Fear brings sisters of the trade closer

Panic about a possible predator on the rampage has brought Hong Kong’s sex workers into closer camaraderie, as a fourth prostitute was found dead under suspicious circumstances in a North Point flat yesterday.

Damon Pang

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Panic about a possible predator on the rampage has brought Hong Kong’s sex workers into closer camaraderie, as a fourth prostitute was found dead under suspicious circumstances in a North Point flat yesterday.But representatives for prostitutes, the sex workers concern group Zi Teng, say that the exigencies of survival and their aversion to the dole compel them to carry on their trade with a sense of resignation.

“One of our sisters from Sham Shui Po called us about 2pm saying a suspicious-looking man had come into her flat, looked around and just chatted with her without doing anything else,” the concern group’s executive, Elaine Lam Yee-ling, said.

She was referring to men who appeared to be South Asian, following speculation one such person had been seen near the apartment in which one woman was killed.

“The woman wanted us to keep calling her [to make sure she is all right], and so we just kept calling her,” she said.

One of five sex workers at a press conference organized by Zi Teng was a 28-year-old woman nicknamed Cathy, a mother, who has been in the business for two years and who was nearly strangled in June last year.

“I went to work in Central that day. After we had finished [our business] the man suddenly grabbed my neck. I was unconscious for about two hours and I called the police when I regained consciousness,” she said.

“I was just so scared he would kill me. I did not want to die in that kind of place.”

Cathy said since the incident she had stepped up communication with other sex workers by phoning them before heading to a workplace, as well as after finishing a job.

“If I do not call after a certain period of time, my sisters would call the police,” she said.

Cathy said Zi Teng had also appealed to other sex workers to deposit their money into their bank accounts immediately after serving a client.

A 36-year-old sex worker, nicknamed Yoyo, who is raising two children, aged two and three, said she would be more alert after the recent deaths.

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=11&art_id=63242&sid=18107974&con_type=1

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