How students are enticed to work in illegal brothels masquerading as massage parlors

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‘They asked me to do terrible things’: how students are lured to work in illegal brothels masquerading as massage parlors and offered ‘hundreds of dollars a day’

  • Students are lured to work in illegal brothers disguised as massage parlors
  • Female university students in Melbourne are told they earn ‘hundreds a day’
  • Despite telling men that they are not sex workers, they still experience harassment

Female college students are lured to work in illegal brothels disguised as massage parlors in exchange for earning “hundreds of dollars a day.”

The Sunday Herald revealed that dozens of brothels in Melbourne have posted job advertisements targeting students to receive ‘excellent commission’ – while remaining open to sexual exploitation.

A 23-year-old international student said she experienced pay theft and sexual harassment while working at a massage parlor in east Melbourne.

Female college students are lured to work in illegal brothers disguised as a massage parlor (photo: stock photo of women in high heels)

“ (They) asked me to do things I didn’t want to do during the massage, or they would do things like touch my leg during the session, ” said the woman, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Despite informing clients that she was not a sex worker, the student still experienced harassment and “felt very uncomfortable.”

When I told my manager about the experience, he said this was part of my job and it was ‘normal’, she said.

The student revealed that she stayed in the position for a few weeks and was given “ cash in hand and minimum wage. ”

When she finally quit her job, she said she was “lucky to get out of there,” but she knew many others felt the same way.

Women are told they earn 'hundreds a day' by working in various locations in Melbourne (photo: stock photo of a woman standing in a red light)

Women are told they earn ‘hundreds a day’ by working in various locations in Melbourne (photo: stock photo of a woman standing in a red light)

The location of the various illegal brothers in Victoria was reportedly uncovered in an online sex forum – where men shame and judge their sexual encounters with students offering ‘lower rates’.

Some men claim that a massage parlor in Melbourne’s inner eastern suburbs offers a ‘menu’ of sexual services, the Sunday Herald reported.

Another man said that ‘Chinese or Taiwanese students’ between the ages of 21 and 25 would accept lower rates because they need the money to stay in Australia due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Other men advised potential customers to be ‘in the box seat’ when they arrive, as things have waned during the pandemic.

Campaign leader Caitlin Roper of Collective Shout – a campaign movement against the sexual exploitation of women – said the treatment of women in illegal brothels reinforces how ‘predatory’ the sex industry is.

“The sex trade is based on the use of economically disadvantaged women, college students, women of color… the sex industry in Australia is built on the exploitation of vulnerable women,” Ms. Roper told the Sunday Herald.

Victoria Police is reportedly aware that individuals provide illegal sexual services in businesses outside of licensed brothels and conduct patrols in areas to prevent worker exploitation.

Some men claim a massage parlor in Melbourne's inner eastern suburbs offers a 'menu' of sexual services (photo: stock photo of man and woman in a bedroom)

Some men claim a massage parlor in Melbourne’s inner eastern suburbs offers a ‘menu’ of sexual services (photo: stock photo of man and woman in a bedroom)

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