TRIGGER WARNING: extreme sexual and physical violence against women
Brief structured interviews of 100 prostituting women and children were conducted in Vancouver, BC.
90% of these women had been physically assaulted in prostitution.
Of those who had been physically assaulted, 82% had been assaulted by johns.
89% had been physically threatened while in prostitution, and 67% had been threatened with a weapon.
78% of these respondents had been raped in prostitution.
67% of those women had been raped more than 5 times in prostitution.
76% of those who reported rape stated that they had been raped by customers.
67% of our interviewees reported that pornography was made of them in prostitution, and 64% had been upset by an attempt to force them to perform an act that customers had seen in pornography.
75% of the women we interviewed in Vancouver reported physical injuries from violence in prostitution.
Many reported stabbings and beatings, concussions and broken bones (broken jaws, ribs, collar bones, fingers, spinal injuries, and a fractured skull), as well as cuts, black eyes and fat lips.
50% of these women suffered head injuries as a result of violent assaults with, for example, baseball bats, crowbars, and having their heads slammed against walls and against car dashboards.
Women were regularly subjected to extreme violence when they refused to perform a specific sex act.
88% of our respondents described verbal abuse as intrinsic to prostitution. One woman in Vancouver commented, ‘Lots of johns are super-nice at first. Then when the sex act starts, they get real verbally abusive.’
The epithets seem intended ‘to humiliate, to eroticize, and to satisfy an urge for self-justification’ (Baldwin 1992, p. 60).
95% [of Vancouver’s prostituting women] stated that they wanted to leave prostitution.
Catharine A. Mackinnon, Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan, (edited by Christine Stark & Rebecca Whisnant), “Not For Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution & Pornography.” 2004. (p. 115 – 117)