A pimp is someone who benefits financially from another person carrying out sexual acts for money. Sometimes this person is so close to us, for example a boyfriend or partner, that we don’t see what’s really happening in the relationship. They might keep telling us that they love us when actually we’re being used or controlled. If you have a partner or boyfriend who’s asked you to sell sex for them, then you need to ask yourself:
- Are they putting pressure on me to do this?
- Are they manipulating me by saying that I’d do it if I really loved them, or that they’ll leave me or punish me in some way if I don’t do it?
- Do they tell me they love me but then hurt me emotionally or physically?
- Are they controlling my movements or who I can see?
- Am I feeling responsible to feed their drug habit?
If the answer is yes to ANY of the questions above then this relationship is not healthy or good for you. There are all sorts of reasons why you might be staying in this relationship. It might be because your partner depends on you for drugs money, or because you don’t know how you’ll manage without them even though they hurt you. It could be because of what psychologists call ‘trauma bonding’ or ‘traumatic bonding’ – when we get attracted to relationships that are harmful to us because of deep familiarity with trauma.
One woman involved in prostitution explained it this way: “Traumatic situations can be addictive because they cause a massive release of adrenaline – and that is addictive. I learned from early childhood on: The place where I am afraid, where I am hurt, where I am degraded, is the place where I belong. That is home. This is why even today I still have to struggle in situations that endanger me and to decide against the danger and to walk away. The situations are shite, but familiar; I know them. Situations in which people are nice to me, do not shout, do not batter, do not abuse me, feel creepy. I promptly feel inferior. My soul signals: ‘Something is wrong here. This is alien.’”
We completely understand that breaking away can be difficult but we’re here for you if you want a safe place to talk. Just phone us on 07393 916650 or click on ‘What we do’ and ‘I want support’ for more information. The organisations below can also offer specialist help:
New Era (domestic abuse service for Stoke and Staffordshire) – tel: 0300 303 3778
Staffordshire Women’s Aid (24 helpline support and refuge providers) – tel: 0870 2700123
Savana (support and counselling service for anyone in Stoke or North Staffordshire who has experienced or is affected by any form of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, ‘honour’ related violence and childhood sexual abuse) – tel: 01782 433205 / 01782 433204