Category Archives: Testimony of Survivors

Letter to a Trauma Therapist

Transcribed from the speech given by Dr. Ingeborg Kraus at the conference “Prostitution – the Uncensored Truth” in Munich on March 16, 2018.

Translation: Livia Belfiore – Reviewed by Dr. Melissa Farley and Firdes Ceylan – Picture: Hailin Wang, „Deep night“.

On my way to Munich today I read about the Third Reich in an alternative city guide. In it, I learned that Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler was a great admirer of Naturopathy. Not far from his personal herb garden at Dachau concentration camp, experiments with homeopathic remedies were conducted with prisoners with tuberculosis. Mere meters from there, cruel medical experiments in low-pressure chambers and causing hypothermia were carried out. Next to the crematorium was the concentration camp’s very own brothel, and close to that a rabbit breeding ground, which the SS guards cared for lovingly. After the war, around 80% of former officials were reinstated.

As I was reading, I suddenly became deeply aware of our history of compartmentalizing evil. This does not merely concern the individual level, where the same person who affectionately cares for rabbits will also be able to murder humans in gas chambers, but is also true on a collective level. Our people compartmentalized the devastating evil and, after the war, went on as if nothing had occurred.

The mechanism of collective dissociation is the same when it comes to prostitution. Herein however, it is of the utmost importance to analyze, educate and denounce the system in order to help women exit their precarious situation. Anything less legitimates the mental and physical destruction of the many women trapped in the system of Prostitution. Continue reading

Tanja Rahms Speech at the International Abolitionist Congress, Paris 2014

After 3 years in prostitution, I almost jumped out a window – from the third floor. That was how prostitution made me feel, – that I had nothing to live for. I had been sexually violated so many times, that there was almost nothing left of me – neither inside, or outside. I was nothing. I was worth nothing. I felt completely useless. I was a machine for other people’s amusement, their sexual desires and their perverse exploitation.

I spent 9 years in therapy, to get where I am today. And even though I persist in telling about the violence experienced in prostitution I still live with the traumas and the re-traumatizing. But we, as survivors have to. We have to keep on telling about the violence, so no one will ever forget or be manipulated into thinking, that prostitution is even close to something you can define as sexwork.

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