You Don’t Know Her

I was pointing out the prostitution to someone visiting recently and explaining what Go MAD does here in the Dominican Republic and the person asked me a question that I think is symptomatic of many issues we face today.  The question went something like, “Why do you care if a woman wants to be a prostitute; if she is an adult isn’t that her choice?”  The problem with the question is it assumes we know something about the woman.  I chose to answer kindly and talk about our desire to give options but what I really wanted to do was scream, “You don’t know her!”

Let me paint for you a picture that we see all too often here.  This woman that is 25 now was once a precious 5 year old child.  She had a mother that dressed her in clothes far too provocative for a 5 year old to be wearing.   She had a 16 year old sister that taught her to pose for pictures in ways a 5 year old shouldn’t.  Neither should a 16 year old for that matter.  With no father present the only men in her life were the men she saw her prostitute mother and prostitute older sister with on a regular basis.  Her mother teaches her, just as she did her older sister, that her value is in her looks and what she has to offer men.  She learns very young to wear make-up, walk in high heels and to flirt with men.  When she turns 12 years old her mother pulls her out of school and tells her it is time for her to start making money for the family.  The night comes when her mother has arranged for the sale of her virginity.  Her mother excitedly tells her, “Tonight you get to start using the gift that God has given you to earn a living.”  That night she is raped by a 45 year old man and then the next night comes and then the next and then the next.  It is difficult at first but over time she grows numb.  Now she is 25 with little education, 3 children of her own, seeing all men only as a way to make a living and she lost hope of anything different a long time ago.  You see her working but you don’t know her.

The problem that I spoke of at the beginning is that we all too often form opinions about people or situations based on what we think we know without taking the time to really get to know the person or situation.  In this case the assumption is made that the woman is an adult and therefore has chosen to earn a living in this way.  I would say that this woman is an adult but the choice of how she was going to make a living was made long ago for her.

The answer to why we care would be two fold.  First, we care because we know that Christ cares.  Second, we care because we have taken the time to get to know these ladies and know that if they felt like they had the opportunity to earn a living another way they would.  That is where Go MAD Ministries gets involved to restore opportunity, dignity and hope.

– Chantz


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3 Responses to “You Don’t Know Her”

  1. Alisa Brown Says:

    Unfortunately, Chantz, this is a common attitude of people who simply don’t understand how things really are for these women. The myth of the “Happy Hooker” is just that: a myth. Virtually all prostitutes were forced into the lifestyle, either in the manner you describe or by a “boyfriend” who turns out to be a trafficker. They are trapped into the lifestyle and often imprisoned in their “off” hours.
    And let’s talk about the men who use prostitutes: they buy into the myth because otherwise they can’t enjoy their guilty pleasure. But some men use prostitutes to carry out their hatred of women, beating, raping, and sometimes even killing them. And these are the most vulnerable of women. Experience teaches them somethings about protecting themselves from the clients likely to turn violent, but nobody else protects them. They are a commodity. And when one dies, they simply find another vulnerable girl to replace her and the horrible industry continues.
    And if law enforcement does its job (which is extremely rare because of your visitor’s attitude), often the girls are the ones punished, while the pimps, brothel owners, and clients go free! Lawmakers need to look to Sweden’s example: in Sweden, it is the clients who are punished–and publicly! Because of this, prostitution is practically non-existent in Sweden.
    Thank you, Chantz and Renee, for caring for these most vulnerable and forgotten of God’s creatures. God bless you!

  2. Chris Pena Says:

    I’m proud to be your pastor.
    We need to take time to get to KNOW and to CARE.

  3. Linda Says:

    A very sensitively written article. God bless you and the work you are doing.

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