Former prostituted woman helps women escape 'the life'

(Photo: Adam Wesley, (Appleton, Wis.) Post-Crescent)

(Photo: Adam Wesley, (Appleton, Wis.) Post-Crescent)

This seems like an obvious statement, but it is one Nicole Tynan has continuously repeated, hoping her words eventually will have a positive impact.

When Tynan speaks, it's clear she knows what she's talking about. She cites statistics at the drop of a hat (95 percent of women in the sex industry were sexually abused before they turned 18, she said) and she speaks with a certain conviction, unapologetic as she paints a picture of life as a prostituted woman: living on the streets, forced to submit to abusive and controlling pimps and trapped in a world with no escape.

"We have what we call this push-pull factor," said Tynan, 28, of Appleton, Wis. "The push factor for these women is their vulnerabilities — coming from dysfunctional backgrounds, foster care, domestic violence homes, sexual abuse. That's like their gateway in."

The pull factor, she said, is the demand — the johns and pimps as well as economic factors like poverty that persuade a woman into thinking prostitution is a good option.

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