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April News

April 07, 2010

Hey everyone, just got word that there is a new Freeset newsletter available. Kerry takes a few words to share what the recent economic times have meant for a community like Sonagacchi. We all know that things can be tough for everyone when things are tight, but this is definitely a different take on things than missing a cell bill, or a movie night. Something to ponder no doubt…. take a gander.

Friends of Freeset – April 2010 Newsletter

Chili Davis said: Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. It makes sense to those of us getting on a bit. To be able to hold on to, despite advancing years, some of the good things about being young for just a little while longer.

I can remember playing rugby with a whole bunch of guys in New Zealand, all of us well past our prime. Although older, I could remember how to play and move like it was yesterday. The problem was that although my mind was fresh my body wasn’t. The body wouldn’t do what my mind thought it could. But, it was fun.

What isn’t fun, is walking around Sonagacchi watching older women putting their bodies on sale knowing most customers will pass them by. Many look much older than they actually are. Looking worn and tired they drag their bodies onto the street day after day just to get enough to eat.

And then there are those at the opposite end of their lives. Little girls forced to use their immature bodies in ways they should never have to. Some of them are so young their owners can’t put them on the street. Locked in rooms that become their entire world, customers are escorted to them having just purchased their virginity for the 100th time.

So, I’ve been asking myself, why is it that younger girls are hitting the streets in greater numbers than I’ve ever seen in ten years? Why are Madams risking unwanted attention by putting 15 & 16 year old girls on display at street level? The only conclusion I can come to is that business is not good. The economic crisis has impacted the sex industry just like other sectors. Fewer customers mean greater competition and lower rates. Good for the customer, in a sad sort of way, but not so good for those who own and operate brothels – let alone young girls who are forced to service more customers to make up for the shortfall. For the sake of business, Madams are putting their merchandise right in front of the customer’s nose at street level. Of course the unwanted police attention has to be paid off and it is built into the service cost.

In the last month, two 13 year old girls have come to Freeset looking for work. The problem is we can’t legally employ girls under 16 so we can’t offer them a job. But, listen to what they will be hearing, “No we can’t give you a job because you are too young. The only option you have is to sell that young body of yours”. Clearly this is not the answer and we are working on alternatives. The problem is – every day 13 year old girls are entering the trade.

A couple of weeks ago a 25 year old woman came to Freeset desperately wanting to be free. Her husband had put her into a brothel. She wants to work at Freeset but can’t leave her three daughters aged 11 ½, 9 & 7 alone at home. Her husband has already threatened to sell the oldest one. Growing old is mandatory, for some there is no option but to grow up fast.

Kerry Hilton – Managing Director Freeset

Read the whole newsletter here

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