Abstract: This narrative is about dissociation in the lives of women who have been exploited through prostitution. When we speak about prostitution, we do not speak often enough about the dissociation needed for women and girls to survive sexual exploitation. The author challenges the wisdom of governments such as Germany that legalize prostitution, treating it as a “job” and ignoring the violence and subsequent dissociation in women. The author describes her personal journey, explaining how women are traumatized even after the first commercial sex act, which is a sexual assault. They dissociate which makes their lives bearable, but they fail to see its negative effects that continue even after they leave prostitution. Finally, the author relates her personal breakthrough experience to end her dissociation while she was caring for horses. This realization allowed her to identify and connect to her own feelings and to be her authentic self.
This text was published in Dignity January 2020, a Journal of sexual exploitation and Violence: Loss of Self in Dissociation in Prostitution from the Speech hold in Washington at the Summit of the National Center Against Sexual Exploitation.
This article, co-authored by a six-year survivor of the sex trade industry in Germany (Sandra Norak) and a psychologist and trauma therapist (Ingeborg Kraus), provides perspectives on the difficulty of withstanding the coercion of traffickers and the difficulties of exiting prostitution in a country in which prostitution has been legalized, normalized and made “a job like any other.” This normalization persuades survivors to believe their traffickers that it is a legitimate occupation and encourages them to endure the violence. Liberalization also has prevented the development of needed trauma services to those seeking to exit the sex trade industry.
Here is the link to the article published in Dignity: Never Again!
A text by Sandra Norak and Dr. Ingeborg Kraus, published on 18th September 2018 on Trauma & Prostitution „Nie wieder Prostitution“; in the following translated from German into English by Abolition de l´industrie du sexe du Canada.
We got to know each other in our common participation as experts in the documentation “Brothel Germany – the billion-business with prostitution” which was nominated for “Prix Europa” 2018. Sandra Norak was a victim of lover-boys, a dropout from 6 years in prostitution who is now finishing her studies of law. Dr. Ingeborg Kraus is diploma psychologist and trauma therapist. In this common text we want to unite our experiences and perspectives.
Sometimes, for us the way appears very long, sometimes too long so that we think we won’t have enough power and won’t manage to go the way until the end. Exit from prostitution, a milieu which has mostly destroyed body and soul, is a very long and painful way which sometimes appears endless and on which you encounter apparently unbreachable obstacles.
Again and again we hear or read about dropouts who inside of themselves fight with the notion to go into prostitution again or finally really go back into it again, although they consider their experience in prostitution as traumatic and name prostitution a kind of violence. This behaviour isn’t understood by many outsiders.
With our text, we want to clarify about the difficulties of leaving prostitution and simultaneously encourage women in the process of leaving and after. Continue reading
Speech held by Dr. Ingeborg Kraus on 25th November 2016 in Strasbourg / France.
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women the Préfet of the Alsace Champagne-Ardenne Lorraine region, the head of the regional health authority in co-operation with the organizations called centre d´information des droits des femmes et des familles (CIDFF), Mouvement du Nid France and Pénélope 67 have invited to a cross-border symposion related on the subject of “Prostitution and Health: Challenges and Change of Perspective in Europe”.
I would like to thank the organizers for this German-French symposion. This first event after the introduction of the legislation for abolishing the prostitution system in France located next to Germany has a symbolic meaning to us. I think it is indeed necessary to wake Germany up. Germany, which provides guidelines with regard to a lot of European subjects, may – in this case – need tutoring from France and Sweden.
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, I would like to report about the dramatic consequences for prostitution after its legalization in Germany and I will prove that prostitution is violence against women. Afterwards, I would like to talk about its psychological impact.
The reason why I want to focus on the vioIence is because the political discussions in Germany have never really recognized the aspect of violence. Prostitution is seen as a private play which is none of the state´s business. Continue reading
Dr. Ingeborg Kraus , Edmonton/Canada, 16.09.2016.
Thank you for inviting me here to Edmonton, especially to Kate Quinn from CEASE.
So, as you heard, I come from Germany, a country that traumatized the entire world during the second world war, and here I am today to talk to you about trauma. And concerning the handling of prostitution, Germany is by no means a role model; in fact, it’s hell on earth. And nobody seems to care, especially women. They don’t speak up. They shut up.
So first of all, I was asking myself: was it a mistake to invite me? An error? Weren’t you paying attention when you invited me?
Psychologist and trauma expert Dr. Ingeborg Kraus’s lecture at the Madrid Conference: “Prostitution is Incompatible with Equality Between Men and Women”
Organized by La Comisión para la investigación de malos tratos a mujeres (The Commission for the Investigation of the Mistreatment of Women) Madrid, 15 October 2015
In Germany, the idea of abolition isn’t taken into consideration because it is believed that “good prostitution” exists. It is clear that child prostitution isn’t tolerated; likewise, so-called “forced” prostitution is considered to be evil. But prostitution between two adults who supposedly consent mutually, why not? Why forbid this decision between two adults?
At international level Melissa Farley a.o. have published the most relevant results with data from nine different countries (2004). According the study two-thirds of the examined 854 women in prostitution showed symptoms of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), which were comparable with them of healthcare-seeking veterans, women who fled to shelters, rape survivors and refugees who were exposed to state-sanctioned torture. The intensity of trauma-related symptoms depended on the intensity of the activity in prostitution. Women with multiple suitors reported harder physical symptoms. The longer the women were active in prostitution, the more likely they were infected with a sexually transmitted disease.
Click here for the study “Prostitution and Trafficking in Nine Countries: An Update on Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder” by Dr. Melissa Farley.
Dr. med. Wolfgang Wöller
The tendency of victims of physical or sexual childhood abuse to become revictimized in later life has well been documented empirically. Moreover, there is a high stability of violent and abusive relationships. The aim of this paper was to summarize perspectives from psychodynamic theory, attachment theory, and posttraumatic stress research to explain revictimization phenomena. The term repetition compulsion has little explanatory valuewithout additional theoretical assumptions.
by Dr. Ingeborg Kraus
Prostitution is often portrayed as a completely normal thing, something that has always existed. This usually involves very little thought of the women in prostitution. If it does, the argument of ‘choice’ is very quickly brought up. Who wants to take on the role of a person who sanctions or judges?