Be Bold for Change : International Women’s Day 2017

In 2017, the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, #BeBoldForChange  calls us to help forge a better working world for all.

We at Beyond the Streets are working for an end to sexual exploitation in the UK, helping to forge a better world for the women who want to move away from selling sex and towards a future where they are treated with respect and dignity in the workplace.

It takes determination to take this path and daily we encounter women who show incredible strength, and resilience. It sometimes seems like the options are few but with someone alongside you to cheer you on and who knows but doesn’t judge, we’ve seen women make courageous decisions and take those determined steps. Here’s what one woman wrote after she had been talking with us at Beyond Support for a few months:

“When I contacted you I had made the decision that I would stop soon.  I coped with it – the uncertainty and panic –  I now know what it feels like to have a normal life, it is not so scary.

I’ve made progress by going to College and have got something to work towards and to get to know myself.

I have learnt a lot that I was braver than I thought I was and am also excited as have made a lot of bad decisions in the past and now know I can make good decisions.

I knew people judged me and thought that I was not intelligent . I am a human being. 90%  of the reason (women become involved in prostitution) is the circumstances women find self in to make them do this work.

I had a lot of anger but the best thing you have done is encourage me to start having counselling which is really helping me longer term.

I am not fearful of the future as it’s something I did for me which is more important than other things in my past as it has made me a stronger person as I have confidence for the future.

Beyond Support has given me the confidence and taken away the fear so I can just be honest as I felt you understood and I didn’t have to explain or be judged.”

At Beyond the Streets, we find great job satisfaction in encountering some strong and admirable women. Happy International Women’s Day.

Words By Miriam Hargreaves, Support Worker and Clinical lead for Beyond Support – our free call-back support service for women exploited through prostitution.

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