Testimonies and a space to speak out about the myths and realities surrounding prostitution 

"I am still dealing with the aftermath of being in prostitution. I suffer nightmares, flashbacks and am triggered by numerous things – scents, sounds, groups of people… I find it difficult to trust people, particularly men, and still struggle massively around sex. I still dissociate, and feel like I split off from myself. I still define myself by these experiences and it tears me apart when programmes like ‘Diary of a call girl’ etc are on tv. It devalues my whole experience, makes me feel less able to speak about the reality. It makes me feel hopeless and utterly and wretchedly alone, drowned out by the vast noise of the sex industry and its all-powerful lobbying.

At times I have felt suicidal with it. Prostitution is not empowering, fun, a free choice. It is soul destroying, degrading, painful. When I was working, I had to join in the lie and say I liked it and I chose it, and I think that that is what upsets me the most now. This lie is all pervasive, with the mainstreaming of pornography and even comedy like Friends making light of it, but the reality is much darker. Only now that I am out of it am I free to tell the truth and have a voice
"
. Angel

Testimonies

Warning: the following testimonies contain descriptions of abuse and violence which may be distressing to read

Angel - personal account of being involved in prostitution 

Read Angel's Blog Surviving Prostitution here

Jo - personal account of being involved in prostitution and the case against legalisation

Rebecca -

1. personal account of being involved in prostitution and the negative experience of seeking support from a pro-prostitution lobby group 

2. the importance of putting the focus on buyers of sexual acts 

Read Rebecca's Blog here

Artwork

Myrna Balk is a US artist and social worker who has focused much of her work on commercial sexual exploitation. As a social worker she began working with women who had been trafficked into prostitution. She then began to create art which both reflected their experiences and informed people about the exploitation of women. The result is a series of woodcuts, etchings, and collages entitled "The Demand Factor: Buying Despair". 

Read more about Myrna's work here

        

               Waiting for the Prey                                        The Buyers

          

           

                                                       

              Sex Tourist                                                   Pimp with a Bag of Girls

Artist Bio:

Myrna has received numerous grants and awards for her bamboo sculpture, photography, and etchings, both locally and nationally. Some of her work was shown in Beijing in 1995 in conjunction with the 4th United Nations World Conference on Women. In 2001 she was invited to document, with photographs and etchings, the lives of Dalit women in a remote section of Nepal. Her etchings referencing international sex trafficking were shown at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in 2000. She is a member of the Brookline-based artist collaborative, Studios Without Walls. In addition to numerous local shows in Boston and Cambridge, she has exhibited in Cleveland, Glasgow, Beijing Budapest, and Nepal. Recently she was invited to the Harmony Artist Residency in Mumbai, India to create installations in black marble, sandstone and bamboo for the permanent collection of the Ambani Foundation. Myrna has taught in many graduate schools of social work including St. Xavier’s College in Kathmandu, Nepal. She was awarded the Beverly Ross Fliegel Social Work Award for Policy and Change in 2003.

http://www.myrnabalk.com/index.html