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PROSTITUTION AND CHILDHOOD VIOLENCE

The majority of women surveyed who said they were regularly involved in prostitution were also survivors of violence while growing up.

Chart 22: PROSTITUTION AND VIOLENCE IN CHILDHOOD

  • 63 percent experienced neglect.

  • 62 percent witnessed violence in the home.

  • 59 percent experienced emotional abuse.

  • 53 percent experienced sexual abuse.

  • 51 percent experienced physical abuse.

PROSTITUTION AND VIOLENCE AS ADULTS

Women who reported being regularly involved in prosti- tution were more than twice as likely to be victims of sexual assault or assault with a weapon by someone other than a partner as were women not involved in prostitution.

  • 74 percent said they had been sexually assaulted as adults by someone other than a partner, as compared to 29 percent who were not regularly involved in prostitution.

  • 69 percent said they had been attacked with a weapon by someone other than a partner, as compared to 33 percent who were not involved in prostitution on a regular basis.

“...to take care of my kids. My husband decided to go somewhere else and I had no job. Got to put food on the table and pay the rent”

(Statement by another woman when asked why she first got involved in prostitution.)

VIOLENCE BY A PARTNER

The majority of women who said they were involved in prostitution on a regular basis reported being survivors of domestic violence.

Chart 23: PROSTITUTION AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

  • 86 percent were isolated and controlled.

  • 82 percent were slapped, beaten or had objects thrown

at them.

  • 77 percent were ridiculed and insulted.

  • 63 percent were threatened with a weapon.

  • 51 percent were attacked with a weapon.

  • 50 percent were sexually assaulted.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE: EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH

More women who reported being regularly involved in prostitution reported having problems with substance abuse, depression, and mental health than did women who reported they were not involved in prostitution.

Chart 24: EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH EFFECTS OF PROSTITUTION

Needed or received help with substance abuse

43%

74%

Received other form of treatment for mental health

32%

50%

Been depressed and needed professional help

39%

54%

Key: Regularly involed in prostitution Yes

No

CHICAGO COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS 15

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