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Dominican Republic Prostitution
Typically, the girl who works in these tourist areas as a prostitute is in her late teens or early twenties. She may be from the surrounding area or quite frequently she may have come from another part of the country. She may have previously worked as a prostitute in one of the brothels around the country that cater to Dominican men but came to realize that she could make more money from tourists. The majority of these women have one or more children by a Dominican male but the vast majority of the time, the father has abandoned the family and his fatherly duties and the woman is left the raise the children herself. Generally, this responsibility is handed over to the prostitutes’ mother. This cycle frequently repeats itself generation over generation.

The money most of these prostitutes earn by sleeping with tourists is usually much more than they have ever experienced before. These girls usually have no concept of saving so the money is immediately spent on items such as clothes, jewelry, cell phones, etc. Additionally, many of them begin to use drugs. There is no concept of personal advancement or aspirations to achieve financial stability. Instead, they subscribe to a “live for today” attitude and the money is quickly spent.

Many of them, along with selling their bodies, act as thieves. Upon meeting a new client, they will first ask him how long he is in town. Then, later back in his hotel room, she will seize any opportunity to steal from him. She may also work as a pickpocket. While approaching a man on the street, she would get close to him and move her hands around on him to distract him. At the same time, she will deftly pick his pocket. The prostitute generally walks away and the tourist has no idea that he has been robbed, until much later. If the tourist on the street catches on, the prostitute will flee and hide in a nearby barrio or somewhere she knows he will not find her. She already knows how long he is in town because that is the first thing she asked him, so she knows when the coast will be clear to come back. Additionally, most tourists out of fear or embarrassment would be scared to report the crime to police and would simply accept the loss as a lesson learned.

Some of the tourists visiting these locations are not just looking to pay for sex but are more interested in a long-term relationship. In these cases, a prostitute will jump to fill the void. She will stay with the tourist for the duration of his vacation and convince him that she is not a prostitute but has fallen in love with him. She will talk him into helping her provide for her and her children. The tourist will generally return home believing that he now has a faithful girlfriend waiting for him to return. She will keep in contact with him via phone or e-mail and he will periodically send her money to help her. He will tell her when he is coming back for a visit and she will be waiting as if she loves him. Of course, she will have several men of this nature thinking she is their faithful girlfriend and will also be working as a prostitute when not preoccupied with them.

Some women in the more affluent areas of the country work as prostitutes in a different manner. They are what are known as “beeper chicas” and cater to more affluent Dominican males. Their clients are generally doctors, lawyers, businessmen, etc. What these girls generally do is enroll in a university and take classes to give the false impression that they are interested in getting an education and mask the fact that they are hookers. However, they are always on call to their affluent Dominican clients. Once “beeped”, she will usually meet a client in an upscale motel and he will pay a generous amount of money to have sex with her. Some of these girls are actual models and model for well known companies. However, they will make quite a bit of money on the side as “beeper chicas”.

Obviously, a big health risk for prostitutes is the possibility of contracting STDs. The HIV rate among prostitutes is naturally higher than among the general population. Additionally, diseases such as Chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, trichomoniasis, syphilis and others are common. Unfortunately, some of these prostitutes are not educated in the use of condoms. Therefore, it is very possible that a prostitute may contract one or more STDs and pass it on.

Prostitution is technically legal in the Dominican Republic. It is illegal however for a third party (pimp) to have any involvement. In an effort for police to counteract the problem in tourist areas, they will generally arrest any girl who appears to be a prostitute and is walking on the street after dark for loitering. To avoid arrest, the girls simply take a motoconcho taxi directly to the discos and operate from there. If they leave with a client, they will ask him to provide them with the motoconcho fare back to the disco or for him to walk her back himself. If the girl is being escorted down the street by a man, the police will leave her alone. If a prostitute is arrested for loitering, she may spend several days in jail and will generally have to pay the police to be released. She might get this money from a family member, a boyfriend or more likely, another prostitute. Then immediately upon release, she will resume the life she knows.
 
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