Maria, a survivor of prostitution, who was beaten and raped while in the sex trade, bravely shares her experience proving why the Merseyside model needs to be made UK wide. She says, “I was too frightened to go to the police. The way they’d dropped me off when I was young. I had expected them to take me home, back to my mum. But they didn’t do that the first time. And there was lack of trust. You didn’t know which policemen to trust. Half the girls were being touched up by them. It was a vicious circle. There was no one to help you. It would be like you chose to do this job: get out and do it, or get a life.”
How do you feel about the police?
I’m in two minds because as far as working girls go, they have no compassion. They don’t believe them. They think the girls and women put themselves in that danger, so why should they be helped.
Have your feelings towards the police changed since exiting the sex trade?
Still the same. Nothing has changed. The system hasn’t changed and that’s from talking to other girls.
Did you ever have any dealings with the police before or after you were in the sex trade?
When I was fifteen, I went to see my friend who’d moved in with her sister. I was thrown out of the house, and found myself in Piccadilly, Manchester where I met gypsies. The police put me in this hostel. There was about one hundred and ninety women in there. I was petrified. I didn’t know what to do. I…
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