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My friend was forced into sex work

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Last updated 15:08, September 13 2017

She was 15. So were we. What could we say?

OPINION: It started with the smallest thing. We were sitting in her room, and she pulled out a bundle of $20 notes. "Where did you get that?" I asked. She laughed.

I had been friends with Stephanie* for years. But all of a sudden she had a new friend; a girl from a neighbouring city who was older and more streetwise. They were hanging out a lot in the weekends, catching the bus down to Wellington together.

We were 15 years old, at high school in a typical New Zealand town. In our spare time we played netball, or went to each others' houses. We got friend's older siblings to buy us Purple Goannas and Miami Coolers and we went to parties and smoked the odd joint.

It was midway through fifth form (Year 11) when I found out the reason Stephanie could afford so many new clothes was because she was working as a prostitute.

* Auckland child sex workers 'abuse-saturated'
* Couple jailed for running underage sex........

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