What happens when she grows up?
What happens when she grows up?
At 16 years old, Diamond’s* father sent her to live with his friend. He told her she could make some extra money helping with his business. Her dad’s friend was a pimp and his business was trafficking. It wasn’t long before he had Diamond working for him as a prostitute.
It is easy to see here that Diamond was a victim of sexual exploitation.
Today, Diamond is an adult. She is now working both as a prostitute and a stripper. What happens to Diamond now that she is “all grown up”?
Ruthi Hoffman Hanchett, Child Well-Being & Rights Advisor at World Vision International, said this when introducing Treasures to a group of peers:
There are an estimated 2 million children in the global commercial sex industry. Children sold in sexual slavery, exploited by adults and some times trading sex for survival. World Vision works around the globe to try and protect these children through strengthening Child Protection systems, reforming laws, caring for survivors, working with parents and communities with vulnerable children to prevent abuse, and empowering children themselves to know their rights and protect themselves and peers.
But what happens when those children grow up?
The average age of entry into prostitution in the US and around the world is between 13-14 years.
Most women in prostitution (up to 90%) have been victims of sexual abuse and incest already. Most say they want to leave, but feel they have no other options. We (as individuals and society) often have compassion for the girl but blame her once she reaches 18 years of age.
We drive past the strip clubs and turn away or even gawk at the broken lives. But they are the same children who have just been abused for too many years. Treasures is reaching and making a difference in these women’s lives.
I was in tears as I listened to this introduction.
What happens when the girl who has been abused and exploited grows up? How will we respond to her when she makes life choices that are rooted in the brokenness of her youth?
Treasures is committed to being a part of the solution to these questions. We provide her with the support and resources she needs to overcome the pain and exploitation that have occurred in her past.
Last year, we received a small grant to offer a “trial run” of a therapist-led support group. What began as a “trial run” has since turned into one of the strongest tools for recovery we offer. Forty weeks out of the year, these women show up and find community, professional insight, encouragement in their faith, and are equipped with tools that are helping them overcome their past so that they can live the healthy, flourishing lives.
This is where you come in. To continue providing this valuable program, we are looking for 40 people to make a contribution of $150. This is what it costs to have the therapist for each session.
Essentially, your gift of $150 can either be made in one lump sum or you can give $50 a month for the next three months.
Your giving will enable Treasures to bring freedom to a room full of women—women like Diamond
Donations can be made online at www.iamatreasure.com or mailed to
North Hills, CA 91343-2013.
*Names and identifying information has been changed to protect confidentiality.
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