I am part of the 68% of prostituted women who have acquired post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of paid sexual abuse. A 68% rate of PTSD is what women in the sex-trade have in common with torture survivors, and rape victims. Do we defend this rate of PTSD in the prostituted class as acceptable? At which rate do we find torture or rape acceptable? Is it not telling, that we are distinguished from survivors of torture and rape in every way except for in identical rates of PTSD? This same rate of PTSD is as a direct result of male violence.
If the bare minimum requirement for a job is not being beaten or murdered then our standards are reprehensibly low. The act of prostitution itself is violence, requiring dissociation at the very least. No matter how frequently we may hear from a few, more privileged, “Sex workers to the disabled”, some prostituted women openly admit that dissociation is normal.
Murder rates of prostituted women are higher than for any other group of women in any other ‘job” and that rate increases if the prostituted are Indigenous and Women of Colour. Capitulation to the decriminalisation of sex-byers reinforces and expands the reality of, and the tolerance for this violence to women. Prostitution is an act, where one person wants to have sex and the other person doesn’t (Ekis Ekman, 2013) Payment does not create consent it circumvents consent entirely. Again, what do we call sex without consent- we call it rape or sexual assault.
No person denied sex will develop PTSD or any other disability due to that lack of sex . The majority of the prostituted on the other hand, do develop PTSD, on top of the many other dangers and risks that come with the territory of being bought and sold.