Sex for money sometimes costs less than a pack of cigarettes in America. Poverty prostitution mainly affects women from Eastern Europe, who often sell their bodies under duress. Few of them manage the leap into a normal life.
“They took me to the third floor of the house,” says Dana.
“Then the man took all my documents, my ID and then said I had to work here now. He said if you want to see your children again soon, you have to do this work now. I didn’t know anybody, I didn’t know a word of English and I had no more money, I had spent my last money on the trip, 100 Euros.
When I saw where I had landed, I just cried. I cried the whole time. I was very scared, because I had never seen anything like that before, I only knew such places from movies. I just wanted to die, I thought about throwing myself from the third floor. I wanted everything to be over. I knew I couldn’t go on living like this, I felt so dirty.”
Dana didn’t jump. She was thinking about her three kids. They live with their grandmother in Bulgaria. Actually, she wanted to work as a cleaner in Mannheim. Some people in her village had promised her a job in a hotel. As a single mother of three children without a school-leaving certificate, this was a promise of a better future for her.
But instead of a job as a cleaner, Dana expected a small darkened room in a brothel in Mannheim. A woman brought her lingerie and handed her a price list.
“When the first customer came, I gave him the list,” Dana said. “On the list were the prices for half an hour, one hour. When I showed the list to the man, he started laughing. He laughed and he could see that I was very scared, I was trembling all over my body. Without doing anything, he threw me, I don’t remember exactly, 30 or 50 euros on the bed and left without doing anything.”