A few blocks from my house there is a street where violence intersects with trauma. It’s a corner where women involved in trading or selling sex spend their time waiting. I don’t know the back story of these women, but for most I know what brought them to this intersection is more complicated than I could every dream or imagine. For most of these women I'm sure the pain, abuse and violence began far before they ever even arrived at the intersection.
For my wife and I travelling across this intersection is by far one of the most heartbreaking experiences connected to living in our neighborhood.
We’re often shocked at how few resources there are out there to support women and girls looking for support, healing and a way out. I think in our ignorance we too easily characterize these women as the perpetrators instead of the victims, and cast them aside as undeserved of our love and support.
That’s why my wife and I were excited tonight to be able to celebrate with others the launch of the new Northside Women’s Space. The project is a collaboration between Kwanzaa Community Church and Lauren Martin. Together, they are developing a space where women and girls engaged in prostitution can connect.
The Northside Women’s Space will provide women in prostitution a holistic space based on the values of empowerment, respect, dignity, integrity, community and hope.
At the event we heard from a variety of individuals, including a woman, a survivor, who found freedom years ago. She emotionally shared with us the uniqueness and the importance of this space and all that it will provide for the women and girls in our community struggling to find freedom from prostitution. Her courage, her commitment and her hope for the women and girls still out on the street was inspiring.
Over the next few months the Northside Women’s Space will be continuing in its development, both of the space and programming. I would encourage you to support this important work financially by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how.