Victim of the sex trade
Gregg Reese | 7/11/2012, 5 p.m.
Young Black princess wanted by sugar dad tonight--(Los Angeles)
Need a regular fix of chocolate (serious)--(Hollywood Hills)
Cocoa, Mocha, or Caramel, Please--(San Fernando Valley)--recent classified ads found on Craigslist
Prostitution is often categorized as being one of the "victimless crimes," which may be loosely construed as an arrangement between two or more people to engage in behaviors that don't impact anyone else.
In reality, this is hardly the case, as the residual effects result in financial burdens on society in the form of the judicial costs necessary to prosecute and incarcerate the offenders, medical expenses for addressing and impeding the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and the drain on the social services community as it confronts the daunting task of rehabilitation.
None of this even begins to cover the injury to the psyche of sex workers directly engaged in this activity, who are typically categorized as criminal offenders, even though most of them are well below the age of consent when they begin to engage in this sordid business.
"The brain does not develop fully until age 24, so if it develops in a life of debauchery, violence and otherwise what will the outcome of that persons behavior be and how will their lives be affected." --Brook Bello
Adolescence is a time of defiance and experimentation, discovery and rebellion, of testing boundaries and pushing limits. Youngsters growing up within the framework of dysfunctional family units, which are rapidly becoming the staple of contemporary society, are an attractive target for the voracious predator, who can spot their quarry with the practiced eye of a carnivore in the midst of the African veldt.
No formal textbook may be found on this ancient art of coercion, deception, force, and seduction, but the street itself is a well-established depository of an oral tradition containing a methodology of selecting candidates, typically with poor self-esteem, then beginning the process of "grooming," "seasoning," or simply "breaking bitches" before "turning them out" to work on the "stroll" or "tract" (vernacular for the circuit in which sex workers operate).
Brook Bello's dysfunctional childhood made her ripe for the advances--in this case, of a woman at a strip mall in Las Vegas. Through casual conversation, the well-dressed thirtysomething pinpointed the teenager's longing for affirmation, identity and love. Gaining a position of trust, she plied impressionable young Bello with alcohol and Quaalude pills--also known as "Lemmon 714s," for the name of the pharmaceutical company scored on the sides of the tablets--before introducing her to the world of escort services.
"The problem was, as an adult I liked men naturally and I was only with women out of my deep fear of men because of the extreme abuse, and that is hardly a reason to choose that lifestyle." --
from Brook Bello's website/blog "Living above the noise" (http://aftersexslaveryandabuse.blogspot.com/)
The sex-for-hire industry became the center of Bello's life from her mid-teens onward for more than a decade. She ran away from home and meandered back and forth from Vegas, to Los Angeles, to New York, and places in between.
"I was gay for a long time, but I was never attracted to women, never ever!" she remembers.
Eventually, reprieve came in the form of outside intervention, when the neighbors of the upscale community in which she and the other workers resided began to complain about the strange goings-on at the house in which they plied their trade. Mounting outside pressure forced the operation to fold, and both proprietors and merchandise had to vacate the premises.
Being uprooted from this environment proved to be a blessing in disguise, as Bello took off again for Los Angeles, this time finding the recovery that she'd longed for.