Last month we looked at the stages of change and the often cyclical process of leaving commercial sexual exploitation. (If you missed that post, check it out here.) We mentioned that many barriers exist to stepping into a new future beyond exploitation, and at times it can feel overwhelming and hopeless.
You’re a single 28 year-old woman with 3 children under 10. After years of sexual abuse as a child where the neighbor man made money off your assaults, you decide to take control of the situation by going to the local strip club at ‘18’ (but really 16), and quickly became addicted to alcohol in order to escape reality.
Now that you’ve been in the industry for 12 years, it’s all you know. Your family (who wasn’t the healthiest but they were family) has broken off relationship, you’ve missed getting your high school diploma or further education, and your entire community consists of those attached to the clubs.
But you’re sick of it. You’re sick of the disrespect from customers. You’re sick of not knowing how much money you’ll make night after night, of feeling isolated from those who’ve had straight jobs, of the drama of constantly competing with your coworkers who are also your close friends, of not wanting your kids to know what you do in order to provide for them. And it all feels like a never-ending trap with no way out.
That’s why She’s Somebody’s Daughter (SSD) is here.
While not every woman’s story reflects aspects of what many affected by sexual exploitation do experience. But either way, there are ways out. There is no need for isolation. There is support available and a community of love and hope waiting to walk alongside and cheer loudly as brave steps are taken toward new life. Yes, there is often much to overcome. SSD is a community of overcomers who are here to say there is hope for the next one.