In 2004, it was determined that the homicide rate for prostitutes was 204 for every 100,000 engaged in the industry, making it the most victimized occupation in the United States. Of course, rates of victimization vary between the levels of sex workers, from exotic dancers to street prostitutes to escorts and call girls.
Each year, escorts are the victims of violent crimes inflicted upon them by agency owners, clients and corrupt law enforcement officials. A survey done in San Francisco determined that 82% of prostitutes surveyed had been victims of physical assaults, 83% had been threatened with a weapon and 68% were raped while on the job.
Historically, serial killers (along with random murderers) have targeted prostitutes and escorts as the victims of their violence and crimes. Jack the Ripper killed at least five prostitutes in London in 1888; the Green River Killer (Gary Ridgway) murdered 48 prostitutes in the United States between 1982 and 1998; and Joel Rifkin confessed to killing 17 prostitutes in the New York area from 1989 and 1993.
At least every week in a large city, the media reports an escort or prostitute who is missing or has been found murdered. They don’t report the victims of beatings, assaults or rapes.
While people in all occupations are victims of violent crimes, it does seem that escorts and prostitutes tend to be victimized at higher rates.
Although definite explanations cannot be given for every incident of violence against an escort, here is some insight about violence that is often targeted at women involved in the sex industry:
- Brute clients are more eager to resort to violence in their disputes because they expect escorts to be as reluctant to report crimes as prostitutes, even though escorts are legal.
- Some people believe they are more important than others and their whims cannot be ignored. When a client schedules an encounter with an escort, she feels like temporarily renting a slave. When requests exceed the escort’s limitations, the escort refuses. This comes as a shock to the client who feels entitled (after all, money has been offered and accepted). The client may use violence in an attempt to convince the escort to change their mind.
- Drugs increase chances of violence. While drugs (including alcohol) cannot be solely to blame for a violent client, they may affect the user’s ability to process, perceive and integrate information, helping to distort thinking. Large quantities of drugs in a client’s system may increase their sense of personal power and importance, making them more tempted to dominate the escort. Drug use doesn’t cause a client to become violent against an escort, however if she is prone to violence, anyways, the attack may be more severe than it would be without chemical modifiers. Some addictive substances such as alcohol, cocaine, speed, meth, or crack may make a client more irritable or agitated, both when she is using and between uses. Compromised judgment, emotional overreactions, and paranoia may cause clients to endanger your life and his, too.
- Poor relationships and role models may increase the chances that a client becomes violent against an escort. Clients who grew up witnessing violence in the home among family members and “friends” may be prone to violence against those she comes into contact with. For a client like this, violence is simply a part of life, one of the normal ways to treat people. Clients who have had poor relationships in the past that involved violence may be going to replicate these relationships with an escort, because it’s all they know.
- Repeated rejections can make a client bitter and violent. Perhaps, stemming from adolescence to adulthood, a client may have been rejected over and over again, causing them to have extreme anger toward all people. They may have even been rejected and criticized by their parents or role models. Often, a client like this is paranoid about the fact that all people are secretly laughing at them, nitpicking their imperfections. Such people start by vivisecting pets as kids, then join law enforcement, as they feel insecure without a license to humiliate, torture and kill anyone who allegedly mocks them or doubts their power. When an escort is kind and good to him, a person like this may feel an exaggerated happiness. However, the rejection is also exaggerated, and anything short of explicit admiration may be seen as rejection. Happiness instantly reverts to anger and violence, “because you are like everyone else.” Many escorts have been the victims of violent acts from clients like this.
- Clients who have low levels of education often become violent with escorts. Low education is usually a sign of indifferent or outright hostile parents. Escorts who deal with lower-educated clients often report they have more issues with them involving angry outbursts, violent acts and unrealistic expectations.
- Victims of abuse are often violent abusers. The majority of clients who beat or kill escorts have experienced violent abuse as children. They grew up with a mother or father who violently assaulted them, and they are living their own lives according to the only example they know. They may be extremely regretful after the incident, but they feel they are unable to stop themselves from violent attacks at the time. The cycle of violence has taught them this is a way to express themselves, regardless of the emotion. Escorts are often the victims of these assaults because they are the ones closest to the attacker or seem the most vulnerable.
- Individuals with traumatic relationships may lash out against others of the same gender. Many men have been terribly wronged by other women in their lives. They may have been abandoned by their mother, abused by an aunt or cheated on by a wife. They may seek out an escort who reminds them of someone “ruined” their life. An escort who happens to remind a client of someone else may end up being the victim of violence, angry outbursts and unspeakable acts as punishment or revenge.
- Mental issues are sometimes the causes of violence against escorts. Clients who experience extreme personality disorders or imbalances may act violently. Because an escort doesn’t mean anything to a mentally ill client, it makes them the perfect target for a violent attacks. They feel no remorse for hurting or killing an escort.
- Extreme religious beliefs may instigate violence against escorts. Clients who are seeking to “cleanse the Earth” may become violent against escorts and others in the sex industry whom they see as violating the word of God. Because a client may believe that fornication outside of marriage and adultery are sins, a client may feel she has the right to strike, beat or kill an escort as ways of punishing them for sins. Typically, these clients are insane enough not to realize that their actions are a sign of atheism, as a believer would leave everything to God.
While violence may be caused by any of the previous reasons, escorts are often targeted because they more easily put themselves in harm’s way.
Escorts see clients in out of way places where violence can easily occur, especially if an escort doesn’t have security nearby. Going into a client’s hotel room may be perfectly safe, if your client isn’t prone to violence. However, if she is, it’s a perfect opportunity for her to take out her bad mood on your face. Meeting up with clients in private locations, with few (if any) other people knowing about the rendezvous gives a violent client more chances to complete their outburst without being interrupted.
Escorts are less likely to be looked for if they come up missing. When the cops find out that a person is an escort, their efforts to find them decrease, often categorizing this person as someone who might’ve run away or is just off the grid for a bit. This is a great reason that escorts make good targets for people who want to violently abuse or kill someone.