Looking back she can see she was being groomed

The empowerment of sex work:

Lauren Darlington looked every bit the sweet 16-year-old with a mouth full of braces when her mum forged her birth certificate so she could work as a prostitute. Seven years later she is real, raw about her demons, blogging to touch others.

Her mother got half her earnings – in other words her mother was her pimp. That’s nice.

Lauren agreed to having sex for money – she wanted to get her mum out of financial trouble. But now, aged 23, she realises she was a vulnerable child and she is still paying the price and trying to make sense of the memories.

Looking back she can see she was being groomed, heavily influenced by adults she trusted. And the world of prostitution was glorified.

You mean the world of prostitution isn’t glorious? How can that be?

At the time Lauren and her mum were on welfare. Money was tight.

“They did a lot of drugs around me and one day on the way to her drug dealer’s place it came up that she was a prostitute. Mum blurted out she had been one before so could never again and the talk of the money and how ‘easy’ it was. I offered to do it for us. And that’s something I have always said and held guilt around. It was my choice.”

With a history of self harm and a fragile mindset, being plunged into the seedy adult world was damaging.

“I was hit, degraded, the mind games … I was 16 and looked it and covered in fresh scars. But I turned off. The Valium mum would give me and lack of sleep helped.”

The scars mark her razor blade slashes. Cutting her forearms and thighs was a way she tried to tell the world she was in serious trouble.

What trouble? Let’s not be sex negative here.

Eventually she told her father what was going on, and her mother was tried and convicted. They’ve reconciled. But women pimping out their daughters? Not cool. Not empowered.

H/t Rob

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