Surviving Prostitution: ‘Violence Was My Experience.’

Men who buy sex, and those who believe that buying sex should be legal, need to read this piece by Alisa Bernard, a member of World Without Exploitation’s steering committee. She offers us powerful insight into the fear and violence that sex buyers force onto their victims.

“Women like me who have been through prostitution don’t need studies and statistics to remind us that sex buyers can be dangerous. Before the end of my first day working out of that motel, my legs and arms were covered in bruises, and my scalp and neck hurt from buyers violently thrusting my head back by my hair. That was just some of the physical pain; I won’t go into the dead, hollow feeling that had begun taking shape in my mind. Not a day went by that I didn’t encounter at least one buyer who seemed oblivious to the obvious pain I was in — or maybe they simply enjoyed seeing that pain. Sex buyers see women in prostitution as objects, not as human beings with feelings, emotions and lives greater than the sum between their thighs.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re “a good guy.” When you listen to what survivors tell you, when they’re being honest and telling it like it is — as Alisa does — you can’t help but get it: those who buy sex are inflicting violence on vulnerable people. The only way to stop this violence is to end the demand for paid sex.

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