Potterat and colleagues (1990) found that female prostitutes stay in the life for a rela­tively short time, usually 4 or 5 years. Some feel ready to leave, whereas others are forced out because of a deteriorating physical appearance or because of addiction to drugs or al­cohol. Life after prostitution is often grim because most prostitutes have little money and few skills (which is why they turned to prostitution in the first place; Farley et al., 2003). In addition, there is usually little to show for the years they spent prostituting. Some seek psychotherapy as a way to handle leaving prostitution, and others spend a great deal of time in and out of prison for shoplifting or robbery.

Research has found that many prostitutes are raped and physically assaulted as a re­sult of their work. One study found that between 60% and 75% of female prostitutes were raped, whereas 70% to 95% were physically assaulted (U. S. Department of State, 2005). Overall, 68% qualified for a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder. As a result, some resort to suicide as a way out.

Подпись:Even so, there is a lot of disagreement about whether or not mandatory treatment programs should exist for prostitutes. If a person voluntarily chooses to engage in prosti­tution and he or she does not feel it is a problem, should the government require that he or she undergo treatment? Even if it were possible to make prostitutes stop prostituting, few resources are available for them to establish a similarly salaried occupation (Rio,

1991) . We need to evaluate how to best help a prostitute if he or she decides to stop prostituting. Also, because we have learned that the backgrounds of many prostitutes in­clude a history of sexual abuse, familial violence, and alcohol abuse, perhaps we can of­fer intervention early on to help these people find alternative ways to make a living.