My name is Minh Hang and I want to share a personal story with you. I live in Vietnam and earn my money as a sex worker. One day I had a shocking experience that I will never forget. It all started very promising. My colleagues didn’t have any customers, but I was lucky enough to have a client. My manager told me to go to a room in a hostel, because the customer wanted an overnight. I was pleased, put makeup on and went there. When I entered the hostel, the receptionist told me to go up as there was someone already waiting for me.

However, after I knocked the door and went in, I was very shocked. In there, five men were lying on the floor, half-naked and tattooed all over their bodies. They were using drugs. At that moment, I felt frightened but I didn’t just walk away. Looking back, I don’t understand why I stayed. I thought that if I ran away, they might catch me and maybe beat me to death. And I figured that if I decided to stay with them, I needed to be cautious. In the middle of my thoughts, a man yelled and pulled me into the room. They ordered me to take off my cloths. When I saw the five men naked with their penises hanging, I started to sweat and asked which man I should serve first.

Nowadays, I better know how to handle threatening situations

Then the men started to rape me. This continued for six hours till I was completely exhausted. I asked them for a break, but they scolded me, so I became more frightened and was obedient. Some of the men wore condoms, some did not. During this long night, only one man could come. They continued till 7 o’clock in the morning, and then they stopped. At that point I asked for money, but they pulled my hair and shouted at me. I was very scared and ran to my manager. Although the men had not given me any money, I still had to pay my manager. All this was a very upsetting experience.

Nowadays, I better know how to handle threatening situations. Because one day an outreach worker of the sex worker self-help group Noi Binh Yen (Peaceful Place), approached me and I started to attend many group meetings, training programmes and sharing sessions. During these gatherings, participants share experiences and give advice about dealing with violence. This is why I have much more self-confidence now and I make sure that acts of violence will not happen to me again.

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