When a young girl enters the sex trade and spends a long time inside it, it can be hard to ever imagine a different life. The same goes for women who’ve spent the majority of their adult life inside prostitution. A 2019 report into prostitution and sex work in the UK discovered that ‘many find that the longer they sell sex, the harder it can be to leave completely’ even though staying in it often means suffering ‘acute exploitation and serious and sustained harm.’
A woman who exits prostitution not only has to find a new way of securing an income, but she also has to adapt to completely new challenges in managing everyday life. She might even have to rebuild her social network from scratch.
“When we exit prostitution, that is just beginning of a long struggle back to personhood, back to dignity, back to self-respect and back to a life that can be made safe. It is a rebirth, and like a new-born we do not know or understand the rules of the ‘real’ world. I remember not knowing how to shop… I had no idea how to pay bills, how to look for somewhere safe, to look for work. I had no idea how to be an adult, as I still carried my damaged child and teenager in me. I was drowning, but I received no help, no support – I had to fight every inch of the way to get back some kind of real life.” – Rebecca Mott
If you’re looking for help and support to exit prostitution in Stoke-on-Trent, we’re here for you. You can call us in confidence on 07393 916650, e-mail us at [email protected] or visit our website and click on ‘I want support’ and ‘What we do’. We totally understand that it can be scary to reach out, and you might want to just talk on the phone or e-mail us to start with. Just do what you feel comfortable with. We’re not here to put any pressure or judgment or expectation on you. We just want to be a safe place and offer safe relationships.
There’s also a national organisation called Beyond The Streets who offer confidential call back support by phone. Click here to find out more. Note that Beyond The Streets are based in Southampton so they can’t offer face-to-face support.in Stoke but they do offer phone support nationwide. You can call them anonymously and if you leave your number they’ll call you back and offer support sessions over the phone.