Saturday, April 16, 2011

Land of broken promises


I want to draw some stories about forced prostitutes from the paper written by Judith Vocks and Jan Nijboer at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. It is called ‘Land van Belofte’ [land of promise] and is named after a café in a window prostitution street of Groningen. The paper is quite old, from 1999. But what’s interesting is that they held 12 interviews with former victims of forced prostitution from Eastern Europe who have been forced to work in the Netherlands. Some 72 former victims filled in a questionnaire. Of the 64 who answered the question of what kind of work was promised, 29 said work in prostitution was promised, 8 were kidnapped, 8 work in the catering industry, 6 work as entertainer, 5 were sold, 3 housekeeper, 2 au pair, 1 administrative work, 1 vacation, and 1 rest (that is THE rest).

But the 12 interviewed former victims of forced prostitution are the most interesting. Some short descriptions are given about how they got into this situation. Some already worked in prostitution or planned to work in prostitution in the Netherlands.

The writers divide the victims in three groups, placing them within a pyramid. The small top consists of the kidnapped women (among them also some women who already worked in prostitution), a middle group are the deceived women who didn’t know, and the big base of the pyramid consists of the exploited prostitutes who did know.

The writers try to find an explanation why Eastern European women are forced into prostitution. They put heavy weight on the explanation that the strongly patriarchal societies in Eastern Europe cause this. This is in line with explanation given by TAMPEP and John Davies. It explains that Eastern European women will behave very submissively towards human traffickers because being submissive, especially towards men, is what they were taught to do during their upbringing. This is what human traffickers are aware of and they exploit this.

Another explanation given by the writers is that the women have little to lose given the circumstances in the countries of origin. This is also true for the women who already worked in prostitution in their countries of origin where the circumstances for prostitutes are usually bad. Also many women come from broken families.

I usually forget a lot that I read about prostitution. I want to know how the foreign prostitutes who knew what kind of work they would do are treated. So the coming period I want to delve into that on my blog. Especially because I feel very attracted to these women. When I see them I find the so HOT!!!!! Much cooler than these grumpy Dutch and Latin American prostitutes. Perhaps it can stem my sex addiction and my interest in these Eastern European women this way. Time for a first quote (all translated from Dutch by the way):
“When our trader took us for the first time to De Wallen in Amsterdam we didn’t know what we saw! We ourselves were put behind a window and felt just like livestock that was being inspected by the clients who passed by. In my home country you at least can have a drink with your client before you go to work, here it is assembly line work.
Okay that comes in hard. First lesson for me: the girls smile but actually hate it when you treat them as cattle. Next quote:
M is born in a small city in the Czech Republic [probably Czechoslovakia]. Her parents are divorced when she is four years old. M and her little brother continued to live with her mother whom after a couple of years got a new boyfriend. M has often seen that her mother is heavily molested by this man. Her mother gave birth to two more children of this man. M finished primary school and later started a technical education. M herself was often molested by her mother and she always had the feeling that her mother didn’t love her. She could get along well with her father but she had little contact with him. On the age of seventeen she ran away from home and stopped with her education. She slept for a while at several girlfriends and worked in a bread factory. After three months she resigned there because the work was too physically demanding. Her real father at that moment also didn’t have a fixed place to stay and couldn’t give shelter to her. After a couple of weeks she got to know P, a Russian man. He lived and worked in a nightclub in Teplice, a medium-sized city near the border. M went to live with him in the nightclub and at first worked as a dancer. At the advice of her boyfriend she went to work as a prostitute. She gladly wanted to be near him and do everything for him. M and her boyfriend got into trouble with the club owner about finances and they moved to another club. P turned out to be a jealous man and he regarded M as his property. M accepted this because she wasn’t used to anything different. After all, her mother was also molested this often by her stepfather. Above all M was very much in love with P. Two months later P proposed that M would work in prostitution in the Netherlands. In the first instance she refused but when a couple of months later she turned out to be pregnant of P, she saw no other option. After all, in the room where they lived together there was no space to raise a child. M had no diploma and she couldn’t keep up with the heavy labour in a factory for a minimum wage, especially now that she was pregnant. M now did want to go to the Netherlands to make money there to buy a house for the baby, P and herself. P contacted the club owner where M earlier on worked as a prostitute for five months. He promised M that she would earn 3000 guilders per month. In the Netherlands, so he said, you can easily earn 1000 or 1500 guilders per day. The agreement eventually was that M had to earn 1000 guilders a day. That wouldn’t be a problem because with 15 clients per evening that money came easily and there were also enough clients. He painted the work as simple. M was supposed to work in the Netherlands for three months. Two months later M went with the brother of the club owner to the Netherlands. The club owner arranged a false passport for her. Once she arrived in a medium-sized city in the Netherlands M could go straight to work after a meal. That same evening M worked from 23:00 hours till 04:00 hours at night. She only earned 300 guilders. The man who had brought her and yet another man constantly kept an eye on her. The next evening M had to start at 19:00 every time. By both men she only was allowed to stop if she had earned 1000 guilders, which meant that she had to go on until 06:00 and finish more than 25 men. This was practically impossible since in many cases there weren’t always clients present and M couldn’t physically cope with it. The men continued to control and threat her. After approximately a month – after the man molested another girl – M decided to report to the police. All that time M didn’t receive more that some pocket money for food and drink.
Shocking, how could I abuse such a person whose only choice is to prostitute? I’m a jerk. I raped her, because she needs my money. And: the Stockholm syndrome really exists. Next quote:
‘I’ [nickname] worked from the age of eighteen as a waitress in a nightclub. She got into debts and decided to work for a period as a prostitute to pay that off. She did already have regular sexual contacts and therefore expected to have no problems with the nature of the work. After working for five months in a club ‘I’ was from one day to another sold by the club owners to a pimp who brought her to the Netherlands. ‘I’ didn’t want to go abroad at all but was brought to the Netherlands under force in a car. From that moment on the money that she earned was seized by the pimp.
Next lesson: women who already work in prostitution could be kidnapped and forced into prostitution too. Next quote:
O rolled into prostitution via an acquaintance of her housemate. The pimp whom she worked for proposed to her at one moment to work abroad for a while. The man painted the worked as very lucrative. O also at that time has had some problems with her health because she has worked on the street. In the Netherlands, so her pimp told, she will get her own room and she doesn’t need to work on the street again. O agrees and departs with her pimp and also three other girls to the Netherlands. Once in the Netherlands O must work long days by the window owner and her old pimp and hand in all her money. O isn’t allowed to refuse men or refuse certain acts. Her workroom is also her living space and without supervision she isn’t allowed to walk around freely. When O is allowed by both men to also have no contact with a client whom she has fallen in love with, it becomes too much for her. After the window owner has threatened her with a pistol and has molested her because she secretly made an appointment with that client, she flees to the police.
Next lesson: the window brothel owners are big fat human traffickers, and the prostitutes who work there are their victims. I ‘m a jerk to abuse these women. Next quote:
On her fifteenth birthday O was sold for the first time by her mother to a pimp. After three days she ran away and went back to her mother again. That was also the agreement with her mother. The mother of O namely is a women trafficker. She sells prostitutes to pimps to maintain her gambling addiction this way. O was sold and escaped eight times in total. At the end she ended up in the Netherlands and was rescued by the police. O doesn’t want to go back to her home country but she still does have contact with her mother….
Next lesson: also women force women into prostitution, even their sons and daughters. The nice madam is a myth. Next quote:
T was invited by her boyfriend for a weekend trip to celebrate her seventeenth birthday. T never has had sex and at first doubted if she would accompany him. She eventually did go with him and to her horror she ended up in a sex club. Her boyfriend sold her – in her presence – to a club owner. Two months later T was sold on to a trader who put her to work in the Netherlands.
Next lesson: even boyfriends sell their girlfriends into prostitution. Next quote:
When I ask L why she came to the Netherlands in the first instance, she looks at me a bit cynical and says: “for an excursion”. L together with a female friend came to the Netherlands to view the country for three days. Her friend wanted to set up a company in the Netherlands and invited her to come along.
Next lesson: some girls really are kidnapped. Next quote:
Y is a woman from one of the former Soviet States. She has followed a professional dance education from the age of seven. She was invited by her male cousin to work as a professional show dancer in England. Her father at first instance didn’t give permission but after weeks of pushing she eventually was allowed to go. During a stopover in the Czech republic it was explained to her what her real destination of the journey would be.
Yes some women are tricked (seems to be happening not so often nowadays). Next quote:
“After going a night out I was dragged into the car of a trafficker and raped by two men. After that they told me that if I would tell anybody me and my family would be murdered. From that moment on I had to work as a prostitute. Half a year later I was sold to another trafficker in Germany. After three months I was brought to the Netherlands to work for this trafficker.
Conclusion: I’m a big fat asshole. And I mustn’t abuse these vulnerable women.




Now I must persist.

A human trafficking story, every week.

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