The brutal reality of prostitution in Scotland: part 2

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An Edinburgh prostitute reveals the brutal reality of the sex industry.

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22nd February 2016 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

The “demeaning and degrading” reality of prostitution has been revealed in the latest in a series of hard hitting podcasts.

Produced by the End Prostitution Now campaign group, they feature the testimony of 32-year-old Cassie, from Edinburgh, who started in the sex industry when she was 17.

In the latest five minute podcast (below), she reveals what it’s like for women selling sex indoors.

In this episode we hear that while women make money in the sex industry, the real big bucks are made by those who control the buying and selling.

Cassie tells how her pimp recruited her via Gumtree: “This is how I know a lot of pimps in Edinburgh do it. The pimps will just send out multiple emails to multiple girls. If the girl responds back curious about it, he'll then try and talk her into it, make it sound really glamorous.

“You're in a really nice flat, we'll give you your own mobile phone, you can earn hundreds and hundreds of pounds a day… this is how you're sold the idea.”

Cassie recalls that the reality did not match up to the promises, with poor working conditions and her pimp taking almost 30% of her earnings.

“So you work in the flat for him all day and from each of your bookings. Say if you're doing a half hour which is a hundred you would give him I think it's thirty, was it thirty… yeah and you'd get seventy. So he'd always get a cut with every single client through the day.

“I’ve seen so many girls just fall apart. They would leave a shadow of themselves. There’s a lot of damaged girls. A lot being used and abused and taken over by pimps, being owned by them. Any pimp is exploiting, they’re making money, they don’t care about the girls working with them - no man goes to that industry having respect for women. The more broken these girls are the more they have control over them.

“A lot of the girls have to do sexual favours for their pimps and if you told him you were leaving you were told you couldn’t work in Edinburgh again or would have to pay a massive pay-off. You are just a piece of meat to them.”

A spokesperson for Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance said: “The level of control, and in many instances abuse, which Cassie describes is quite chilling, and it seems clear that the more vulnerable the woman, the greater the levels of exploitation. This is certainly our experience in working with women who have been trafficked."

Linda Thompson of the Women’s Support Project interviewed Cassie and added: “It was difficult to hear how Cassie’s pimp tried to deter her from ending their arrangement, and how he later used punter review sites to attempt to humiliate her.”

Cassie describes this as: “horrendous stuff. Really demeaning, really degrading.”

The previous episode, which you can listen to here, lifted the lid on the experience of women working in saunas, and has already been listened to several thousand times.