Contessa, a former prostitute

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Contessa is a mother of five who never imagined that she would end up selling her body to strangers. "Before the drugs and prostitution, I was happy," she says. "Life was going really well."

When Contessa's husband left her, she says she started abusing drugs and turned to prostitution to support her crack habit. "I felt what I was doing was wrong," she says. "But I couldn't stop."

The dark side of prostitution made life on the streets a never-ending nightmare. Contessa says she was raped twice, sliced across the face and stabbed with an ice pick while turning tricks. "After a while, the family stopped showing up at the hospital because I think they were getting tired of it," she says. "When they stopped showing up, I knew I had nothing, nobody."
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FROM: Inside the Lives of Young Prostitutes
Published on May 08, 2006

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