Rising Stars – An Interview with Writer Ruth Jacobs by Claire-Louise Meadows
Rising writer Ruth Jacobs is a candid, and fascinating subject. I am here today to interview her about “In Her Own Words… Interview with a London Call Girl”, the charity publication she has released in association with Beyond the Streets, a charity set up to help women exit prostitution.
On being asked about her need to write on this subject matter, she stares into the distance, considering thoroughly, before answering ‘I had some traumatic experiences as a child. I have a lot in common with women who work in prostitution. 75% of them have suffered physical and sexual abuse as children. So have I. 70% of them have been raped multiple times. I’ve been raped twice. 67% of them meet the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder. I’ve had PTSD for many years. I was also a drug addict and alcoholic until my mid-twenties and 95% of women that work as prostitutes have issues with problematic drug use. I think all of that has given me a huge sense of empathy for these women as well as anyone else who has suffered these dark things in life.’
In Her Own Words, is the unedited transcript from an interview Ruth undertook with a London call girl in the late 1990s. It is an enlightening and moving, firsthand account of a woman’s life affected by prostitution, exposing the emotional, psychological and social effects of living that existence. All royalties from this publication are being donated to Beyond the Streets, a charity helping women exit prostitution.
‘It’s important for me to dispel the ‘happy hooker’ myth and expose the dark world and the harsh reality of life as a call girl’ says Ruth. ‘The media have glamorised prostitution at the level of being a call girl. I want people to know that being a call girl is not glamorous. Of course, on the outside it is, but the damage to the woman is the same whether the sexual act is for a few hundred or thousand pounds in a five-star hotel, or for ten pounds in an alley or the back of a car. Women who work as call girls are still raped and beaten, though not as often as women who work on the streets. I want to show the vulnerable, young women who are being led by the media to believe that being a call girl is a glamorous and fun occupation, that it is not. Once someone has read In Her Own Words… Interview with a London Call Girl, they will see the pain and torment the woman, referred to as Q, has been through. They will see how she had to create a false self with a false set of beliefs in order not to fall apart. She is not an exception to the rule. She is the rule.
‘Beyond the Streets are doing a great thing – they are making sure that a dialogue is kept open about the issues at hand. They also work with a great number of other charities and projects doing exactly the same work, helping women exit prostitution. That’s why I was keen to team up with them for this publication. I’m donating all royalties I make on the book to them. I think it’s also important to note that research shows that nine out of ten women working in prostitution would like to exit if they could.’
The stigma a significant section of society has against women who work as prostitutes is mainly due to lack of knowledge. People would be less likely to judge and look down on these women if they were aware of the statistics of sexual and physical abuse most have suffered as children, the fact that most have been raped multiple times, and that more than half meet the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder, which is a major cause of suicide. Ruth admits she has tried to take her own life countless times, although since having her children, she has never made an attempt. As well as drawing on her research and the women she interviewed for inspiration, Ruth is also able to draw on the firsthand experience of many of the topics she writes about.
‘Probably, because of my own issues, I feel it is so important to show the reality of life for women working in prostitution, the effects it has on them psychologically, emotionally, in relationships with men, how they are viewed and how they feel they are viewed by society as outsiders and outcasts.
‘It’s easy for some people to judge. But seeing these women as real people, with real feelings, and acquiring an insight into the tormented childhoods most have suffered and their painful present lives, allows people who are not in that life to gain an informed perception of who these women really are and with that knowledge, are less likely to form snap judgements’.
Ruth’s star is definitely on the rise; Caffeine Nights recently announced that they will be publishing Ruth’s debut novel Soul Destruction in 2013.
‘I would say I am blessed. I have come through a great deal in my life and have a peaceful life in the countryside. I am lucky to have two wonderful children, an adorable dog, a great family, and some very special friends, and now this offer from Caffeine Nights. Amazing.’
I leave the interview heartened at the fact that a genuine original voice is coming to light in the work of a strong, fascinating woman.
“In Her Own Words… Interview with a London Call Girl” is available to download from Amazon UK at http://amzn.to/P992RY for 77p and from Amazon US at http://amzn.to/Qo3SZDfor 99c. It is also available worldwide.
To learn more about Ruth Jacobs and the Soul Destruction series of novels visit her website at www.soul-destruction.com
Ruth Jacobs on Twitter http://twitter.com/RuthFJacobs
Ruth Jacobs on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/rujacobs
Soul Destruction on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/SoulDestructionSeries
Soul Destruction on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/RuthFJacobs/videos
Ruth can be contacted about her charity publication through Tempest PR at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: call girl, Claire-Louise Meadows, drug addict, drug use, empathy, happy hooker, harsh reality, mid twenties, multiple times, prostitutes, prostitution, royalties, Ruth Jacobs, sexual abuse, sexual act, star hotel, stares, stress disorder, thousand pounds, traumatic experiences, unedited transcript