(This is compiled to combine a few posts of my own on a public board that drew all the threads together at last spontaneously.
Mentally I am now in uncharted waters.
On a personal level to fight this has been like being a survivor of the camps having to come face to face with the Mengele, Ilse Koch, Irma Grese, Amon Goethe and others of varying ranks and position, in no particular order who reduced my own life to hell on earth with no court of appeal.
You can argue that this is a personal vendetta, and I would be inclined to agree with you, but I was programmed from birth by a very sick and twisted family to see myself as an exception to all human rights, to believe as deep down in my bone marrow as it goes, that if it only happens to me it does not matter…
I cannot even muster reaction and annoyance, let alone rage, about any abuse until I see it happen again to at least one other person. On the plus side it means I can never be bought, because just fixing me up isn’t fixing anything at all in my mind.
I have no idea what comes next.)
In 1993 they tried to create a fiction of women being driven to sell sex by a need to act out childhood sexual abuse.
In 2014 they are trying to create a fiction about women being driven to sell sex by male demand for sexual services.
The one thing they will not allow to surface is that women are driven to sell sex for the only reason anyone ever sells sex – the money.
The reasons why women can still be desperate enough for money to sell sex against their will are almost always failings and abuses from within the system itself, and if you try to avoid being forced to sell sex by challenging any of those failings and abuses, the system closes ranks and lies to cover itself, and your life becomes more of a death spiral than a vicious circle.
“Turn Off the Red Light” is just the blanket version. The system closing ranks to “prove” that there are no abuses and failings within it by insisting against all common sense or logic that women are only forced to sell sex against their will by fictional traffickers and pimps, and the male demand for sex.
Let me state it in small simple words. Here in Ireland almost 100% of the women forced to sell sex against their will are forced to do so by failings and abuses within the NGO and HSE sector.
You want proof?
Here I am.
The private me gets literally rabid to see that even the same people who cold bloodedly left me with no option but sell sex against my will (or under threat of it) are also the people campaigning with “Turn Off the Red Light” to punish their own victims, like me, backhandedly through the fairly inert *crop* (sorry guys, I love you but that is just accurate) of sex work clients we are dependent upon to survive what was their own malfeasance in the first place.
It’s another version of the powerful “Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t” syndrome. Ruhama left me in constant fear of having no survival option but sex work again for ten long years just by being such an abusive, useless, hollow sham and blocking all hope of any real resources by existing.
Listening to their blatant b*llsh*t again now is wall to wall emotional torture for me, along with a lot of less vocal people, but hey, who cares about that?
What does it matter who the real abusers are after all?
I have had additional compounded PTSD as a direct result of the abuse and corruption from Ruhama and the Women’s Health Project since about 1995…who knows, if I had at least been spared that I might have had a life by now?
Everyone has a right to sell sex if they choose or need to, but by the same criteria, everyone has a right to a real alternative to selling sex if they need one. As long as Ruhama exists there will never, really, be any such thing.
I would love to be able to take legal action against them (and everyone else within the system who left me with no survival option but to sell sex, against my will).
I am not good enough at the “poor me” stuff to convey what these b*st*rds put me through over the years.
But, in the real world there isn’t a chance of legal action. I looked into some of the earlier stuff years ago (THAT would have meant suing health boards). It should be open and shut…BUT…when you try to get the simplest evidence you need you walk into a wall of silence around a culture of conspiracy. There is NO WAY anyone will ever dare to help you produce the evidence you need, and that isn’t as bad as it sounds because everyone knows you wouldn’t get anywhere if they did, because they will just close ranks and lie for each other while finding ways to make your life impossible to silence you.
People succeed at with these actions *BUT ONLY WITH THE BACKING OF THE HSE/NGO SECTOR* there is no resource or recourse to justice without that. There are not even any support resources once the NGO sector and the HSE *CAUSED* your problem. I am always scared that because I stand up to them, people will find ways to make my day to day life impossible, and the real me, the private me, is stretched to breaking point and beyond already. I am too scared of that to tell my own truth, name names, specify facts, so I stick to the safer, general truth instead.
Here is another example of an uncannily similar scenario that has no apparent connection to the issue of sex work at all. As far as I know to seek the help you need on *ANY* issue is to walk into the same wall of self serving ignorance and exploitation. I was a very slow learner about that, but I got the message in the end. Our current Justice Minister built her career on the back of some of the worst of it so “Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here”, as I did, years ago.
In the past I have actually found myself under attack from an unrelated NGO for challenging them (over abuse of their user group and their funding) and the only kind of advocacy anyone would make available to me had the same org in question on their steering committee. I am not kidding…rules were bent inside out to do this to me but with no money for legal representation there was nothing I could do.
I know parents making a full time job of literally fighting for their children’s (you know, those cute, cuddley small people we are all supposed to have an instinct to protect unless we are complete psychopaths?) lives and/or futures against similar configurations of abuse and corruption with other parts of the HSE/NGO sector and getting absolutely nowhere…sometimes those lovely children really die meanwhile, other times they just never get to have lives.
When I say the HSE/NGO sector is an out of control law unto itself it isn’t just rhetoric. I learned it the hard way over decades for myself. Right and wrong doesn’t count, truth and lies are irrelevant, either you are willing to accept and find a way to live with whatever is on offer to exploit you for gain or you can feck off and die for all anyone cares…
Everything else is just window dressing…
The cold blooded ruthlessness of it all is staggering.
…and all from the public purse…
PS. All of the above applies equally to all categories of women at high risk of being driven to sell sex with no option, including, but not limited to special needs parents, dual carers and ordinary decent mums in the appalling direct provision system through no fault of their own. I have stood shoulder to shoulder with the first two categories (despite significant conflicts of political interest) at demonstrations and protests with no visible result, and the latter category in the “reduced for quick sale” section trying to prolong our survival options – I throw them chicken they throw me pork. To me these are not special categories of rescue dogs, or a great big “them” to be bullshitted and intimidated into silence and compliance. They are just my sisters, and the ones who use sex work to get off that vicious circle, and fight to make up the deficit to their families are my favourite sisters of all.