Secret life: I can't tell anyone I'm a sex worker.

Many sex workers don't tell anyone about their work. Others only confide in a few good friends. For most it is very hard to live with their secret and the fear of one day being exposed. What are the most common consequences of such a double life? What can it do to you? How can Violett help you deal with these problems? 

“Besides my colleagues, no one knows I'm a prostitute. Sometimes I want to tell my mom, but maybe she will never want to speak to me again and call me a whore... I have decided not to tell her, even though I find it terribly hard to lie to her.”

Lisa, escort

What do we mean by secret?

Prostitution remains a big taboo and you may have to face people’s negative reactions when they hear about your job. As a result, many sex workers decide not to tell their friends, family, children or partner about the work for fear of their reactions or disapproving looks. They are afraid of losing the people that matter in their lives. Some sex workers even invent another job for themselves.

Sex workers who do not tell anyone about their job, live with a secret. We sometimes call it “leading a double life”. They keep their personal and professional lives separate. 

I find it hard to keep my secret

Living with this kind of secret is not easy. Sex workers often talk about the problems they experience consequently.

Some people are afraid that their secret will be discovered. Sex workers sometimes get paranoid. They don't trust their colleagues and customers. Some sex workers are even being intimidated by customers who threaten to disclose their secret to their families. 

Everyone has the need to share good and bad episodes at work with friends or family in order to come to terms with their workday. Sex workers can usually share their experience with colleagues, yet they are often confronted with things they would like to share with someone else. It can be stressful, if they can’t do so.

Some sex workers also say they feel like a bad person because they lie to loved ones. They can’t stop feeling guilty and this too can lead to stress.

“I work as a window prostitute. My kids go to a nearby school. They think I work in a factory. You have no idea how scared I am that they will one day stand in front of my window and find out that I actually work as a prostitute.”

Lizzie, window prostitute

What can you do?

Violett's social workers, health professionals and doctors will never judge you because you secretly work as a sex worker. They listen to what you can't share with others. They talk to women, men and transgenders about their work, clients, colleagues, frustrations and problems, but also about the moments of joy you want to share. They not only offer a listening ear, but if you have a problem with a customer, a colleague or the owner of your premises, they will, with your permission, also help you look for a solution.

The information you share with Violett stays with Violett. All our aid workers are bound by professional secrecy. What you share with us will never be repeated to anyone. It stays here.

Would you like to talk to a Violett counsellor about any of these issues?

For general questions, for a visit to the doctor, for social help,...
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Verversrui 3
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Currently we only work by appointment. Call 03 293 95 91.

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Currently we only work by appointment. Call 09 233 47 67.

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For general help and social assistance:

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