• Brenda Sandquist

What if she was Yours?


She is someone’s daughter, sister and yes even some sweet child’s mother. The reality of a woman who has found herself trapped as a working girl in a brothel is one with little hope and a lot of rejection, competition, damaged self-esteem and a financial nightmare.

To enter the brothel atmosphere your eyes need several seconds to adjust to the dark dimly lit and very warm parlor, where girls have assembled at the bar to wait for the buzzer to ring. Every time the buzzer rings once, girls scramble to line up in such a way to entice a client as they are looked up and down to be chosen to “party” (yes, that is the term for a man buying a prostitute for sex.) You can see it in their eyes as they line up, please pick me, I need you to pick me so that I can pay my ever-growing debt to the house. If you look a little deeper though, you can also see in the deep recesses of their eyes, please don’t pick me, I really don’t want a party with you. When the selection is made feelings of rejection come when your competition won the chance to “party” and you wait for the next time the buzzer rings, which could be hours. The Lyon County brothels average 20 to 40+ girls in each location, there is not a prospective “party” for every girl with each buzzer and so the financial nightmare begins when you owe room and board every day, the doctor fees weekly and 50% of anything that you may earn which belongs to the brothel owner is taken, plus the tips you pay the bar tenders, housekeeping, cashiers and managers. The debt becomes insurmountable at times when you lose 75 to 80% of what you earned, and if a pimp has forced you to work for him in the brothel, he takes the remainder of what you earned, leaving you in a prison of debt.

The lure of the lie to work there is that you will make a lot of money, that is not the reality for the majority. The lure of the lie is that it is a safe work environment. The lure of the lie is that you can leave anytime you want (if you have no incurred past debt, and your pimp allows you to leave.) The lure of the lie is if you decide to leave, employment becomes extremely difficult, what do you put on your resume?

Anxiety, panic attacks and PTSD become the norm and often creates such trauma that it is difficult to leave their room, their homes and be a part of society. They become trapped from fear and abuse. The constant “parties” also takes a toll on their bodies mentally and physically.

I am so tired of the statement “they chose to work there, it’s their choice what happens to them and they like what they do.” If you have ever met one of these rare beauties and had the privilege of listening to their story without the fear of being overheard and having their words manipulated to protect the image of the ones who imprison them, you would have a different opinion. She is someone’s daughter, sister and some sweet child’s mother and when you see her in that light it changes everything. She deserves to have a voice and she deserves to be free.

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