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There is much academic debate over the notion of free choice - whether individuals enter prostitution voluntarily or are coerced by unequal power. More importantly, however, is the effect of prostitution on those involved.
Most psychologists believe the long-term psychological harm resulting from prostitution is comparable to that from rape or domestic violence . NCAP highlights that 76% of those involved in prostitution experience some form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) .
Individuals involved in prostitution often develop complex coping mechanisms and rituals to minimise their pain and brokenness:
... to name a few.
- Disassociative disorders (e.g. disconnection, distancing)
- Anxiety disorders (e.g. fixation, memory loss, panic attacks, flashbacks)
- Substance abuse (leading to long term addiction and mental illness)
- Sleeping disorders – oversleeping, insomnia
- Self harm
- Eating Disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive behaviour