The release of a study by Ruhama, an Irish charity working with women affected by prostitution, showed that Irish prostitutes "reported horrific levels of sexual, physical and emotional abuse".
As the Irish economy flounders the demand for prostitutes has not diminished and pimps are looking for more productivity from their workers. This means that the prostitutes are placing themselves in riskier situations.
Sarah Benson, the chief executive of Ruhama, told the Irish Times that Irish prostitutes had been punched in the face and stomach, kicked down stairs, beaten for refusing to have sex with men, locked up, refused food and were burnt and bitten. Many of the women are foreigners, flown in from other countries.
"Women were told by buyers that they were ‘ugly’, ‘not very good’, that they ‘should at least try to look like you’re enjoying it’ while their bodies were used in whatever way the buyer wished.” A former prostitute described their position as "turning yourself into a public toilet."
The Irish Times journalist finds 527 "Irish females" available online, for Irish users. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Marie, a client of Ruhama, describes the mobile nature of the business these days.
“The pimps move the women down the country for anything from a week to two weeks; the only human communication you have is with clients. You’re sitting in the apartment for anything from six to 13 days, alone, and you must be available for 12 to 16-hour days, in an apartment with the curtains always closed, never seeing natural light.”
She says that their clients are getting younger and more aggressive. “They come in groups of twos and threes and will egg each other on for more aggressive and violent acts.”
“Whether calling her ‘bitch’, ‘slut’, pinning her down or aggressive penetration . . . He just wants to ejaculate and whether it hurts the woman’s body or not, he doesn’t care.”
Maries says that using the services of prostitutes have become normalized in Ireland. So much so "that men will sit and talk openly about some of the stuff they’ve done. It’s an accepted thing now for men to assume they will get oral without a condom, and some women are afraid to refuse in case they will lose the client and the money for the pimp.”
Marie agrees that in some case the women are in prostitution for the money. However, she points out that years down the line they will realize how degraded and used they have been. She said “These women are not happy with what they are doing but happy with the money they get.”
Ellen O’Malley Dunlop of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre says that the increased aggression amongst the clients has to do with the universal availability of pornography. "It’s the desensitization that goes on," she said.
In July 2010 the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre received 62 first-time callers. They reported rapes, marital rapes, "drug" rape and 11 sexual assaults. However, these problems are no just restricted to Dublin. Sexual crime in Longford, Roscommon, Monaghan and Wexford has increased.
Those who would legalize prostitution try to sell the industry as mutually pleasurable and damage-free but this is simply not the case. A quick look at the reviews left on "escort" sites immediately shows how user like "Mountdick" and "BigLad" see these women as "nasty pieces of filth".
Their posts show they see these prostitutes as subhuman. One poster wrote "Met this thing a number of months ago. She went by a different name then . . . She hates her clients, hates the job, hates the world. Stay well away from it.”
Some of the men admit to paying for sex up to ten times a month.
A poster, called Mr Loneranger says that when he visited "Sweet Rebeka" he was offered no shower and "oral was covered".
Rebeka replied to his post, summarizing the daily life of a woman in prostitution. She said "if i will ask you to go in the shower, you will said that maybe i think you are not clean,and I didn’t want to offend you, if you really want to make a shower you could ask. but now I realised i should ask you to go to the shower, that was the reason for covered oral, my health is more important than a bad review.”
She is afraid of offending her client by asking him to wash, she is constantly concerned about her health and also has to worry about her pimp reading bad reviews online as well as the constant threat of violence at the hands of her client.