Evie - Domestic Violence and Prostitution
Many victims of domestic abuse are subjected to sexual abuse, but for some, like Evie, domestic violence and prostitution go hand in hand, when the partner turns pimp. This is her story:
My name is Evie. I was abused by a family friend when I was 13 and by the time I met my partner I was still rather shy and withdrawn. I met Rob when I was 19 and he was 33. He seemed so wise, so very understanding. For the first time I had found someone who I could really open up to and it was great. I moved in with Rob about six months after meeting him and at first everything was oh so good (ring any bells?). He would be so loving, and I was feeling so good for the first time in years. As for sex, well he had made that become everything that I didn’t know existed. Thinking back now I realise that even then he was starting to control my life. He was picking out my clothes, getting my hair done etc he even got me working. And slowly but surely contact with my own family, my mum and my sister was becoming less frequent. There was always some excuse you know, when I would say that I was going to visit he always came up with some excuse not to "oh Evie, I thought we'd have a nice day out" you know always something. I just didn’t see it sneaking up on me, couldn't read it. It all changed about six months later, he came home one day and told me that his 4 kids (that I did know about) were coming to stay for a while. "I’ll understand Evie if you don’t want to do it but I have to, they are my kids and their mum is a drunk and they could be taken into care". I stood by him, who wouldn't? Poor wee souls, I can still remember the first time I saw them, four wee souls, lost, confused and everything they owned in carrier bags, coming to stay with a dad they hardly knew and me! Becky aged 9, Sonia and Sally (twins) aged 8 and wee Davy aged 7. Those kids accepted me from day one and to this day I still feel so privileged that they did. I most probably didn't give them as much as they needed and I feel bad about that. I tried, that is all I can say.
Not long after they moved in everything started to change. Rob started gambling and he was becoming very agitated and angry at the least little thing. The first time he hit me was when a phone bill had came. I was making dinner in the kitchen and the kids were upstairs when he came charging in waving the bill in front of my face "what the f**k is this" who the hell have you been phoning, "my mum, she’s been upset and I was just trying to comfort her" (my mum was in an abusive relationship you see and I was, well, just trying to be there, I didn't see her hardly at all but I still phoned now and again). "Well it will just have to f**king stop ok, we can’t afford bills like this", "we could if you weren’t gambling so much" … BANG! I never even seen it coming, just felt my head snap back and my cheek starting to burn. To say that I was shocked is an understatement and at first I didn't even react just stood there looking at him. "Oh Evie I’m so sorry, I didn't mean it" coming over hugging me telling me that I was right and that he shouldn't have done it. I couldn't say or do anything, I was so conscious of the kids being upstairs and I had grew up with it you see, so I just turned around and got on with making dinner and by the time the kids were in bed I had forgiven him.
This went on for about a year, sometimes a slap, sometimes a kick, always "so sorry" and me always so forgiving. But I was becoming cowed, you know what I mean? That eroding of your character, the tiredness, the acceptance! But all of this was nothing compared to what was to come (oh how I wish I had run then, but I still loved him and the kids you know). The kids mum was starting to get better and we had decided to let her have them for the weekend, they really missed their mum and they needed her. I was happy for them and they were happy, that’s what mattered. "Lets have a night out Evie, you deserve it, a nice meal maybe". Things had been really good for a while and I was hoping we were starting to turn the corner. Rob had been trying really hard to try and control his temper, even going to the doctor to get help. So out we went …
The night started with a nice meal and then on to a pub and we were having a great time, really enjoying each others company, really talking for the first time in ages. The subject of sex came up the way it does between couples and we started talking about fantasies and did we have any. He told me that he had fantasies about watching me having sex with someone else because he knew what they were getting (me being so good), I told him that I had fantasies about being with a stranger, not that I would but that it felt exciting thinking about it. (a sitting duck!). We then went on to talk about other stuff and I had forgotten about it really until we left the pub, we were both pretty drunk and I was staggering a little and as we started walking towards the city centre to get a taxi. "how about it Evie, fancy trying it", "trying what?" I said. "going with a stranger and I’ll watch, it will be so cool just to live out our fantasy huh". At first I was "don’t be daft" and eventually after lots of convincing and loving words from him it became "anyway how’re we going to do that", as I said sitting duck! "just stand on the corner there and wait for some guy, you pick and if he asks if your looking for business say yes, take him up the lane and give him a blow job, I don’t mean full sex or anything and I’ll follow behind and watch".
And so it was I found myself standing on a street corner thinking what on earth are you doing but feeling excited as well I must confess. Reality soon changed that feeling I can assure you. The guy I picked was just an ordinary guy, seemed pleasant enough "looking for business love". "eh yeah" I said. "how much for a blow", "eh twenty quid", "ok" he said. And so I took the guy down the lane and as soon as we were in the corner he started to grope me and pushing me down to my knees. I think maybe I went into shock, he got out his cock and proceeded to ram it into my mouth, I could smell urine and drink and the concrete under my knees. I was aware of what he was doing but I believe my brain just went into automatic shut down you know. He had his hands on the back of my head and he was thrusting and telling me to take it. He rammed my mouth until he came, pulled out, zipped himself up and walked away, just like that. I was still on my knees when I heard the footsteps turned around to see Rob walking towards me with the most loving happy smile I had seen for ages. "oh Evie, thank you that was so cool, what a turn on, you ok Evie" "oh Evie please say that you enjoyed it to, I’d feel so lousy if you didn't enjoy it". I stood up and I can still think of the thought processes even now. How much I had hated it, how dirty I felt, how much he had enjoyed it and it was only once right, why make him feel bad, just go with it. "no I’m fine Rob, it was just different to how I had imagined it that’s all, but its fine, it was cool".
When we got home and Rob started kissing me and telling me how wonderful I was I thought, its going to be ok! How very wrong I was. He started asking me to describe what I had done. "did you take his cock Evie". "yes I did", "was it good, did you taste him Evie", "yes I could taste him". "tell me how you slid your lips over his hard on" I told him. "did he come in your mouth Evie". "yes he did". BANG! He punched me in the face and I fell backwards onto the floor, "did I tell you to let him come in your mouth Evie, did I???" "f**king cow! F**king loved it that much did you" BANG! Another punch, splitting my lip. BANG! A kick this time, into my side as I lay there.
I got one hell of a beating that night, kicked, punched, slapped, even a cigarette stubbed out on my back, and during it all his voice "f**king cow", "me thinking you hadn't liked it, feeling guilty and all the time you had loved it, taking his cum, you bitch".
I awoke the next morning to the sound of him breaking his heart. I lay there feeling like I had been hit with a ten ton truck. Every part of my body was sore. I didn't know what to do, my mind was a complete blank, numb! He noticed I was awake and immediately came over put his head on my breast and started the usual "oh Evie what have I done, god I’m so sorry" sobbing and crying. "oh god the kids, I’ve messed up everything, what am I going to do". "please forgive me, I’ll go get help, I’ll do anything".
Its amazing the strength of love you know. I loved Rob with all my heart and soul, and this hadn't changed that. The love was still there, it’s like your brain getting split in two. One half can’t believe that the monster last night was this man, my Rob and the other half knows this is so, but you love and that sways the outcome, tips the scales. I put my hand on the back of his head and stroked his hair "shush Rob, it'll be okay, we can do this but you have got to get help okay, real help", "yes Evie I will, I will, thank you, thank you". There wasn't even time to talk properly, the kids were due back soon. Up I got, showered, checked myself in the mirror. I stood there looking, hardly a mark once I had put on my clothes, underneath a mass of bruises. There they were "Evie, that’s the kids back". I took one last look, slapped a smile on my face and went down to greet the kids. I would like to think that the kids weren't aware of what went on in our house and to this day I have never spoken to them about it. I only know that I tried my best to make sure that they never got to see or hear anything. That mattered to me.
Rob was so guilt ridden for weeks, months. He treated me with such kid gloves, apologetic, loving. I had even started to have some contact with my family again and Rob even encouraged it. He went for help (or so I thought, I found out later that he never did) and for the next few months we set about repairing our relationship. The kids were still visiting their mum every weekend but I wouldn't go out with Rob, couldn't bring myself to. But after about 8 months of this constant attitude I decided that I would try a night out. Big mistake! Again we went for a lovely meal, then on to the pub and even onto the dancing. It had been a great success. It all started again when we left to go get a taxi. "how about trying it again Evie", "what" and I felt my stomach drop down to my shoes. "c’mon Evie, it will be different this time, I know what went wrong. "no Rob I don’t think so". "oh great I've tried so hard for months, how much longer have I to feel guilty Evie huh! How many times can I say sorry". "I'm not asking you to feel guilty Rob, but it happened and I just want us to put it behind us that’s all". "I just want it to be right this time Evie, after all it was your fantasy too. I want us both to enjoy it just once, I can’t even fantasize anymore because of what happened. C'mon it will replace the old memory if we can put it right". "oh f**king great, you don’t even want to help do you, just want me to keep on feeling like shit about it don’t you". Bang! Slapped me across the face "f**king bitch, give me my keys". He grabbed my handbag and took my keys "just go home to your f**king mum you bitch, go on go ". I looked at him and I could see the absolute madness in his eyes, I turned around and started walking away, I was going to mum's. Rob followed along behind me shouting abuse until he caught up swung me around and started laying into me. "Where are going huh? Get back here and do as you’re told". I tried to get away but I couldn't and he continued to kick and punch me until I gave up and gave in. I had three different men that night and afterwards when Rob took me home I had to describe exactly what I had done until Rob managed to satisfy himself. I am ashamed to say that I was well and truly broken that night and I admit I still grieve for the person I was then.
I was a prostitute for nine years, four years on the streets and a further five years with clients coming to my house. You may wonder why did I not escape, and that for any abused partner is the million dollar question isn't it. Life had become this is the only way to describe it I suppose.
The kids stayed with us for 6 years until they finally went back to their mum. I know now why she had become what she became. He broke her too.
I could tell you many stories of the abuse I got both from Rob and my 'clients' (the beatings, the rapes) but that’s another story I guess. I was a living zombie. I no longer saw my family, that stopped completely and I had no friends. Complete and utter isolation apart from the life I now lived.
I may have stayed there forever had it not been for the one other thing that changed my life. I had a daughter. My beautiful, wonderful, amazing little girl. I hadn't been on the pill you see for years and had thought that I couldn't have kids. I was always very careful with clients so I knew that Rob was the father. I can remember the phone call to tell me my test had been positive. I couldn't believe it. I told Rob and he was elated. We all moved to another house and everything seemed to change. I no longer did any of the 'bad stuff' and Rob appeared to have a complete change of personality. When Alice was born Rob became the perfect husband and father. He was like a different person, and for a while we were like your perfect 'happy family'.
Alice for me was just so perfect. I ate, drank and slept my wee girl. She was the light of my life and still is. In fact all the kids had been. My only reason for carrying on. When Alice was about one year old the other kids finally went back to stay full time with their mum. I was so very happy for them. Despite the love that we had for each other I knew that nothing could compare to their mum.
I know what you must be thinking, but believe it or not Rob had been a very good dad to his kids. It used to amaze me to watch him with them. But after they left it was like they never were, "why don’t we ask the kids round for dinner Rob, we haven’t seen them since they left (six months ago). "why the hell should I, they haven’t bothered with me have they". And so it went. Rob started becoming very jealous of the relationship I had with my daughter, about how much time I was willing to give to her. The old Rob started to resurface, the agitation, the anger. I started to worry about where it was leading. The first time he hit me in front of Alice was when I decided to leave.
It took me two years to finally break free from Rob and it was the toughest thing I have ever done. But I did it.
That was four years ago now. I would like to say that I have my life completely back, but there are times when I get depressed. But I don’t regret leaving, not for one second. My daughter is 8 now and we have a wonderful loving relationship. Every day brings new wonders and I can see my daughter have the chance to be 'herself'. I hope she always will be.
I hope anybody out there who is still being abused will take the plunge. It won’t be easy and sometimes you'll think you can’t do it but I’m here to say you can. Everyone deserves the chance to be 'themselves' to find out what kind of person that can be.
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The link between domestic violence and prostitution is one hardly discussed. While it is well-known that women are trafficked for prostitution and that pimps will 'break' women and girls with beatings and sexual abuse, the reality is that some husbands and partners pimp out their wives and girlfriends as prostitutes in much the same way. Prostitution, Trafficking and Traumatic Stress is not afraid of this topic. An eye opener:
To order in the US: Prostitution, Trafficking and Traumatic Stress
To order in the UK: Prostitution, Trafficking and Traumatic Stress
Real Rape, Real Pain explores though the eyes and feelings the actual impact of marital and imtiate sexual abuse and marital rape. A must read for anyone who has experienced this intrusive and long-lasting form of intimate violence. The book does not just describe and explain, but also helps set us on the road to healing:
To order in the US: Real Rape, Real Pain: Help for women sexually assaulted by male partners
To order in the UK: Real Rape, Real Pain: Help for Women Sexually Assaulted by Male Partners
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