Prostitution in the Netherlands is legal, but I would never mention my sister because if I started talking about her I would not be able to avoid what she did for a living. So, for a while I pretended she did not exist. A couple of times, I had walked past the windows in the Red Light District with a horrible feeling in my stomach. There were many different types of women and for some reason when I saw a foreign girl I would have immediate compassion for her, a feeling that I didn’t have for my sister. I thought that foreign girls didn’t have a choice and probably had a pimp that forced them to do it. You know, that image the movies create for us, that is what I believed.
How could my sister, a Dutch woman, be so naïve?
About three years ago, my sister finally came back home. What I thought I knew about her was not the truth at all. She was forced to sell her body behind the windows. She was treated like a slave; she didn’t even have the freedom to take a day off unless she was really sick an unable to walk. She was beaten and verbally abused on a daily basis. The first couple of months after she returned were horrifying… She didn’t have the ability to leave the house. We barely picked up the phone because her pimp would call and threaten to kill us all.