The everyday life in the red-light district-a misogynistic work environment


The blue spots are quickly covered with makeup before the next client stands in the door and point’s  his finger at you. Like a beaten dog, you approach him, which however is an understatement,  because you will be whipped and you will be beaten, sometimes more, sometimes less, sometimes  not at all, but you know, that it can happen, because it happens so often.


In your head, you go through the amount of money, how much you have to pay for the room, to  your pimps. What remains for the family? And around the corner you wanted to buy the stuff,  because you can’t take the pain, he is causing you this moment. You can’t bear this anymore! 

Leaving? That would be nice! Your German knowledge is enough for a Hello and Good Morning.  Noone understands you here, you are on your own, and before you lose everything, you do this. You  detach yourself from your consciousness every day, every hour, try to escape your own body in  order to somehow be able to endure the everyday abuse, the constant rapes.  

You were kidnaped from your homeland. Put on a bus and brought to Austria. At home you were  living on the street. Your parents could rarely find the money for a meal, so you were away from  home and made your way with other children. Until you were put in a home, where the director  wasn’t particularly nice and you have wondered about the children, who are picked up but never  

returned. Until it was your turn. They were called buyers and they are still called that. They pointed  at you and the director said, “Now you get a better life! You will be able to make money. Have a job,  you might become a dancer too!” Because you could do that in Austria, Germany, England, Spain,  Switzerland, all the country names you have never heard of, but they sounded good! A dream you  never dreamed suddenly became within your grasp. They reached out for you and put you on a bus.  You only had your clothes on you. The bus drove for quite a long time, it was dark and stuffy and so  was the place they put you in, where they took you off the bus and placed you in a room with  several girls. Every day and night came those, that bought you, and did things to you, that you didn’t  know of, that hurt. In the beginning you cried a lot, but at some point, the tears stopped flowing.  Because you didn’t feel your body through all that pain anymore. It was like withdrawing into a dark  hole every time and waiting for them to finish, to finish breaking you. One day they said you were ready. And so, you came to Vienna, to a dark room with a bed, drawn  curtains, which you were not allowed to open. You couldn’t understand the people. Men kept  coming into your room, laying down 20 euros for you and doing the things that made you crawl back  into your hole. That was the dream that you had been promised: You would take 10 to 40 euros  from a client. You also have to pay for your room, around 200. You see how the other girls often  reach for the bottle and consume different things, you see their glassy looks and think, yes, I need  that too! Then it might be easier.


Your room neighbor has done this for longer than you. But she says, she will soon be kicked out,  when she doesn’t take any more clients, because she is already 24, she doesn’t have as many  chances to earn money. She tells you how she got here. She had fallen madly in love with an older  boy, back then on the school ground, who always came to the playground and talk to her friends.  But he was particularly interested in her. They did a lot together. He made her presents. He slept  with her. It was her first time. And he assured her that she was very special. She not only spent the  time after school with him, but also more and more nights, until she lived with him, because she had  fallen out with her parents. He asked her if she had any money, since he had given her so many  presents, he had nothing left to live on. She said no and he invited his friends over and told her that  if she slept with them, they would get money and that would be practical because she wouldn’t have  to do anything else, that she hadn’t already done with him. She didn’t want to. They pressured her.  She endured it.  He took her to a dark place covered in velvet. He made her do the same there. He would take the  money. She had to say she is of legal age. She had just turned 16. She couldn’t go back to her  parents, she was too ashamed, she ended her story and pointed out, that she should go back to  work because you don’t leave a client waiting and it is a 24-hour jobhere.


Misogyny is ever-present! Women who end up in prostitution through human trafficking and the so called lover boy scam is a worldwide business with slavery. This money-making is seldom based on  voluntariness. Girls and young women are often kept and treated like animals in inhuman  conditions. 

Everyday life in prostitution is traumatic for most women. 68% of women in prostitution have  posttraumatic stress disorder from their occupation as prostitutes, comparable to the disorder of  war veterans or victims of torture. 

78% of women in prostitution say they fear violence from buyers, 95% have experienced sexual  harassment, 80-90% verbal abuse and social disdain, 60-75% were raped.  The therapist, Ingeborg Kraus says: “There are more sex slaves in the world today than ever before.” And it is up to us to change that! Support now the work of Hope for the Future.

Translated by Liliána