigners the clubs are also filled with women during the off-peak hours. Second of all, the foreigners, through their independency and also their alienation, seem more docile and adapt more easily to the rules of the house.
page 117-118:
The thirty women indicated, save for one exception, that they started with prostitution with the expectation that this would be lucrative from a financial point of view. Other work which they would qualify for, paid less. An exception to the pattern of options out of need was the woman who at age fourteen was forced by her ‘boyfriend’ into prostitution. After the relation was ended, she stayed in the occupation.
Save for one woman – she had an HBO diploma [School of Higher Vocational Education] – the women had followed primary school or the LBO [lower vocational education] (or comparable educations like the MULO [lower general secondary education] or the domestic science school). The woman with HBO was previously in youth work but became overstrained, and therefore lost her job. Prostitution turned out to be a possibility to drive up her income from welfare. (…)

Nine women indicated that in the past they had a relationship with a man who let them work under force. Six of those nine women met their pimp on or near their workplace [window prostitution?] and the handing over of money started within weeks. Initially also a counter service was offered, like transportation from home to work or taking care of a place to sleep. Two turned out to have been under the ‘protection’ of two brothers. Four women have been seriously maltreated physically. Three of those four women could flee him by calling in the help of family and friends. The fourth fled to a ‘blijf van mijn lijf huis’ [a shelter for battered women].
One of the women was at the moment of the interview on the brink of marrying a man who previously as she called it ‘pimped another woman’. The other woman worked behind a window and daily the man went to her to collect the money in the presence of his future wife. Instigated by his future wife the man ended the pimp-relationship. Before that time she also lived from the earnings of the woman who worked behind the window.

Traditionally always men are named as responsible for pimping. From the aforementioned example it turns out that this is less unambiguous. During the interviewing and also from conversations with non-Dutch prostitutes it turned out, that also very different groups of people exert force on prostitutes and thereby are able to reap the rewards of their labour. Family members – mother -, spouse, friends or acquaintances blackmail the prostitute sometimes morally. When she gives presents, a round of drinks in the house or money, then there is no mention about the fact that she’s in prostitution. When the prostitute doesn’t do this temporarily or when she stops with this, then her environment suddenly reminds her that she is in the profession. Prostitutes seem to be forced to buy off the low appreciation in relation to their existence.
page 120:
The thirty prostitutes all turned out to have set a deadline wherein they wanted to step out of prostitution again. The period wherein this should happen, lied between a couple of weeks and months. {footnote at the bottom of that page: None of these women stopped with prostitution within the term set during the interview. The Norwegian researchers Cecilie Hoigard and Liv Finstad who during a couple of years followed the footsteps of 42 prostitutes, established the same. The women often made future plans, wanted to work as a self-employed person – as owner of a boutique or beauty salon – and first save together the required capital, but the step to really quit prostitution was often postponed (Cecilie Hoigard and Live Finstad, Seiten Strassen, 1987). } Future plans lied outside prostitution: in a marriage, having children or another job, preferably as a self-employed person, for example as an owner of a boutique. Before they could move over to this, first a firm financial basis had to be created. {footnote at the bottom of that page: also the foreigners whom I spoke with saw prostitution as a temporary occupation. In the long run, when they would have found a marriage partner or have saved enough money, they would stop again.}
page 127:
The Dutch prostitutes who can choose for a certain workplace, avoid places where the house rules put too much pressure. Privéhuizen where generally there are less strict rules than in sexclubs, generally enjoy the preference.
page 140:
Also for men who have less to spend, the fact that they pay for sex and attention, can give an extra dimension to the visit. The excitement consists of the fact that the prostitute offers to fulfil extra wishes and acts ordered by him against payment. Not only sex is bought but also – be it temporarily – a person. {footnote at the bottom of that page: at least, that’s how a part of the clients see it. Prostitutes on the contrary indicate not to sell themselves, but to offer sex (and attention) on a temporary basis.}
page 174:
As a criterion of what will and what will not do, the ‘emancipated Dutch prostitute’ is put forward. Like it turned out in the previous chapters, there are gradual differences between the position of Dutch prostitutes and that of the many migrant prostitutes. Prostitutes with sufficient freedom of movement have as a ‘tactic’ not to work in those businesses, where too many coercive rules are applied. They don’t revolt against certain practices, but avoid them. It is therefore the question who in companies with coercive rules for prostitutes is the ‘emancipated Dutch prostitute’ and who will set the standards for what will and what will not do.
All in all, the situation described in the brothels and escort agencies are not very good. Bad working conditions and lots of coke. Also Jo Doezema (she was with the Red Thread in the past and also was a prostitute) is not very positive about the Dutch brothels. In an interview in 1993 in the book “Live Sex Acts” (Wendy Chapkis, 1997) she says:
on page 119:
In fact, in many ways I think club work is a lot more unsafe. In a club the clients drink and most times so do you because you make money getting drinks. It's also very difficult to refuse a client. Most clubs won't come right out and say "you have to go with everybody that wants you," but they put a lot of pressure on you. Some of those guys running the clubs are real bastards. Mostly they're men, though there are some women. But having a woman boss is no guarantee that anything will be any better. The really good bosses are women, that's true, but it's not the case that every woman is a good boss. There are a lot of Madames out there, the woman who started out herself as a prostitute, worked her way up and is determined to exploit the hell out of everybody who's working for her.
The people who run the brothels are definitely bosses, not colleagues. But don't call them "pimps," they get so pissed off if you say that. They're just businessmen and women offering a service, for which they ask a reasonable price. I guess what pisses me off is the way they run their businesses. The way they think about the women who work in their clubs and the way they treat them is full of 17th century paternalism. There's "papa," the sex club owner, and "zijn meisjes," they all say it, "my girls," not "the girls," certainly not "the women," but "my girls." But at the same time, "papa" isn't shouldering any of the responsibilities of a boss under Dutch law, such as making sure that workers are insured, paying national health care premiums, that kind of thing.
on page 120:
I did escort work for a while, too, but escort is only a little better than clubs. Really the only improvement is that you don't have to drink and you don't have to sit around there all day. But the only way to make good money in escort is to be available to be beeped for work all the time, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. You can go for days without any work and suddenly they beep you at three in the morning or in the middle of dinner with friends. And if you don't say "yes" you don't make any money and they probably won't call you again.
Margot Alvarez (she is one of the founders of the Red Thread, and was prostitute) also says something similar in an interview in 1994 in the book “Live Sex Acts” (Wendy Chapkis, 1997):
on page 201-202:
A big difference for me was that I had never led a double life. My parents always knew that I was a whore, and while they weren't thrilled about it, they accepted it. I wasn't willing to be secretive about my work because to be really secretive I would have had to work in a club, and I knew that the women in the clubs were exploited like mad. Working behind the window meant that you could be your own boss.
Also the Red Thread is very negative, although the situation has somewhat improved since the legalization of prostitution in 2000. I have some translated bits over here:The rights of prostitutes... (Oktober, 2006). For instance:
The authority of the operator is present everywhere. Most of the time the independent entrepreneurs are not allowed to decide for themselves to speak with us or not. (...) The extension of the human trafficking section to slavery like conditions in other professions has led to a better definition of the ‘exploitative situation’. The signals of slavery like conditions, like ‘forced to live on the workplace’, ‘being dependent on the operator’, ‘extremely long working hours’ and ‘poor payment’ can therefore often be applied to the prostitution-business.
But… despite all these bad stories, it has to be admitted that there are other sources that give a relatively more positive image. For instance the report by Ine Vanwesenbeeck, Mechtild Höing and Paul Vennix, "De sociale positie van prostituees in de gereguleerde bedrijven een jaar na de wetswijziging” (2002) [the social position of prostitutes in the regulated businesses a year after te amendment].
In this sample the prostitutes where very autonomous, 81% of the 230 interviewed prostitutes said they could always refuse clients (page 22). Also the number of prostitutes who regularly use drugs is surprisingly low (see page 34, table 23): 15% uses softdrugs, 8% uses tranquilizers and 5% harddrugs (especially when you compare this number to the 'rampant coke use' in clubs and in the escort). On the other hand, 22% said that drugs trafficking happened often in the sex businesses they knew (30% said sometimes, 20% said never and 28% didn’t know, see page 27). That’s surprising, I’m wondering if this is because of the sample method. The researchers directly approached licensed sex businesses and then you might expect that obviously only the better and humane brothels would allow access. But actually, the response was very high; 29%, the non-response was 21%. Per brothel around two workers responded (207 prostitutes per 98 brothels). In the first profeit-studie from 2000 it is estimated that on a daily basis app 5,5 women work in a brothel (see page 19). That would mean that at least in a big minority of the sex businesses the situation is not that bad at all, but the overall response for prostitutes is low, app 207/98/5,5*29=11,1%. It is also surprising that most prostitutes in this study pay taxes, 64% (see page 18), what only a few prostitutes in reality seem to do, only 921 were registered at the tax departement according to the study "Handhaving prostitutiebranche door politiekorpsen, belastingdienst, arbeidsinspectie en UWV/GAK" (2002, ES&E, Pauline Naber, Léon van Lier). Compare this number to the rougly 12.500 prostitutes work at each moment in the Netherlands according to Jan Visser of the mr A de Graaf foundation (see the article 'Betaalde liefde' by Marieke van Doorninck in "C.V. Koers", February 2000, page 6 and further).
On the other hand (concerning hard drugs), in an earlier study by (Liesbeth Venicz, Ine Vanwesenbeeck, 2000)Er gaat iets veranderen in de prostitutie ['Something is going to change in prostitution'], a higher percentage of drug using women was found (of a sample of 105 interviewed prostitutes). In this study it was 15,6% that used cocaine, of whom 4,8% regularly used it during work. 20% regularly uses softdrugs (weed, marihuana) of whom 8,6% says to be always under the influence of these softer drugs. Alcohol is often used, 38,1% says to be regularly tipsy or drunk during their work, but the researchers note that many earn money by drinking with their clients.

Funny thing also is that in the study in 2002 ("De sociale positie van prostituees....") the researchers also did a test among the prostitutes to map their emotional well-being (they used the distress scale: 4DKL by B. Terluin, 1998, De Vierdimensionale Klachtenlijst (4DKL) in de huisartspraktijk. De Psycholoog, 18-24.). They compared these to control groups of 1129 women who worked in the GGZ (mental health care) and 920 women patients based on experiences in a doctor’s office. The prostitutes did worse than the GGZ women but their emotional well-being was better than those women in the doctor’s office. Of those prostitutes who reported at least one distress symptom only 28% said it was related to their work.

What's even more peculiar (when you compare this to earlier accounts) is that 78% of the women said they enjoyed their work!!! But 41% (?!) said they didn’t like the work and tried to make the best of it. 27% said that every time they had to overcome aversion. 45% wanted to stop working in prostitution.

There is another study in 2006, Evaluatie opheffing bordeelverbod; de sociale positie van prostituees 2006 ["evaluation lifting the ban on brothels - the social positon of prostitutes 2006"]. 354 prostitutes were interviewed. This time the response was higher than in the preceding study of 2001. 3,58 women were interviewed per brothel (354 prostitutes per 99 brothels. Remember: there are an estimated 5,5 prostiutes per brothel on a daily basis). The researchers emphasize that the overall response among prostitutes was high. One problem is that also in this study most brothels didn't cooperate so most prostitutes who could have been interviewed were not interviewed in the first place. The response of the brothels was 34%. But when the prostitutes were approached the women could speak freely. Lets say the overall response was 354/99/5,5*34=22%. What I find interesting of this report is that this time the nationalities and the ages of the prostitutes are very similar compared to the sample I studied on hookers.nl (see also Statistics (part 2)), compare them with the statistics on figuur 1.1 and table 1.3 (on pages 7 and 8). The results of this study are very similar to its predecessor (see the post called surprise!! for more information). Also here the result is that the distress levels of the prostitutes are comparable to the distress levels of the rest of the population (on average even better!!!) and the use of harddrugs is also relatively low (5%). 8% said they had been forced into prostitution.

I would like to say that when I put all the information together it’s hard for me to believe what actually is the truth. The reports are very contradictory about things like forced prostitution, drugs (coke) and labour relations. Although it’s possible that in sample surveys of prostitutes the forced prostitutes are not interviewed, this doesn’t seem likely for drug using prostitutes. My only conclusion is that coke use must indeed be exaggerated among indoor prostitutes or that perhaps indoor prostitutes lie about their coke use.

Still puzzling.

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