23 August 2012

Returning to the familiar, even if it isn't best.

In thinking and reading about prostitution in the last while, I've been wondering about those who stay in and/or return to prostitution when it seems like leaving would be better.

I will admit to being biased about prostitution: from a Christian perspective, it's not how God intended sex and relationships to be (adultery, though, is worse - see Proverbs 6:26 and Klaas Spronk's article about Rahab). Besides this, I think it's very demanding work - both physically and emotionally. It's also a job where one receives limited respect, there's more competition than friendships with colleagues, it is not necessarily well-paid (especially if there's pressure to hand over one's earnings), and it can be quite dangerous. It is, in my opinion, not the ideal job for anyone. At the same time, because of how hard it is, I admire the women who I meet who seem to do their job well and remain relatively emotionally healthy. Yet, because of how hard it is, I admit to finding it somewhat difficult to understand why everyone is not trying to leave and take advantage of the programs offered by Scarlet Cord and Frits Rouvoet's Blood'n'fire.

There are two situations that I especially don't understand.
- The first, and simplest, reagrds those that barely make enough money to pay for the rent of the windows. As many of the window working behind the windows will tell you, business has been bad - the crisis has hit the middle class and that is who most of their customers are. My question then is, why aren't these women more obviously looking for another way to eke out a living - with perhaps not less hours, but at least less stressful and difficult hours?
- The second are those who have been victims of human trafficking (and/or pimps and loverboys). After they have been rescued (or at least separated) from the one who was forcing them to work in prostitution (or at least took all their earnings), they often return to working in prostitution (for themselves now, though). One example of this is one of the Fokkens twins who was pushed into prostitution by her boyfriend and then continued (with her twin sister) later on her own.

Perhaps the answer is simply that what we know is often the easiest - it is easier to return to what is familiar, even if it's not necessarily best. It is obviously complicated, and other thoughts are welcome on this. It is also something that saddens me, especially the second situation that I named above.

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