It becomes worse when they are trafficked – here, they have no one and nowhere to run to, they just deal with whatever is thrown at them.
The story of this 17-year-old girl who was trafficked but survived will give you an insight towards what Prostitutes around the world go through.
First, Mary believes there is no hope for her in Nigeria, considering what she had gone through before she finally met the woman who introduced her into prostitution.
“There is no hope in Nigeria. My country is sweet and I love it, but I suffered a lot there and there was no future for me. My father is dead to me; I have no siblings. I don’t have anyone to help me. I couldn’t go to school. A woman said she would help me and send me to Europe and she introduced me to a man, Ben, who said he knew people who had restaurants to put me to work in. For the moment, he said he would pay my expenses.
”The next day, Ben called me to his house. There were lots of boys and girls there. He took us to a place they do juju. We had to swear to an old woman a sorcerer that we wouldn’t run. On March 17, I left for Libya. That place is very, very bad. They said we would be treated well, but it was a lie, a lot of the girls were raped, Ben took two of us girls one night. He gave the other girl to another man, and he said to me if I didn’t sleep with him, he would give me to another man and not bring me to Europe, he raped me”.
“I didn’t have a phone, so I couldn’t reach anyone in Nigeria. There was no way out. I was begging for them to feed us. I had to stay there for months until they called me to go on the boat. We went to the sea and on August 11, 2016, we were rescued by the Italian coast guard. I was friends with a girl who had been deported and was making the journey for the second time, and she told me we were going to be used as prostitutes, and that I should not talk to the madams and that I had to stay inside the camp the Italians would put us in.
“I was thinking, ‘I’m not going to work with my body, I don’t want to sell it.’ Since I was a little girl, I hated prostitution. When we arrived on shore, a woman, Gilda, who was a lawyer talked to me. I told her I owed a man named Ben money, and I was taken from the camp and put into a safe house.
“Now the people who paid for my trip are saying to my mother it’s time for money,” Mary says softly. “They say I have run away, and that they paid for my trip and I owe them.”
Two weeks ago, they came to my mother’s place and handcuffed her. They took her to a house and threatened her. They said they would do something very bad to her if I don’t send money,” Mary says, her voice breaking. “So now when she calls me I don’t know what to say, so I have to shut my phone off. I’m so sad. I’m under so much pressure. I don’t know what to do.
I have been inside here for so long,” she says, crying. “I’m so very lonely. I just want to be happy, I just want to be free. I want it to be over, even for just one day. I need a peaceful place, and to feel the beautiful world. Sometimes I feel like giving up. I feel abandoned and rejected. I can’t talk to the girls here. I can’t tell them what’s inside of me, and it makes me feel so old.