Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ghosts of Highschool Past

Ever had your old boyfriend from highschool after years of estrangement, answer one of your ads? Walked on stage to a front-row filled with guys you graduated with? Opened the door seductively to your favourite teacher?

It happens to most of us. And if we don’t guard ourselves, it can be very traumatizing.

Prepare yourself in your mind for how you will handle a situation like this. Don’t allow yourself to worry. Don’t let their comments (or judgement, if present) touch you. Treat them as you would any other customer, and then send them on their way. They are not a part of your world now. Don’t let their ghosts disturb your peace.

In some cases the person from your past can think they have some kind of power over you because they know you are a sex worker. They may try to extort free service or threaten you in other ways through "outing" you to your family, friends, children's school or other people who are important to you. This is rare but does happen and when it does having a plan in place can make all the difference in the world.

If a person is threatening to out you, a good strategy is to out them first. As an example;

  • Contact your family and friends and describe how a person from your past is being violent towards you and has been telling people you are a sex worker as a way to harm you. Ask them to please tell you if the "stalker" contacts them. 
  • This will change the way they receive or "hear" an assertion that you are a sex worker.
  • Instead of hearing "OMG!! Jane is a sex worker!!!!".... they will hear " this is that psycho stalker that Jane told me about. I should call and tell her he contacted me"
  • This works well with schools as well and can prevent an unnecessary investigation into you as a parent simply because you are a sex worker. 
  • Keep a diary -  of everything that happens, everything the person does to hurt you or demands of you. These diaries are admissible in court and can prove a timeline of stalking/ violent behavior against you.
  • If the stalker persists, you will have protected your reputation, documented the behavior and are armed with everything you need to proceed with police intervention.
  • If you live in BC remember, 45 police services and the RCMP have all signed on to "lowest level of enforcement" against sex work. This means that they have committed to taking crimes against sex workers seriously and will not use your sex worker status against you. 
  • If you do experience bias or judgment based on your sex worker status during interactions with MCFD, law enforcement or other main stream systems, please call us!!! and we will try to help you to find justice. bccec

Remember, you are strong, beautiful and empowered. You have nothing to fear from the ghosts of high school past. They only have power if you give it to them!!!!!

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