This NOvember I am saying ‘no’ to sexual exploitation and violence. This week we are asked to stand with women by giving up something social.
You know when you arrange to meet someone for a night out, you turn up on your own and find they haven’t arrived yet? I adopt a confident air and then resort to looking at my phone rather than appear like a loner. I prefer going together and meeting up with a group of friends, where I feel accepted, part of something. Even if it’s been a tough week, an evening of feeling in the middle can be a comfort. Talking with someone who cares can halve the effect of the problem.
What if every night I found myself waiting alone, knowing that the company of the people I meet and spend time with would compound my loneliness? What if this part of my life was not known to those closest to me, or, worse still, was enforced upon me by them so that I could reach their ‘quota’ for the night? That could make a pleasant night out with friends difficult to find or enjoy. When the Door of Hope team go out on the streets in East London, they meet women who stand alone, for whom isolation is a way of life.
One woman told the team, ‘You can’t have certain circles of friends because you can’t talk about what you do, because society doesn’t accept what you do, or doesn’t want to know what we do.’
When Door of Hope turn up, they do want to know. They bring some solidarity, someone who is bothered. Women have described it as a ‘lifeline’ just to have that friendly contact.
This NOvember, people have chosen to give up something different each week. Why not join us and say ‘NO’ to a night out with friends? If you donate what you save to Beyond the Streets, you could help fund a night’s outreach.
Stand in solidarity with women this month by taking part in the #NovemberCampaign or by making a gift of £18 to support the Door of Hope project, for which we hope to raise £18,000 through the #NOvemberCampaign.
Miriam works for Beyond the Streets as the Clinical Lead for Beyond Support – our call back service for women involved in prostitution. She is passionate about people’s tough lives being transformed. Miriam is saying no to sugar this #NOvemberCampaign, sponsor her here.