Archive: Red-lights

She was just a child when he took it from her. He was driving her home when suddenly he pulled off the road and dragged her out of the car. After raping her time and time again he drove off, leaving her battered and bruised – almost dead.

Somehow she made it home and her mother took care of her, unable to press charges as he was a man and they were simply women. They had hoped to avoid him, but a week later he had broken into their house and was threatening to abuse her mother and sisters unless she did what he wanted. This was how she learned to be compliant and do what men wanted to keep them happy; to protect her family. He moved in that day.

Years later he eventually found someone new and moved on. Being the oldest girl at 14, she was now expected to be the financial provider and here was an opportunity… a man had come to the village and was offering a good job in Bangkok! She decided to trust this man and went with him into the jungle. After 2 days of waiting, she got nervous and decided to go home, but the man wouldn’t let her leave and raped her in front of the other women waiting – letting them all know that he was in charge and they weren’t going anywhere!

When the freezer van did eventually turn up, it was packed with women and girls, and they had to sit on each others’ shoulders for the long ride to Bangkok. It was dark, bumpy and uncomfortable. Upon arrival, they were sold to a bar in the red-light district where she was ordered to serve men.

How could she go home? How could she tell her family that she had been so foolish? How could she tell them she was now considered one of the lowest in society? How could they possibly accept her back? So she shut off her heart and started listening to her head. “I will do as well as I can, and make as much money as I can to send back to my family. Then they will be pleased with me and I will make them proud! Maybe one of these Western men will want to marry me and they will take care of my family. This is my new dream. This is my way out.”

So here she stands, being sexually exploited; begging men to choose her. Knowing at any moment, any one of these men could get violent, or refuse to wear a condom… giving her AIDS or getting her pregnant. There could be more than one man in his hotel room and they could gang rape her; anything could happen. But maybe, just maybe, this will be the one to save her.

After all, this is her choice…. right?

~~~> Click here for Part 2 <~~~

*** Disclaimer: Details have been changed to protect identities.

It was the end of the evening and we were handing out gifts. For some, it was the only thing they had ever received that was free. When I finally came to her there were only two presents left so I held them out; a choice, her choice. One wrapped gift and one teddy. Without a moment’s hesitation she reached out and grabbed the teddy pulling it close and not letting go. Such purity, such innocence. She had smiled and laughed all evening.

I don’t know how she ended up in the red light district of Bangkok. I don’t know her story. But I know it all changed from here. She had captured my attention so I knew when I came back I would be looking for her and I did. Six months past before I was able to visit but within those six months she must have faced something awful. Her innocence and light had gone and she was now drugged and drunk out of her mind; her eyes unable to focus, her smile forced and vague. My heart shattered.

Six months later, a year from our initial meeting, I was back again and this time she wore high heels and a tight red dress that clung to her like a shield. She belonged here; not just belonged, she owned her status. This is who she is. Untouchable.

Unwilling to give me the time of day, she walked past and into the arms of men desperate for her. Men who didn’t truly see, who didn’t care – this was the empty shell they had made her to be. The innocent girl was gone and what remained was a shadow of a woman surviving the rape she faced every night by shutting herself off and giving the illusion of being in control.

I’ll never forget her or her transformation. I’ll never stop wishing I had done more to reach her before the hell she went through took over.

She and others like her are why I believe in O.O.E. She and girls like her are why I keep going back to Thailand to help the Home of New Beginnings. She is why I know that every girl [or boy] rescued from this horrific industry is worth every effort and penny.

Will you join me in the fight to end human trafficking, to give hope and a way to those who think they don’t have a choice¬†Check out this fb post for more info on how you can help!

There are many different types of men who visit red-light districts. While it’s easy to put them all in a box, you’ll often find that the closer you look at things the more complicated it gets. I am sure there are more reasons than these, but perhaps this will give you some insight and open conversations.

  1. Men are Lonely
    Ever felt like you would be alone forever while your friends all seem to have someone? Ever just craved someone’s arms around you? Ever just wanted to feel like you had someone’s, anyone’s, undivided attention? Ever just wanted that connection with someone? Whatever the reason, we all get lonely sometimes. Perhaps these men have not been able to find a girlfriend or are just socially awkward. While this may seem like an extreme way to find companionship, for some this is their answer.
  2. Stag Dos / Lad’s Holidays
    Weekends of testosterone with men proving to each other they are as manly as the next, with nothing to prove and yet everything to prove. All it takes is for one lad to think it’s a good idea, that it truly is the ‘last night of freedom’, or ‘what happens on the stag do stays on the stag do’ and with the welcoming arms and looks of girls paid to make you feel good self-control goes out the window.
  3. Men Looking for Wives / Nurse Maids
    While the red-light district may seem like a strange place to look for a wife, anyone who’s desperate for love knows love isn’t as easy as it may seem to come across. These men may have tried to find love unsuccessfully in their home country. Some simply prefer [Thai] women, know someone who found a wife there or want a wife who will obey them. Men on the older side have been known to make a last effort to find someone who’ll look after them in their elderly years.
  4. Men are Curious
    People who watch porn will have a differing reactions, from disgust to curiosity. Most will have felt a weird need to discover more. Eventually porn isn’t good enough and a natural place to take this curiosity to the next level is a red-light district. Even better… a red-light district not in their home country where they might bump into someone they know.
  5. Men are Handicapped / Ex-Veterans
    If love is hard to find, how about for those with physical disabilities / trauma? Loneliness can come into play again here and a need to feel something other than what’s going around their head.
  6. Graduation Gifts
    Every now and then a Father will be seen handing his son a pack of condoms and sending him off to “use responsibly”. Using a prostitute can be seen as a rite of passage… from childhood to manhood.
  7. Men who Hate Women
    There are many reasons a man may hate women; from childhood abuse to mother issues to unforgiveness. Hate not dealt with, always comes out. Prostitutes are easy targets partly due to the ease of getting them alone.
  8. Sex Tours / Fetishes
    It happens.

Understanding some of the above reasons does not mean I condone them. This blog is only one part of a big puzzle. If any of these resonate with you and you are thinking of using a prostitute as an answer, please talk to someone trusted like a counselor who can help you deal with the root of these issues.