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Last Updated: Monday, 15 October 2007, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
'Girls will now take more risks'
Glasgow prostitute
Yvonne claims most street prostitutes will take more risks
Kerb-crawling has become a criminal offence across Scotland, with anyone caught trying to pick up a prostitute facing a fine of up to 1,000.

Yvonne, 24, has worked as a prostitute on the streets of Glasgow since she was 15, to feed her heroin habit.

She told the BBC Scotland news website's Karin Goodwin her views on the new laws.


I have mixed feelings about this legislation. I can see it from both sides.

Prostitution is something that does involve two people and if the girls are being charged, I do think the clients should be as well. It's not fair if they aren't.

But at the end of the day we're still looking for their business.

To get it, we will have to take more risks and that really worries me.

Prostitution is the only way I've ever known to make money.

Getting a habit

I started drinking in children's homes when I was about 14, and then moved on to drugs.

Then, when I was 15-and-a-half, one of the girls in the children's home got drunk one night and ended up going out [on the streets]. I went with her.

Before I knew it, I had a really big drug habit and then I started going out working all the time. Now I go out every second night and I'm trying to make about 100 every time.

When I first started going out it was a lot safer - there were tolerance zones and it felt like the police were there to protect you - but now they've taken all that away.

One guy punched me in the face, another one smashed my head off a wall.

I used to feel I could go to the police if I had a problem but that's changed, even though I've had a few bad experiences.

One guy punched me in the face, another one smashed my head off a wall. I've not been raped but I know plenty of girls that have.

It does shake you up, but you've got to put it to the back of your mind because like lots of the girls, I've got a drug habit and I need the money to feed it.

If you've got a drug habit the minute you open your eyes all you think about is getting your next fix. So the fact that you have to take more risks to get paid isn't going to stop you.

People have started changing how they work already because a lot of guys aren't sure when the legislation came in.

Protected zone

They are going out of areas that they usually work in because clients don't want to risk coming into what we call the drag area [Glasgow's red light district] where the cameras are.

Last night a friend of mine went all the way back to a flat in Cumbernauld. I was in panic mode - I was phoning her every 20 minutes to check she was okay.

She got back safe, but she was lucky - you don't know what could happen. I don't go back to flats, even in an area I know. As soon as that doors locked, that's you stuck.

What I have started doing is going out later - two or three in the morning - to avoid the police. That's bad because there are more drunk guys about.

Every night you feel like you're degrading yourself. You see the way people look at you and it's difficult to ignore it

I didn't used to go with anyone too drunk or under the influence of drugs, but now I do because I just want to get out of there quick, before the police come.

It has got more dangerous. You just need to look in the Beware Book at Base 75, where the girls write descriptions of the clients who have attacked them.

There used to be about eight reports a month, now it's around three a night.

At the end of day the only reason I do this is to feed my drug habit. If it wasn't for that I wouldn't even think of it.

My main goal just now is stopping this and coming off drugs. And that goes for almost all the girls.

To help me do that I'm getting support from Salt and Light [Christian support group for prostitutes]. I don't know what half the girls would do without them.

Every night you feel like you're degrading yourself. You see the way people look at you and it's difficult to ignore it.

At the end of the day we're just trying to get by - we're not trying to harm anyone else. It's only ourselves we're harming.


SEE ALSO
Kerb-crawler law comes into force
15 Oct 07 |  Scotland
City's prostitution zone scrapped
15 Oct 07 |  North East/N Isles

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