My name is Stacy although over the years I have been known as Angie, Dusty, Paige and Beth but more commonly as bitch, slut and whore. You get the idea.

When I was 14 I was raped, when I was 26 I was raped and when I was 18 I was raped.

I was married but lost my husband in the Thailand tsunami, I then lost my mother and 2 best friends in the next 6 months. I was very vulnerable. I was introduced to “John” by a friend and he came with excellent references although in hindsight there were ulterior motives. This is not his real name as he is associated with a gang at high level. It was winter and he would clean my car off for me, make sure I never got into a cold car. I fell for him you must remember I was a complete mess. I probably should have talked to a professional as I was dealing with what I have come to know is complicated grief. I was literally putting one foot in front of the other assuming I could get out of bed. We started seeing each other and I fell for him to the point that after six months we moved in together and started building a life together. Or so I thought. I was such a mess emotionally that I trusted him with the finances. There were things that started to happen like him isolating me from friends and because of him I lost contact with my brother and 2 nephews. It was easier than to undergo what at the time were verbal onslaughts.

You must remember that by now I thought he was all I had left in the world.
I became aware of how dire our financial situation was when the sheriff turned up. We were being evicted; I though this was due to financial mismanagement but later discovered it was due to drugs. No money, no friends, and now no home.

John “suggested” I go to work in the strip bars; this is when things began to get physically abusive. Shoes were bought commonly known as hooker boots.

The surroundings are horrific, girls pour urine and feaces into each others bags in order to stop them from getting on the floor and making money.

I was not a drinker but this is when I started, imagine the song “Its Only Fun in the Back Room if the Stripper is Crying” blaring at full blast while you are the focal point of interest naked on the stage while the patrons are cat calling and calling you obscenities like my granny has got nicer tits than you!

There is no time off if you have your period. Its exhausting, soul draining and soul destroying. After a while you start to recognize the individual players, hoe they operate and who is operating them. John was surreptitiously watching and counting the money I was making. I started burning myself with cigarettes adding to the burns customers had given me.

By now I am in full survival mode. All my identification was long gone by now and so were any of my friends.

John was my whole world and the only reason I was alive, you must remember I still thought I was in love. I remember one night when I lay down to sleep on the floor because I always had to be in eyesight I was woken and told I could never sleep again until I took a hit on the crack pipe that was in front of me. This was the beginning of my true descent into madness. John started disappearing for long periods of time; I later discovered he was running other prostitutes. During this time I was given no money I would get on a bicycle and go dumpster diving for unopened sanitary products and food. I took to hiding food in the house so I could eat. One day when I said I was going to leave he broke all my toes. This is when men started coming to the house. Years had passed by now. One day the sheriff turned up again. We got a motel room but I had lost all my furniture by now, I had only some clothes and my mother’s ashes.

Looking back on customers, I know they saw nothing more than a dirty crack whore. I tried to reach out t a customer and was told the definition of sympathy lies between shit and syphilis in the dictionary. It was at this time that he started bringing other women to the room and making us do things to each other. I became suicidal and saw no way out. I was chased back to my room so many time that I would be grateful that he came back, better the devil you know. Right?

He flew into another rage one day and I phoned the women’s shelter, they got me into a cab but once there they told me they had no room for me, guess who I went back to? A few days later they let me in but john found me there and proceeded to throw what was left of my belongings at the building, the shelter told me I had to leave as my presence there endangered all the other women. They agreed to move me to another shelter but two days into that stay I was admitted to hospital. Now if you are away from the shelter for more than two nights you are locked out and that’s what happened to me. When I was discharged I left with the clothes on my back and one quarter, guess who I called, there as no one else. By now though I am working out of a car, I was officially homeless too.

I ran again to the Salvation Army until he found me there again luckily they were able to talk to the shelter and they agreed to take me back. They tried to get me into housing but to get priority you need a letter from your landlord saying you were living wit your abuser, how do you get this letter id your abuser was your landlord? I managed to bribe one of the motel owners to get this letter so he wouldn’t rat me out to my ex. I am in housing but about a year ago I went on my balcony and found a bag I had never seen before in it was rubber gloves duct tape and a gun, I have taken it as a warning and have since moved.