Stories tagged: prostitution
Professor Ann Russo, director of Women and Gender Studies at DePaul University, provides an overview of the debates waging in the feminist and women’s movements over the vocabulary and perspective used to address prostitution. She discusses how her own experience as a survivor of sexual violence has contributed to her research and activism on the issue of violence against women. In this interview, Professor Russo unpacks many of the complex theoretical conversations about the sex trade and also suggests policy changes and grassroots efforts that could lead to the de-stigmatization of women involved in the sex trade.
'Our Bodies Are Not a Sacrifice': Prostitution, Criminalization and Incarceration of Women
This article examines prostitution in Chicago through recent studies, criminal justice statistics, and the stories of two women who left prostitution. The impact of gentrification, race, class, and gender on policing is examined through a discussion of the geography of prostitution arrests in Chicago.
Lucretia’s involvement in the sex industry began at the age of 12 when her mother sold her to a pimp. A mother of three, Lucretia has been incarcerated, has battled drug addiction, and is H.I.V. positive, but she is currently trying to go back to school to become a drug counselor and is working to develop new relationships with her children. Salome Chasnoff interviews Lucretia.
In the course of being interviewed by Carolyn Watson and Salome Chasnoff, Hilda Berghammer discusses her life beginning with her immigration to the U.S. at age 9. She was involved in a series of abusive relationships, before being arrested on charges related to driving under the influence. She details her experiences inside Cook County Jail and Illinois state prisons, describing the intake process and the physical space of the prison. She also talks about her experiences in prostitution, and discusses her relationship with her son.
In this interview, Brenda explains how being sexually abused as a child contributed to her involvement in the sex industry as she got older. Beginning as a dancer in clubs, she eventually ended up working on the street where she was more vulnerable to abuse by her customers. After one particularly traumatic experience, Brenda decided to leave prostitution and currently works as an H.I.V. prevention specialist. From her 25 years as a sex worker and her current involvement in the Prostitution Awareness Round Table, Brenda offers remarkable insight into the various forms of prostitution in the city of Chicago.
In this interview, Annette explains how she came to work in the sex industry and the impact it has had on her and her family. Annette describes how her drug use led to her involvement in the sex industry and shares some of the dangerous, violent encounters that ensued. After being incarcerated on drug and prostitution charges, Annette reflected on her lifestyle and decided to make a change in her life. Now, she works for the Department of Human Services and is active with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
Sara Kruzan was 16 years old when she was charged with killing her 31-year-old pimp, a man who had been grooming her since she was 11 years old and trafficking her since she was 13. Now 32, Sara has grown up in prison. Her clemency petition has been submitted to Gov. Schwartzenegger. Rachel Lloyd talks about Sara’s case and the importance of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Sign the petition to support Sara’s release.