As a Beyond Support Worker, why I’m saying no to sexual exploitation and violence against women.
Bread. The stuff of life. Flatbread in the middle of the table, a panini oozing with cheese at lunch with friends, crispy, fluffy baguette, hot dogs at a bonfire party, a late-night piece of toast with a cup of tea whilst you chat over the day with someone you love. Bread is great for sharing.
It can also be a handy and sometimes sneaky in between snack. I can order a pizza, or pick up a kebab or grab a quick sandwich whenever I want. I can pay for it, sneak it in on the quiet when I’m peckish an, if I want, omit to mention that I snuck it in when I sit down to a meal with others.
We can all be good at sneaking treats in to comfort, entertain or ‘satisfy’ ourselves, without necessarily mentioning it to those who care about us. It can be less shameful, less telling, if we keep some treats to ourselves.
That’s ok if it’s just a piece of pizza.
The trouble is that around the world, people are ordering women for themselves as a ‘treat’ every day, sneaking them in when they are bit ‘peckish.’
It’s not ok that women are trapped, coerced, beaten, controlled and exploited just so someone can order them like a pizza.
It’s not ok, that’s why at Beyond Support we offer women the opportunity to find another route in life. I talk with women on the phone for whom it is so hard to find another way. Our team seeks to be there, whilst women explore their own hopes and dreams and whilst they explore the idea that their personhood, honour and body are worth more than to be ordered as a snack. We point them in the direction of support so that another way can become a sustainable reality.
I’m saying ‘NO!’ to bread this NOvember Campaign as a way of saying ‘NO!’ to sexual exploitation and violence against women. Agree that women shouldn’t be ordered like pizza? You can sponsor me here.
Words By Miriam Hargreaves, Support Worker and Clinical lead for Beyond Support – our free call-back support service for women exploited through prostitution.
Miriam is saying no as part of the #NOvemberCampaign, a month of awareness raising in the lead up to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25th November. Help us to create more routes of sexual exploitation for women by giving to the campaign.