Prostitution Narratives: Stories of Survival in the Sex Trade

Author(s): Edited by Caroline Norma & Melinda Tankard Reist

Feminism/Women's Studies

For too long the global sex industry and its vested interests have dominated the prostitution debate repeating the same old line that sex work is just like any job. In large sections of the media, academia, public policy, government and the law, the sex industry has had its way. Little is said of the damage, violation, suffering, and torment of prostitution on the bodies and minds of mostly women and children, nor of the deaths, suicides and murders that are routine in the sex industry. This book refutes the lies and debunks the myths spread by the industry through the lived experiences of women who have survived prostitution. These disturbing stories give voice to formerly prostituted women who explain why they entered the sex trade. They bravely and courageously recount their intimate experiences of harm and humiliation at the hands of sex buyers, pimps and traffickers and reveal their escape and emergence as survivors. Edited by Caroline Norma and Melinda Tankard Reist, the book documents the reality of prostitution revealing the cost to the lives of women and girls. This book will strengthen and support the global campaign to abolish prostitution, provide solidarity and solace to those who bear its scars, and hopefully help women and girls exit this dehumanising industry.


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Whatever your stand on prostitution, its the first-hand stories of women that have to be listened to first. These accounts are among the most unsettling you will ever read, dispelling in just a few pages the comforting fairytales our society has built around sex work. Steve Biddulph, author of Raising Boys As you read, be prepared to feel both grief and rage. Prostitution Narrativesforces us to face the routine cruelty of the sexual-exploitation industries and go beyond the diversionary arguments of those who glorify sex work. Most importantly, this book asks men to choose: What do we value more, our own sexual pleasure or the humanity of women? Our answer reveals whether we believe in our own humanity. Robert Jensen, University of Texas at Austin, author of Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity.

Caroline Norma, PhD, is a lecturer in the school of Global Studies, Social Science, and Planning at RMIT University, and a member of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women Australia (CATWA). She is also the author of The Japanese Comfort Women and Sexual Slavery during the China and Pacific Wars (2016).

Melinda Tankard Reistis a Canberra author, speaker, commentator, blogger and advocate for women and girls. Co-founder of Collective Shout: For a world free of sexploitation, Melindas books include Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls(2009) and Big Porn Inc: Exposing the harms of the global pornography industry (2011 with Abigail Bray).

General Fields

  • : 9781742199863
  • : Spinifex Press
  • : Spinifex Press
  • : July 2016
  • : Australia
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Edited by Caroline Norma & Melinda Tankard Reist
  • : Paperback
  • : 306.74
  • : 238