- Who does Treasures serve?
- Is Treasures trying to convince people to leave sex work?
- Do you only provide support to women who want to leave the sex industry?
- What does the sex industry have to do with trafficking?
- What do people need to know about restorative care for victims of Sexual Exploitation?
- Why is it so hard to leave the industry?
- How can I start an outreach?
- I have never been in the industry, but I have a heart to reach the women. Is there a place for me in a ministry like this?
Looking for Help
- I am in the industry, what can Treasures do to help me?
- Someone I love is in the industry, what can I do?
- Can you help my friend?
Who does Treasures serve?
Answer: Although most of our outreach is done in strip clubs, Treasures serves women in all areas of the sex industry including prostitution, escorting, and porn. We also assist victims of commercialized sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.
Is Treasures trying to convince people to leave sex work?
Answer: Our goal is not to try to convince or force people to leave sex work. We are not here to judge people or tell them how to live their lives. We believe that our role is to encourage women in their value, purpose, and relationship with God. Besides, if the research is true, and 89% of women involved in sex work want out but don’t see any other options, then we would be wasting our time trying to convince the other 11% to leave. We are here to support women who want support.
Do you only provide support to women who want to leave the sex industry?
Answer: No. We will provide services and support to any woman in the sex industry regardless of whether or not she wants to leave the business. Women in the sex industry are often facing a myriad of issues. Many are dealing with backgrounds of sexual abuse and trauma, substance abuse issues, depression, PTSD, domestic violence. We believe that it is important to meet women where they are at. If a woman wants help addressing the sexual abuse in her past, and has no intention of leaving the sex industry, we want to support her in this. If we only helped women who said they wanted to leave the business at the initial point of contact, we could be missing an incredible opportunity to see God work in her life in other areas.
What does the sex industry have to do with trafficking?
Answer: You can’t reach women in the sex industry without reaching victims of sex trafficking. The two are intersected. And while not every woman in the sex industry has been trafficked, victims of sex trafficking end up working in the sex industry. As a matter of fact, 70% of female trafficking victims are trafficked into the commercial sex industry. There are victims of sex trafficking working in strip clubs, on porn sets, street prostitution, escort agencies…you name it. Many of the women Treasures serves share stories of their “boyfriends” (aka Romeo Pimps), men posing as talent agents/managers (CEO Pimps), or even family members, manipulating or forcing them into the sex industry. Many were initially trafficked when they were teens, and some as early as 3-years old. With that said, because the of the unique dynamics involved in these situations, most sex trafficking victims do not self-identify, meaning they don’t even realize they are victims. Educational Videos
What do people need to know about restorative care for victims of Sexual Exploitation?
Answer: It is important for people to know that healing is a process and the road to recovery is often messy. As much as we would love to help women recover and rebuild their lives overnight, it does not happen this way.
Due to the fact that the issues the women face are often multi-layered, it takes time to work through the healing process that needs to happen. The day a woman leaves the sex industry, or escapes her pimp/trafficker, is only the beginning of her journey.
Some women have been so affected by sex work and the trauma they have experienced both before (up to 90% report being sexually abused as children) and during their time in the industry, part of this journey includes learning to relate to both women and men in ways that are healthy and non-sexualized. Most are faced with incredible economic challenges when they leave and are left with the task of finding a new job, new friends, new everything, all while sifting through the emotional aftermath of trauma and sex work.
Add to that, gaps in her resume, the constant temptation of easy money, the threat of homelessness if she doesn’t find a job, mental health issues such as depression and PTSD that are often caused or exacerbated by sex work, and the complications of severing ties with their pimps (for those who had them) due to trauma bonding, recovery is no small feat.
Bottom line, people need to know that healing is a process and grace and patience is needed.
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Why is it so hard to leave the industry?
Answer: Every week, Treasures receives emails and phone calls from women who say they are tired, frustrated, and ready to leave the industry…yet they find themselves feeling stuck. Many wonder if they will ever find a way out? How will they pay their bills? Who will hire them? And what in the world should they put on their resumes? Will they forever carry the stigma of having been in the sex industry?
One of the main obstacles we see facing women who want to leave the industry has to do with finances. Many are single mothers struggling to make ends meet. Others have been in the industry for so long, the idea of re-entering the work force in a different capacity is scary and can feel impossible.
For others, using their sexuality to survive has become so “normal” that breaking this pattern requires a new set of tools and a new way of seeing themselves. It is not as easy as putting together a resume and going on a couple of interviews, often there is a lot of inner healing work and coaching that has to happen first.
For those who were forced into sex work by means of trafficking/pimping, dynamics such as trauma bonding and fear for their safety come into play.
Others may find that physical or psychological conditions such as severe depression, fibromyalgia, and PTSD make it difficult to perform the tasks required in many full-time jobs outside of sex work.
Just as the circumstances that lead women into sex work vary, so do the challenges in leaving.
While there is no magic formula for getting out, I know it is possible because I (Harmony), along with countless other women, have done it. Our Stories
How can I start an outreach?
Answer: Treasures is committed to training those who have a calling and heart to reach women in the sex industry in their city through our Global Outreach and Care Trainings.
If you are interested in starting an outreach, we can provide the training, support, encouragement, resource and prayer you need. We will walk you through the process of starting an outreach from the ground up and help you develop an effective, sustainable outreach.
Information and registration
(Back to FAQs List)
I have never been in the industry, but I have a heart to reach the women. Is there a place for me in a ministry like this?
Answer: We have plenty of women on our team that do not have a background in the sex industry and there is definitely a place for them!
Some of the girls we reach have even said that it is so nice to talk to someone that isn’t in the business for a change. On the other hand, the women we reach and serve sometimes express apprehension about sharing with someone who has never been in the sex industry. Usually the apprehension boils down to fear of being judged or misunderstood.
As long as a person can demonstrate empathy, compassion and an awareness of their own shortcomings and brokenness, a good working relationship/mentorship can be established.
I am in the industry, what can Treasures do to help me?
Answer: The Treasures Team is here to support you. Here are just a few of the resources we can offer you:
• Free Care Package including a free copy of Harmony Dust’s memoir, Scars and Stilettos. Request a Care Package
• Mentoring The Treasures Care Team can connect you with a mentor to encourage and support you along the way. Request a Mentor
• Support Group If you are in the Los Angeles area, we invite you to join with other women on the journey at our therapist-led support group. Email email@example.com for more info.
• Annual Retreat Build life-long relationships, hike through a serene forest, eat nutritious food, spend a few days outside of the hustle and bustle of the world, and most importantly head towards a deeper relationship with God. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
• Support Outside of LA To find additional support in your area, see a list of Treasures-Trained outreaches. Click here.
Someone I love is in the industry, what can I do?
Answer: The foundation of the work we do at Treasures is communicating love, value and purpose to the women we reach and serve. When it comes to having a loved-one in the sex industry, we recommend that same foundation.
You can’t “fix” her. As a matter of fact, trying to fix her or get her to see things from your perspective might just push her further away. But you can love her. You can encourage her, pray for her and support her in the ways she has invited you to support her. And you can do all of this while still having healthy boundaries and not losing your sanity in the process.
If you have found yourself trying to convince your loved one of the error of their ways, I am guessing you have started to figure out that this usually doesn’t work. Perhaps it is time to take a different approach. Maybe it’s time to begin to try to see things from their perspective. Why is she in the industry? Why does she stay in patterns that you believe are destructive to her? She might not be able to answer these questions, but reading the stories of other women who have been in her shoes might help you build understanding and empathy. We have an entire section of our site dedicated to sharing these stories. You can read them here: Our Stories.
We encourage you to thrive. The more you know who you are and live in the purpose you were created for, the more you will inspire her to do the same. Get passionate about your relationship with God, find ways to engage in your own healing process. The more you thrive, the more likely she will do the same. There is a quote that says “show me your friends and I’ll show you you’re future.” If you are her friend, the more you succeed at living fully, the less her chances are at staying where she is.
If you have found yourself immersed in your loved-ones issues and circumstances, managing her responsibilities, owning her pain, or trying to “fix” her, chances are, you might be struggling with co-dependency. The best thing you can do for your friend, and mostly for yourself, is to get support for this. We highly recommend finding a Celebrate Recovery (Christian-based 12-Step Recovery), or a traditional 12-step meeting for people struggling with co-dependency. You can also find some great resources in Harmony’s blog and our Recommended Reading section.
Can you help my friend?
Answer: We often get requests from concerned, well-meaning people, asking us to contact their loved-ones. Moms who are worried about their daughters. Husbands concerned for their wives. Friends who want to help. We totally understand the desire to have Treasures step in and intervene on your behalf, but this is not something we do.
We believe that each person must take responsibility for their own healing journey and recovery process. Taking a step to reach out for help is a part of this process. If we step in on behalf of a loved-one, we are taking this responsibility from them. In the long run, we don’t believe this serves them well.
If your loved one says they need help, encourage them to initiate contact with us. In doing so, they are taking an important step in their own healing journey.
They are welcome to sign up for a care package in our Industry Girls Only section and we will send them some great resources including a free copy of Harmony’s memoir, Scars and Stilettos.
To report trafficking, call 888-373-7888