The image of voluntary, self-sufficient sex workers is widely distributed in Germany, yet only applies to a very small proportion of people. The majority of those affected in the red-light district experience a completely different world.
Some underage women are brought from Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and South America to Germany under false pretences to be exploited in brothels. They take any option due to poverty and necessity. Prostitution is not a choice for them; it is their only means of survival. The majority of prostitutes in Germany come from Bulgaria or Romania. German brothels that regularly advertise new women are informed that traffickers are bringing “fresh goods”. Many foreign and native prostitutes regularly change location. Sometimes they spend only a week or two in a town before moving on. They have no idea where they are.
Young girls from Africa, particularly from Nigeria, are tied to a pimp’s demands by means of a voodoo ritual and death threats and sent to Europe for prostitution in the thousands. They must work and pay huge sums of money to their pimps or else bad things will happen to them or their family back home. The ruthless pimps regularly demonstrate the violence that will happen if they disobey. These helpless women are at the mercy of violent mafia gangs.
Biker and mafia gangs from various nations control different areas of Germany’s red-light districts. Domination of the red-light district is important to them as it guarantees high income. They control the brothels and people working there. The majority of income goes to these gangs. At the same time, they dictate the working conditions and create a parallel world with its own rules and principles. This includes loyalty and absolute secrecy from the outside. Everyday life in the red-light district is characterised by violence, hierarchical mindsets and total obedience.
Even German women end up in prostitution, some even underage – lured in by a loverboy. Young, good-looking men pose as a boyfriend to lure the girls into prostitution. Using insidious manipulation and a ‘carrot and stick’ approach, they make the girls believe that it was their own decision to enter the red-light district to help their boyfriend get out of a difficult financial situation. The loverboy involves luring a woman (sometimes several at the same time) into long-term prostitution and then exploiting them. Those involved experience systematic brainwashing which makes leaving difficult.
The Prostitution Act aims to establish a framework for prostitution through counselling services and employment protection regulations in order for it to be a recognised profession. However, the reality is that most woman are forced to work. Paid holiday does not exist. Very few have health insurance and must therefore work every day, regardless of whether they are ill or pregnant. Some women are forced to work late into pregnancy, up to several hours before giving birth. Every night they work the streets, sit in their small brothel room or wait in caravans on country roads for the next client.
They are at the mercy of the needs and demands of the client. Despite their distress, they are dependent on satisfying a client’s needs – no matter how much it may disgust them – because they need the money. A look into the choice of ‘services’ in the red-light district reveals: prostitution has almost nothing to do with sexual intercourse. It is far more about exerting power, oppression, sexual violence, loathing and perversion. Urinating (‘golden shower’) and defecating (‘caviar’) on women is a common part of the service.
The misery and violence openly inflicted in the red-light district of this country is merely the sad tip of the iceberg of a much greater suffering. The services presented here are just some of a much wider range of illegal forced prostitution. The public is repeatedly given a small glimpse into this other world. Particularly when videos emerge featuring the sexual abuse of small children. Pornography and child abuse are taking place on a grand scale, however it is difficult to detect in society as it takes place in secrecy and seclusion. The sexual exploitation of children and the production of pornography that glorifies violence towards children and adults forms a solid basis for the future exploitation of adults in legal places of prostitution.
More information on child exploitation:
In our ritual violence topic area
Prior to the age of 16,