It was an honour to meet Marina Giacomin from Servants Anonymous who had much insight on subtle things that lead to trafficking. One of these being escorting. I had no idea the insight she was about to give me. Many of these things I had no idea about! Here is a write up on what I gleaned using her words. You can also watch the video of our interview by clicking here.
Escorting is a legal portion of the sex trade. They are not selling “sex”, they are selling companionship. So basically they say, “If you’re lonely, or if you have a special function to attend and what a beautiful girl to attend with you, call us!”
There are certain things men that use escort agencies like. For example, they often want a woman to look young. Marina had a friend in Vancouver, BC who was of age, but was told they wanted her to look sixteen.
In an excort agency, customers tip and can write online reviews about you. You can get a tip if you’re a party girl: if you will drink, do drugs, have sex – this will get you extra tips – this leads to good reviews, regular customers and referrals. The more work the better.
The problem with this, is that these women often find themselves addicted to hard drugs such as meth or cocaine as a result. Imagine this: Now, your behavior changes, you become irritable, and as a result, you can’t be trusted to behave properly at a nice party. Your teeth started to fall out, and you lose weight. You don’t look good at all. This leads to bad reviews, no tips…. and no customers.
After awhile your boss fires you. What’s the alternative for you now? You’re highly addicted to meth or cocaine. Meth does horrible things to your body and to your thinking. You don’t have any rational part of your brain to figure out what to do. You are addicted, sick, and lost. Most, at this point, will decide to work for themselves or under the protection of a pimp. At this point there seems to be no other option. All has been lost. Drugs have you gripped as it’s slave that you will sell yourself for. You have no concept of what could be outside of this life.
This happened to Marina’s friend in a matter of only six months. A beautiful girl, she started off looking at escorting as a professional job to help her get through nursing school, to becoming addicted to meth, destroying her brain, stripping her of her beauty, leading her to work for herself on the streets of East Vancouver.
These women didn’t wake up one morning and decide trafficking was their choice of profession. It was a subtle, spiral downward that started off as an innocent “job”. A job that many glamorize. Who wouldn’t want to get paid to get dressed up and hang off the arm of a handsome man who treats you like his prize possession for a night, wining and dining you at all the fancy places you could never afford to go to on your own. At first, it seems like a harmless job with amazing perks. But now you know the truth of where it can lead.
More than ever, we need to be educated on these issues so we don’t look at these women as prostitutes. Many are women who had goals, dreams and have woken up in this nightmare instead. Servants Anonymous rescues them and brings them into a loving community.
Trafficking is just one of the issues we are confronting in the show Invisible, June 14-15 Theatre Junction Grand.